ANAHEIM, Calif. – The Anaheim Ducks fired coach Randy Carlyle late Wednesday night and hired former Washington coach Bruce Boudreau, who was dismissed by the Capitals just two days earlier.
The Ducks made the abrupt move after beating Montreal 4-1 on Wednesday night for the club’s third victory in 19 games, snapping a seven-game skid.
Carlyle coached the Ducks to their only Stanley Cup title in 2007, but struggled to get his talented club’s attention this season. Carlyle agreed to a three-year contract extension through the 2013-14 season in August, but Anaheim got off to a perplexing 7-13-4 start.
“Randy is a terrific head coach, and did a tremendous job for us for six-plus seasons,” Anaheim general manager Bob Murray said. “We thank him greatly for his hard work and dedication to our franchise, not the least of which was a Stanley Cup championship. At this time, we simply felt a new voice was needed. Bruce is a proven winner with a great track record, and we are optimistic we can turn this season around under his leadership.”
Carlyle is the fourth NHL coach to be fired in the young season, and the third this week. Paul Maurice was also dismissed on Monday by the Carolina Hurricanes.
Davis Payne was let go by the St. Louis Blues on Nov. 6.
Anaheim cleaned house Wednesday, also firing assistant coaches Dave Farrish and Mike Foligno and video co-ordinator Joe Trotta. The Ducks hired Brad Lauer as an assistant coach to Boudreau, and will add another assistant soon.
Boudreau will run the Ducks’ practice on Thursday before his formal introduction. Anaheim hosts Philadelphia on Friday night.
Carlyle has the most coaching wins in Ducks history, and he was behind Anaheim’s bench for many of the 1993 expansion franchise’s biggest moments. He has coached the Ducks since August 2005, taking over for Mike Babcock and compiling a 273-182-6 record as the seventh head coach in club history.
Carlyle led Anaheim to the post-season in five of his first six seasons, winning more playoff games during that stretch than any coach except Babcock in Detroit. But Anaheim won just one playoff round in the past four seasons since winning the Cup, losing to fifth-seeded Nashville in the first round last season.
Boudreau took a new job less than 72 hours after getting fired from a remarkably similar situation in Washington, which dropped him Monday after the Capitals’ slow start with a talented roster that’s had little recent playoff success.
Boudreau led Washington to four consecutive division titles and one Presidents’ Trophy while winning 201 games in just four years on the job, but the Caps’ lack of playoff success doomed him when they slumped following a 7-0 start to this season.
He never got past the second round.
The Ducks will be in for a major change in styles from the sometimes-crusty Carlyle to the personable Boudreau, nicknamed “Gabby” for his garrulous style.