But since he was fired by the Ducks in November, Carlyle has gotten to see the game from an entirely different perspective while working as a scout for the team.
"I've done this before, just a long time ago, so it's not something new, but it is a refresher," Carlyle told NHL.com prior to Saturday's Flyers-Rangers game at Wells Fargo Center. "The buildings are different, little bit different routes, but I'll spend here nine games on the road, catch eight games straight. That's all part of scouting."
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"I have to make sure I'm ready and have an understanding of what's going on in the League and there's no better way than to have a presence in the buildings," said Carlyle. "Just your presence in the building shows people you're active and still out there and trying to stay current. That's the message you want to send to everybody. It's important. It's important to meet people. In Anaheim, in the press box, I've probably met every general manager, every assistant general manager, every director of player personnel, all the pro scouts that go through the West that watch the hockey clubs out there -- it's all part of the process of keeping yourself current."
His new perspective on the game has allowed him to gain some new perspective on what went wrong for him and the team this season. Carlyle went 283-182-61 in 516 regular-season games and 36-26 in 62 playoff contests. The Ducks made the playoffs five times in his six full seasons, including winning the 2007 Stanley Cup.
However, they were 7-13-4 and 14th in the Western Conference when he was let go Nov. 30.
Since then, Carlyle said he's been doing "self-improvement" that he believes will help him in his next job.
"I think there's always areas you could improve on," said Carlyle. "As a coach you're always trying to steal and learn what other people are doing and what other people are doing to have success. … It's more the handling of the younger players and learning the ins and outs of the individuals. Those are the things you need to reflect back on when things don't go the way you'd like them to. I felt I had a great run in Anaheim there, seven full years, we won a Stanley Cup, we were an elite-level hockey club for a number of years. We still have a good team, but in my situation, we just didn't win enough hockey games."
He's hoping to have another chance to win games for another club -- and soon.
"Yes, that's my goal right now, to put myself in a position if there's another opportunity, hopefully someone has the same level of interest I do," said Carlyle. "Those things are out of my control right now. That's all part of this process. I think it's important I stay active in the NHL, watch as many games and attend as many games."
Contact Adam Kimelman at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter: @NHLAdamK