According to a tweet from Darren Dreger, the Anaheim Ducks are expected to announce the hiring (or rehiring?) of Randy Carlyle as head coach on Tuesday.
When we first heard these rumors everyone kind of laughed them off, right? Conventional wisdom in life is that you don’t go back with your ex because there was a probably a good reason you broke up in the first place.
But that’s logical, and in sports, things don’t border on the logical.
Instead, Ducks general manager Bob Murray is going back with his good old friend Randy Carlyle. The man he begrudgingly fired the two months into the 2011-12 after his team – mainly stars Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry – quit on their coach.
The move to Bruce Boudreau was to get the team away from the hardline tactics of Carlyle, and it worked, for the most part. If it wasn’t for the psychological block the team placed on themselves in the playoffs for the past four years.
So bring in the guy who last won a high stakes series for the Ducks … 10 YEARS AGO.
Carlyle’s first season back behind the Anaheim bench will mark the 10 year point since the Ducks won the Stanley Cup in 2006-07. (Last time we checked though, Scott Niedermayer and Chris Pronger are in the Hockey Hall of Fame and not on the roster.)
Per the OC Register, at the time of his initial firing:
“Carlyle went 273-182-61 with playoff appearances in five of his six full seasons. Seven of his 11 playoff series were victorious, four of them coming in 2007, when the Ducks defeated Ottawa to win the Cup. He remains the franchise’s all-time winningest coach.”
From there he moved on to join former Ducks GM Brian Burke with the Toronto Maple Leafs. He came in after Ron Wilson was relieved of his duties with 18 games left in the 2011-12 season.
The next season Carlyle took the Leafs to the playoffs, and it was his last appearance in the postseason. Remember that implosion in Game 7 against the Boston Bruins in 2013? That was him behind the bench. (At least the Ducks have something still in common with him? Too soon?)
It was thought that Carlyle would be rejoining Burke up in Calgary with the Flames, but alas he ended up in Anaheim instead. What possibly lured him away from a very young and talented Calgary team? Money? Term? Non-Canadian media? The sun? Who knows.
In his post-Boudreau firing press conference, Bob Murray was asked if he was looking for a guy that would be different than Bruce in coaching style. Murray stated:
“I know when we went from Randy to Bruce that was my thought because I knew them both personally; I knew that. Now am I thinking of going [to different style of coach]? No, we’re going to look for a guy that can deal with … You cannot do what the old guys did in the old days. I don’t think you can, and I even think some of those guys that are older that are still coaching in this league, that are good, have changed their ways somewhat to deal with the new modern athlete.”
Key line: “I even think some of those guys that are older that are still coaching in this league, that are good, have changed their ways somewhat to deal with the new modern athlete.”
This point was later echoed by former Carlyle assistant Dave Farrish in a May 2016 interview with Eric Stephens of the Orange County Register:
“[Carlyle] has softened a lot too,” Farrish said. “I noticed a change in him when he went to Toronto as far as millennial players coming along. He’s much more receptive to a lot of these players.”
He’s now receptive to millennials, but has he mastered the art of making toast? We’ll just have to wait and see.
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