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Murray Discusses the State of the Ducks

by Staff Writer / Anaheim Ducks
"I think we have a lot of good pieces, and I think we have to make the right decisions. I’ll take my time, evaluate every piece and make the right decisions going forward."
Ducks Executive Vice President & General Manager Bob Murray, who just signed a four-year contract extension today, discussed the state of the franchise of player exit interviews day.

On how close the Ducks are to being a championship team,
A week and a half ago, I would have said close, but now you have to be realistic. You don’t want to be too emotional at this point in time. That’s why I’m doing the exit meetings with all the players first, and taking my time doing it. Then I’ll meet with the coaching staff, and then the hockey ops guys will go over things and decide where we’re going from here. We’re evaluating everything, and we’re going to take this one piece at a time because we’re not as close as we thought we were.

On the disappointments of the team,
You have to learn to play under pressure, and obviously we didn’t do that very well in Game 7. We have to learn how to do that. You’ve got to evaluate every piece of it. You don’t just say, it’s one game. There are areas, as I mentioned to you during the year. I mentioned the power play was bothering me big time. We were 0 for 5 in Game 6. That’s your chance to win a series, and we didn’t do it. That’s something that has to be corrected. One of the good things about our team was, we came from behind so many times. Well, how do you get behind? There’s a reason behind that. So, there are things to be evaluated.

On the status of Stephane Robidas,
He wants to play again. He liked it here. Most guys when they come here, they like it here and you can’t blame them. It’s a good organization. We have great ownership. I’m sure he likes it here, but it’s a process over the next couple of weeks regarding the direction we’re going. I thought he was getting better every game before the injury. I feel real bad for him because he’s a warrior and a character guy, so he’d definitely a consideration. We’re evaluating everything. 

On the team’s goaltending,
I like our two young goaltenders a lot, I’ll tell you that. I’m very pleased with the progress they made this year. They both feel they can get better, and so do I. But they’re two real good kids. I think they both have a chance to be NHL No. 1 goalies, yes.

On Jonas Hiller,
As I told the players at the beginning of the year, I put the players in place, and the coach decides who plays. Bruce had some very difficult decisions to make, we discussed them and we go forward. [Goaltending consultant] Dwayne Roloson was also involved in those decisions, and they want with the gut feeling of what was best. When it comes to Hillsy, I think we maybe should have given him some time off after the Olympics. He’d come back and play a good game or two, and then he was on that high, and I think we should have been smart and given him some time off. I’ll take some responsibility for that.

On Saku Koivu’s future,
We’re evaluating everything. I apologize, but I’m not prepared to make comments on any players at the moment. I really want to take a step back here, talk to my players, talk to my coaching staff. My hockey ops guys are involved, and we’ll make some decisions. I’ll let you know when we do.

On pending moves during the draft,
The draft is a good time to make a move if you want to make it. I don’t think I’ll offer as much for certain pieces as I did at the trade deadline. I definitely tried very hard to add something, and it didn’t work. We offered a lot, but I don’t know if we’ll go that far this time.

On whether the Ducks are a piece away,
“Piece” is a tough word. I know the year we won [the Cup in ‘07], we made a big move in getting Chris Pronger. That was the piece. Are we that close? We didn’t get to the [conference final], so that would be tough for me to say. But, there are certain things I might look to do. And I think I’m deep enough at the moment with assets, if that possibility came. I don’t know whether that will happen.

On matching up with the Kings,
I don’t take a lot on what we did in the regular season [when the Ducks went 4-0-1 againt LA]. If you go back and look, they were all tight games. I think we caught them a couple times on back-to-backs. I think we match up okay against them, but obviously we’re not good enough yet to play them. They had to go through the process too, and we’re going through it now. But we have to realized, it’s not good enough, and I’m not satisfied. We went through it in ’06. We got beat by Edmonton, and we shouldn’t have. You take it, you move forward and learn from it. We’ll evaluate ourselves and what decisions we make upstairs over the next four months.

On Bruce Boudreau,
Obviously in the regular seasons, his teams do very well. I think Bruce knows, from last year’s playoffs to this year’s playoffs, we made some adjustments, and we were better. But he needs to get better in the playoffs, as we all do.

On whether there is a glaring area that bothered him,
Power play bothered me all year, and I would say the play in our own zone bothered me all year. That’s why you’re behind. As you saw in that last game, there were some big mistakes made. So it’s, How do we go about fixing that?

On signing the four-year extension today,
When they approached me about the extension during the Olympics, the one major thought was how my wife and family like it here, and we love the ownership. The other thing was, we’ve spent time rebuilding this basically, and you want to see it through and see where we can take this.

On the outlook for the future,
I think we have a lot of good pieces, and I think we have to make the right decisions. I’ll take my time, evaluate every piece and make the right decisions going forward.

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