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Ducks Sign Carlyle to 2-Year Extension

by Staff Writer / Anaheim Ducks
In three seasons as the Ducks head coach, Randy Carlyle has compiled a 138-74-34 record for 310 points. It is the most wins and highest winning percentage in team history.

The Ducks announced on Wednesday that they have signed head coach Randy Carlyle to a two-year contract extension. Carlyle had one year remaining on his original contract and is now signed through the 2010-11 NHL season. Per club policy, financial terms were not disclosed.

“In our view, Randy is one of the top coaches in the NHL,” said Executive Vice President/General Manager Brian Burke. “We’ve had an aggressive, hard-working club each of the past three years, largely due to his influence. He’s clearly been paramount to our success since taking over the reins.”

Carlyle, 52 (4/19/56), was named the seventh head coach in team history on Aug. 1, 2005. He has since led the Ducks to their first Stanley Cup championship (2007), Pacific Division championship (2007) and a franchise-record three consecutive trips to the postseason. The Ducks have played in eight playoff rounds over the last three seasons, winning six of those series. Only Detroit (also 6-2) has matched Anaheim’s playoff success since Carlyle joined the team. He has the most wins and highest winning percentage in Ducks history, compiling a 138-74-34 record for 310 points in 246 career NHL games (.630 winning percentage). 

“Working in Orange County for owners such as the Samuelis is a privilege, and I’m honored to be able to continue representing the Ducks,” said Carlyle. “I’m thankful for the great relationship I have with Brian Burke and our hockey staff and expect more success in the future. We fell short of our goal last year and it’s time for us to respond.”

In his third season as Anaheim’s head coach, Carlyle led the Ducks to a 47-27-8 record for 102 points in 2007-08, second place in the Pacific Division and fourth in the Western Conference. Having never garnered 100 points in a single season prior to Carlyle’s arrival, the Ducks reached the 100-point mark for the second consecutive season last year.

Since being named the seventh head coach in team history on Aug. 1, 2005, Randy Carlyle has guided the Ducks to three straight playoff appearances (a franchise record) and their first Stanley Cup championship in 2007.

In the most memorable season in team history, Carlyle guided the Ducks to their first ever Stanley Cup championship in 2007. Helping Anaheim become the first California team to win hockey’s ultimate prize, Carlyle also led the Ducks to their first Pacific Division championship in 2006-07, compiling a regular season record of 48-20-14 for 110 points. The club set franchise records in most major statistical categories, including wins, standings points and goals (254) – eclipsing marks the team set in 2005-06.

In his first year as an NHL head coach in 2005-06, Carlyle took the Ducks to the 2006 Western Conference Finals following series wins over Calgary and Colorado. Anaheim’s playoff run followed the then best regular season performance in team history, establishing club records in wins (43), points (98) and goals scored (251).

Ducks Executive Vice President and General Manager Brian Burke spoke about Carlyle's extension in a conference call with reporters on Wednesday afternoon. Following is a transcript:

I’m very pleased with today’s announcement that Randy Carlyle has agreed to a contract extension. Randy’s been here three years and his teams have been in the playoffs all three years. They’ve played in eight playoff rounds, which ties Detroit, as far as leading the National Hockey League in the number of playoff rounds in the last three years. He has brought accountability to our organization. We play Ducks hockey, which Randy is the architect of. It is high-octane, up-tempo, physical, old school hockey. Most importantly for me, he pours a lot of energy into the bench and into the game. He brings energy to the game, which I think has really benefitted our players. In my mind, it is a very important announcement for our franchise and I would like to congratulate Randy on this. He’s earned it.

On Carlyle’s ability to coach young players,
I think he’s a good teacher. I think great coaches have to be good teachers. You don’t have a choice in pro sports. Several players are replaced on your roster every year, whether you’re successful or not. If you cannot develop young talent, you’re not going to last very long. I think he’s done a fine job bringing our young players along. I’m not worried at all about plugging in more young players.

On getting the extension done,
This is a statement to our whole team that Randy’s going to be in charge. I think he’s earned it. I told him early on, right after the New Year, that we would sit down as soon as the season was over, regardless of how the playoffs went. Obviously, none of us were happy with the way our playoffs went. Right after the season we talked about an extension and agreed to terms. It was something that we had approached long ago.

I think he’s pretty happy. Coaching is a very difficult trade. It’s been mastered by very few people. It’s a trade that has a short shelf life. When you fail and are fired, it’s very public. For a coach to get a pat on the back and a contract extension, that’s a big day. We’re happy here too.

On Carlyle’s performance thus far with the Ducks,
The way I run my teams, being the head coach is probably the easiest job in the NHL in terms of interference. I don’t offer a lot of input into who is on the power play or what the line combinations are. I believe you hire a strong coach and leave him alone. What I’ve seen is the first year was a transitional year for all of us. We didn’t know our team. They didn’t know us. We made some changes. The second year was magical. It’s ironic we consider this past year disappointing, we had 102 points. We were in the playoffs our third straight year. That’s equal to what the franchise had prior to Randy’s arrival. He’s done a good job. It’s our style, our vision, the way we want the game played. We want a certain style of hockey here in Orange County. We want to be physical and a puck-pressure team that is fun to watch. Randy’s job interview was real short. That’s the guy Bob Murray and I both wanted badly as our coach.

Ducks head coach Randy Carlyle also addressed reporters on Wednesday afternoon via conference call from his summer cottage in Ontario, Canada. Following is a transcript:

On the extension getting done,
I’m very happy and feel honored to be coaching an NHL hockey club, specifically the hockey club that Brian Burke has put together working with the Samueli family, Henry and Susan, and Michael Schulman. We’ve had some success. It’s been a working environment that’s been very easy for me and my family to join. I think that’s the most important thing, that there’s a huge comfort zone with the job that I have in Anaheim. I’ve been very fortunate to work for the Samuelis, Brian Burke, Bob Murray and David McNab. It takes a total team effort with the coaching staff, Dave Farrish, Newell Brown and Joe Trotta. We’ve been able to develop that in there and that’s what so comfortable about it. This extension means a lot to me and my family that we have three more years to get the job done here.

What I did in this situation is I made a decision that I felt was best for my family. I feel very comfortable with this decision. We like it in Orange County. We like the situation that we’ve been presented with. We like our hockey club. There’s a lot to like about my job. The one thing that makes your job easier when you’re in pro sports is you have to win. We fell short of our goal last year. We’re going to try and push ourselves back to the ultimate goal again.

On contract negotiations,
We talked previously. This negotiation took place right after the season. It took all of probably about three or four days going back and forth. It wasn’t anything that got long and drawn out. Basically Burkie and I, we haven’t had one of those negotiations where it takes too long to get something done. We both had a vision of where we wanted to be. I represented myself and Brian represented the organization. It really came together quite quickly. It was something that we had talked about as early as January. We said that we’d put it off until after the season and we did. We weren’t very happy with the way the season ended for us. This was something that we felt we had taken a couple of steps at earlier in the season. It didn’t take very long at all.

On job security among coaches,
I don’t think as a coach that you can really sit back and focus on your job. Your job is to go out and prepare the hockey club to play to the best of their capabilities. I leave the other things up to other people to decide, if you’re doing a good job or you’re not doing a good job. You have peaks and valleys that you go through with your group. You’re part of a hockey club and a team. It’s not about you at all. It’s about what’s going to be best for the team. That’s what we’ve always tried to put forth. We have to work extremely hard, harder than any other coaching staff in the league in my mind because that’s the way we’re brought up. That’s the values that we learned through our upbringing. We feel that we have to do the little things that our necessary to give our players the best chance for success. We feel very fortunate from a coaching staff point of view to be able to have the level of players that we’ve had at Anaheim. That’s first and foremost. There’s an old saying ‘Coaches are hired to be fired’, but to me that’s only because you haven’t worked hard enough or people stop listening to you. If people stop listening to you as a coach, they become tired of you and then changes usually happen. You have to sell your program in different ways to different people. You have to get to know your personnel in a short period of time and what makes them tick and which buttons you have to push.

On the approach he will take to start 2008-09,
Our message was that we were totally dissatisfied with the way the season ended for us. We felt that we had lots of ups and downs through the course of last season, but we felt that we did not play to the level which was required. That’s the number one thing. We’re looking for people who are buying into the program and are going to continue to sell what we think needs to be done. If you don’t want to buy into the program, we don’t think that you’re going to play for our hockey club. We’re not going to give jobs away. People are going to have to earn them. We feel the best way to do that is to provide competition for the position. I know you’ve heard it before, but that’s it in a nutshell. We’re looking for some people to continue to grow in the game and for our younger players to grab more of a leadership role. We’re asking our veterans to again be good teammates and lead the way. We think that we can provide the environment for our players to have success. It’s one of the things that we demand of our group. We do things a little differently. We ask more of our players. We ask our players to be very visible in the community and to support the franchise in charities that we donate to. The number one thing they are, they’re a professional hockey player and they’re paid to play hockey. We have to win hockey games.

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