During Tuesday’s exit interviews, Ducks GM Bob Murray said he hasn’t yet talked to Bruce Boudreau and the coaching staff about their future and that he will be evaluating every aspect of the team. For the third straight season, the Ducks were eliminated from the post-season in a Game 7 on home ice.
It’s no secret that the Anaheim Ducks’ season ended in disappointment. For the third straight year, they dropped a Game 7 at home to get ousted from the post-season, but GM Bob Murray says he’s not going to make any brash decisions.
During Tuesday’s exit interviews, Murray said that he would be evaluating everything about the team going forward. What’s most interesting, though, is that when it comes to coach Bruce Boudreau and his staff, Murray didn’t say for certain that they would be back next season.
“I haven’t talked to the coaching staff one bit,” Murray said. “I thought the coaching staff made strides this year. But I’ve still got to talk to them. I’m not ready to talk to them. We’ve got to meet later.
“I’ve got to sort things out in my mind. I’m not one to do things quickly. I’m evaluating the whole hockey team. That’s not a yes or a no. I’ve got to evaluate everything.”
Murray did add, however, that he was, “fairly happy with the overall performance of (the) coaching staff this year.”
Boudreau has been the bench boss for the Ducks for the past three seasons, over which time the club has won three consecutive Pacific Division titles and finished atop the Western Conference in each of the past two campaigns. However, that Boudreau’s tenure in Anaheim has yet to produce a Stanley Cup and has seen each of the past three years end in similar fashion has led some to wonder whether he’ll be back behind the bench.
“We haven’t actually had our meeting yet,” Boudreau said during the exit interviews. “I’m sure that’s coming tomorrow or the next day. You need some time to just cool off as far as both of us being happy about not winning. We had our team dinner last night, which was very casual, but I’m sure we’ll chat about the year and everything else.”
The situation in Anaheim is not altogether unlike the one in St. Louis in which coach Ken Hitchcock, who has led the Blues to regular season success during his stay behind the bench, has been unable to get the team deep into the post-season. The Blues were reportedly in on discussions with coach Mike Babcock, but when Babcock decided to join the Toronto Maple Leafs, Hitchcock was given a one-year extension.
Boudreau’s extension came last summer, when he signed a two-year deal that would have kept him in Anaheim until 2017.
If the Ducks were to go in another direction behind the bench, it would come as somewhat of a shock. While the post-season losses have come in heartbreaking fashion, Anaheim has gotten deeper in the post-season each year and Boudreau has coached the team to the best position possible heading into the playoffs. Heading into next season, it seems barring a disaster behind the bench, Boudreau will get his shot to at least see how deep he can take the club.
“We’re anticipating being better again next year,” Boudreau said. “Once you get over the fact that you lost, and there is something really to look forward to, you can’t wait until you start again.”