The Anaheim Ducks have fired head coach Randy Carlyle. General manager Bob Murray will take over as head coach for the remainder of the season.
We could all see this firing coming from a mile away, given the Ducks' recent performance of seven consecutive losses and losses in 19 of their last 21 games. The Ducks’ minus-55 goal differential is another key reason they now sit dead last in the Western Conference. It is also worth mentioning that injuries to multiple key players have played a significant part in the Ducks' massive struggles, which include Rickard Rakell, Corey Perry, Ondrej Kase, Cam Fowler, Jakob Silfverberg, Hampus Lindholm, and now John Gibson.
I know it's fun to make fun of Randy, and they needed to move on from him, but their injuries this year..
Rakell for 12 games, Perry almost all year to date, Kase about half the season (so far), Fowler for over 20 games, plus a handful of guys missing 5-10 games (Silf, Lindholm)
— Michael Clifford (@SlimCliffy) February 10, 2019
Murray has never been an NHL coach and won't stay behind the bench beyond this season, so appointing himself as coach may not bring the intended result as far as immediately turning this team around (although could it get any worse?) However, Murray’s presence behind the bench will expedite a necessary day of reckoning for the Ducks' roster. Murray’s most important immediate task will be to make a decision on Silfverberg, who will be a UFA after this season. Perry and Getzlaf contracts expire another two summers after that, but the declining 33-year-old forwards and their $8 million-plus contracts are likely staying put.
Dallas Eakins, who you may remember from his Edmonton days, is rumored to be the frontrunner for the Ducks’ head coaching job next season. He is currently coaching the Ducks’ AHL affiliate, the San Diego Gulls, to a respectable 25-15-2-3 record. We will discuss the fantasy impact of his hiring if and when he is hired.
Players this helps:
Everyone (short term), as the Ducks have nowhere to go but up at the moment. However, because the GM is also now the coach, this is a very volatile situation that could quickly change player values. The Ducks have many players in deep freezes, including the following:
Getzlaf: 2 G and 7 PTS and minus-27 in last 20 GP
Perry: 1 PT and minus-6 in 5 GP since returning from injury
Fowler: 1 PT and minus-15 in last 13 GP
Lindholm: 3 PTS and minus-7 in last 14 GP
Brandon Montour: 2 PTS and minus-9 in last 9 GP
Gibson: 2-6-1 and 4.33 GAA and .876 SV% in last 9 GP
Players may be extra motivated knowing they may be playing for their next contract. If nothing else, this could provide a short-term wakeup call for players who had long since turned out Carlyle. In short order Murray could also decide that selling at the trade deadline is the best option, which would result in top-6 players such as Silfverberg and Adam Henrique playing for new teams very soon (TSN Trade Bait list).
Fantasy owners are now weighing in on the Forum. Give your take here!