Wild West – General Manager Ratings – Anaheim
It is always a subjective result when looking back at a general manager of an NHL team and rating them based on their success, because ultimately they are only successful if their team wins the Stanley Cup. In the salary cap era, it is a very difficult job, but the four pillars I'd consider the most important are winning, drafting, trading and signing players as free agents or to extensions.
My plan is to perform a deep dive on each current GM in the Western Conference and judge them on the four pillars above and see how they are doing. Hopefully I won't get through this as that would mean 15 weeks of no NHL hockey. This is not meant to be taken seriously and is for entertainment purposes only.
5: below average
7: above average
8: top ten
GM – Bob Murray hired: November 12th, 2008
Member of the $1 billion club
First category, winning:
Regular season record: 497 W 330 L 60 OTL 52 SOL: 0.591 Win %
Playoffs: made the playoffs eight seasons, missed in three (likely four including this season)
Best result: Lost in round 3 twice (2014-2015 and 2016-2017)
The only perfect 10 would be a Stanley Cup each and every season, but Murray did inherit a very good but ageing team when he took over in 2008-2009. The team still had Chris Pronger (33), Teemu Selanne (38), Scott Niedermayer (35), who he would need to replace very soon, but he also had Ryan Getzlaf (23), Corey Perry (23) and Bobby Ryan (21) who were the core he had to work with. Murray was successful in giving the team an opportunity to win each year, but they came up short in eight of his twelve seasons to date.
Winning rating: 7.8
89 players drafter over 11 seasons with 14 of those being 1st round picks.
Murray drafted very well from the outset for four years straight from 2009 to 2012 and once again in 2014. Drafting has been the cornerstone for the team to stay competitive and build on the fly, which is every team's goal but is much more difficult to achieve. Key players drafted that allowed Murray to trade them or build around them were Kyle Palmieri, Sami Vatanen, Cam Fowler, Richard Rakell, John Gibson, Josh Manson, Hampus Lindholm, Frederik Andersen, Nick Ritchie, Ondrej Kase, Brandon Montour, Sam Steel, Troy Terry and Max Comtois. Top prospects are Trevor Zegras, Brayden Tracy, Isac Lundestrom and perhaps Jacob Larsson.
Drafting score: 8.2
We will only focus on trades that turned out very well or the price was too high for the return. More recent trades, the jury is still out, so we can only focus on trades where history tells us the result.
Trades made: 151
June 26th, 2009 traded Chris Pronger and Ryan Dingle for Luca Sbisa, Joffrey Lupul, 1st round pick 21st overall in 2009 (John Moore) and 1st round pick 29th overall in 2010 (Emerson Etem) – great value for an aging Pronger.
June 26th, 2009 traded 1st round pick 21st overall in 2009 (John Moore) for 1st round pick 26th overall in 2009 (Kyle Palmieri) and the 2nd round pick 37th overall in 2009 (Mat Clark) – Murray would trade down again with his 1st round pick to generate two picks in the top 50. He trusts his scouting staff.
November 11th, 2010 traded Joffrey Lupul, Jake Gardiner and a 4th round pick 117th overall in 2013 for Francois Beauchemin. Murray paid a boat load for a 31 year old defensive defenseman who didn't provide much offense but played a lot of minutes. Beauchemin was a good player for Anaheim, but not worth the price paid.
June 24th, 2011 traded 1st round pick 22nd overall in 2011 (Tyler Biggs) for 1st overall pick 30th overall in 2011 (Richard Rakell) and a 2nd round pick 39th overall in 2011 (John Gibson) – Basically gave the Ducks two cornerstone players to this day.
July 12th, 2011 traded 2nd round pick 56th overall in 2013 (Marc-Olivier Roy) for Andrew Cogliano – Cogliano was never a top six forward in Anaheim but was a solid 3rd line forward that makes this deal look like a steal in hindsight.
July 5th, 2013 traded Bobby Ryan for Jakob Silfverberg, Stefan Noesen and a 1st round pick 10th overall in 2014 (Nick Ritchie) – Murray saw an off year as more than an off year and dealt Ryan for two regulars in the lineup and one in Silfverberg that was the best in the deal.
June 27th, 2014 traded Luca Sbisa, Nick Bonino, 1st round pick 24th overall in 2014 (Jared McCann) and a 3rd round pick 85th overall in 2014 (Keegan Iverson) – In acquiring Kesler, Murray paid quite a bit for what he figured was a piece of the puzzle that might get them over the playoff hump. Unfortunately Kesler would never be the player he was in 2011, but it was worth the gamble.
June 27th, 2015 traded Kyle Palmieri for 2nd round 41st overall in 2015 (Ryan Gropp) and 3rd round pick 76th overall in 2016 (Rem Pitlick) – Palmieri went from bottom six to top six in New Jersey and flourished. Short term, Anaheim didn't have space but they sure could have used him this year or last.
June 20th, 2016 traded Frederik Andersen for 1st round pick 30th overall in 2016 (Sam Steel) and 2nd round pick 50th overall (Max Comtois) – By drafting John Gibson, this allowed Murray to deal Andersen to Toronto for two fairly high picks. You could argue to this day who the better goalie is.
February 24th, 2017 traded 1st round pick 29th overall in 2017 (Henri Jokiharju) for Patrick Eaves – Eaves played well as a trade deadline pick up and was re-signed but health issues have limited him. Healthy or not it was an expensive price tag.
June 21st, 2017 traded Shea Theodore for expansion draft considerations. Anaheim was up against it with the expansion draft but losing Theodore in hindsight was a big mistake.
February 24th, 2019 traded Brandon Montour for Brendan Guhle and a 1st round pick 29th overall in 2019 (Brayden Tracy) – Murray is back to adding high picks and value for players he deems expendable but have value to others.
February 21st, 2020 traded Ondrej Kase for David Backes, Axel Andersson and a 1st round pick 31st(?) in 2020 – Adds a late 1st round pick and a former 2nd round pick in Andersson for a player in Kase that has all the tools but can't stay healthy. Jury is out for a few years on this one.
Trade score: 8.2
Right away we will look at buyouts and Murray has signed and bought out Corey Perry, Simon Despres, Marc Fistric and Nathan Oystrick. The one big mistake is Simon Despres who he signed to a five-year deal with a $3.7 million AAV to only buy him out after one season of playing one game. Perry was more a lesson to be learned in signing a 28-year old still in his prime to an eight year contract. He was bought in the final two years of an $8.625 million AAV deal.
Ryan Kesler is an obvious bad contract in hindsight, albeit injury related, and Cam Fowler and John Gibson with eight year deals are certainly risky that handcuffs Murray now, but for the most part Murray has avoided the splashy high priced UFA on July 1st. So far.
Signings score: 7.2
Overall score 7.85
Obviously, the score for a GM isn't historical and is linear with the team's current success or lack thereof. Anaheim is a team in trouble but Murray has proven before that he knows when to transition the aging players from the roster and find new young core pieces. The team and Murray are in uncharted territory and don't have the luxury to re-build on the fly any longer. Murray's job is clearly on the line in the next season or two.
No data at this moment.