Bob Murray’s run as the longest tenured general manager in Anaheim Ducks history ended Wednesday after he resigned amid an investigation that he verbally mistreated office staff.
Murray said in a statement that he would enroll in an alcohol treatment program.
“I want to apologize to anyone adversely affected by my behavior,” Murray said in his statement, which was released by the team. “I vow to make changes to my life, starting with enrolling in a treatment program.
“I want to thank (owners) Henry and Susan Samueli, along with (CEO) Michael Schulman, as working for them has been one of the highlights of my career. As I step away from the Ducks, I will focus my attention on where it should be: Improving my life for the betterment of my family and friends.”
According to the Orange County Register, Murray resigned Wednesday morning during a meeting with the Samuelis. The report indicated the team would pay for the cost of Murray’s rehab program.
“We support the decision by Bob Murray to resign his position,” the NHL said in a statement. “While we understand that he is seeking appropriate counseling and treatment for his personal issues, there is no excuse and there is no place in our league for the type of behavior that was recently reported through the NHL hotline.”
The Samuelis also released a statement.
“First and foremost, we apologize on behalf of the organization to anyone affected by misconduct from Bob,” the owners said in their statement. “We expect every member of our organization to be treated with respect and will not stand for abuse of any kind. … While we do not condone his conduct, we fully support his efforts to improve his physical and mental health by asking for help.”
Murray, 66, has worked for the club since 2005, when he was hired as the senior vice president of hockey operations and became GM in November of 2008. He previously played for the Chicago Blackhawks and briefly served as their general manager.
During the 2018-19 season, Murray fired Ducks coach Randy Carlyle and appointed himself as the interim coach for the remaining 26 games of the year. The team closed with a 14-11-1 record.
The Ducks called off practice Wednesday in advance of their road game against the Seattle Kraken on Thursday.
Murray was named the NHL’s GM of the Year after the 2013-14 season, but the team has failed to make the playoffs in each of the last two seasons and struggled to a 17-30-9 record last season.
Ducks captain Ryan Getzlaf said Murray’s downfall took the team by surprise.
“Things that happened 20 years ago are just not acceptable nowadays, and that’s good,” Getzlaf said Tuesday when news of the Murray investigation broke. “The world is evolving. I think it’s important that we protect people and protect each other, and the sports world is no different.”
The team has finally been showing positive results from its roster rebuild, taking a five-game winning streak into Thursday’s game against the Kraken. Anaheim has outscored its opponents by a combined 18-6 during the winning streak.
–Field Level Media