The National Hockey League (NHL) announced today that Anaheim Ducks Executive Vice President/General Manager Bob Murray has won the 2013-14 NHL General Manager of the Year Award at the 2014 NHL Awards Show in Las Vegas. Voting for the award was conducted among the 30 club general managers and a panel of NHL executives, print and broadcast media at the conclusion of the regular season. This was the second consecutive season Murray was nominated for the award.
Over the past several years, Murray has revamped the majority of the Ducks roster and expanded the club’s prospect pool. Earlier this year, the Ducks were selected as The Hockey News’ No. 1 team in Future Watch 2014, which grades the prospects and player development of all 30 NHL teams. Of the top 100 prospects named in Future Watch 2014, the Ducks have three in the top 30 and four overall. Anaheim held the No. 2 spot in Future Watch 2013.
Under Murray’s guidance, the Ducks have claimed the last two Pacific Division titles (2013-14), the first time Anaheim has won the division in consecutive years. The 2013-14 club finished with a record of 54-20-8, the best mark in franchise history. Anaheim posted the top record in the Western Conference for the first time in club history and set season records for standings points (116), wins (54) and win/points percentage (.707), while also leading the league in goals (263). Murray was also a finalist for NHL General Manager of the Year in 2012-13, when the Ducks finished the regular season with the third-best record in the NHL (30-12-6, second in the West) and best win/points percentage in club history (.688, surpassed this year).
Murray signed a four-year contract extension with the Ducks on May 19, 2014 and is now under contract through the 2019-20 season. He is entering his 40th consecutive season in the National Hockey League, his seventh in his current role with the Ducks. He was named to the position on Nov. 12, 2008 after spending the previous three-plus seasons as the club’s Senior Vice President of Hockey Operations.
Murray held a conference call shortly after winning the 2013-14 General Manager of the Year Award. Below are his comments:
On what the award means to him
When you’re voted by your peers, it makes it all the more special. When the people you work with and work against vote for this, it’s very special. It means that my team - my off-the-ice team - is doing a good job. That’s something we’ve tried to create in Anaheim, and we seem to be getting better and better at it.
On being in the spotlight on stage
Speeches are always difficult for me, as you know. It’s not one of my strengths. [laughs]. But it was an honor. It doesn’t come along often. It’s a wonderful thing.
On if he had a chance to talk to Kings General Manager Dean Lombardi
There’s a mutual respect there. Like I said, I’d trade this one for that one if he wants to make a deal.
On if it was tough accepting this award in the midst of conducting business
It’s important that we’ve come to this stage where we’re recognizing coaches and GMs because they’re huge parts of the game. We all work very hard. It’s appropriate that we recognize these gentlemen all the time.