In a season where general managers dropped like flies, either via being fired or “promoted” within the organization to a figure-head role, at least one GM got a little more job security this offseason. The Anaheim Ducks have extended Bob Murray's contract to remain as GM and executive vice president. The new deal will take Murray, who has been with the club since 2008, through the 2019-20 season.
Eighteen teams have made at least one GM switch since Murray took the reins from Brian Burke, who left the club to become GM of the Toronto Maple Leafs.
"We're very pleased to extend Bob's contract,” Ducks CEO Michael Schulman said in a statement. “Since taking over as general manager, he has meticulously added youth, skill and depth to the organization. Having been in the NHL for the last 39 consecutive years, he has outstanding knowledge and expertise for the job. He's the right man to continue leading the hockey club going forward."
It's no surprise to see Murray earn the extension after the Ducks had back-to-back spectacular showings in the regular season. Part of that is due to the aggressive and somewhat opportunistic hire of Bruce Boudreau, who was brough on shortly after being fired by the Washington Capitals.
The Ducks have also drafted extremely well under Murray, nabbing key players from this season including Cam Fowler, Hampus Lindholm, Emerson Etem, Devante Smith-Pelly, Kyle Palmieri, Sami Vatanen, and John Gibson. All are still developing and some of those players could help make up a Ducks core around stars Corey Perry and Ryan Getzlaf.
Speaking of those two stars, Murray made sure he would keep his two most important players and one of the most exciting duos in the league when he re-signed Perry and Getzlaf to long-term deals last season. Both were among the top 10 leaders in scoring in the NHL this season.
Those deals did force Murray to trade a perennial goal scorer in Bobby Ryan, but Murray managed to bring back some good value for the sniper.
He hasn't made too many false steps in his role and his most recent moves seem to have the Ducks heading in a positive direction.
The future is very bright for the Ducks even after a disappointing second-round exit in seven games to the Kings. Murray has proven to be a capable leader for the franchise as it continues its march back to Stanley Cup contention. It doesn't seem all that far off, but the lineup will need some subtle tweaking from the GM over the next year or two to ensure they're on a championship path.