"I don't think it would be fair to put anyone else in this position right now," Anaheim Ducks executive vice president and general manager, and now newly-appointed interim head coach, Bob Murray said Sunday on a conference call with reporters.
Murray assumed the role after the team announced it fired the winningest coach in Ducks history, Randy Carlyle, earlier in the day.
"I felt I needed to be in the trenches," Murray said. "I talked to enough people where I know this is the right move for our organization right now. This is the only way for me to determine what the problems are."
Carlyle leaves Murray with a team that has lost seven consecutive games and sits at the bottom of the Pacific division with a 21–26–9 record.
"What bothered me the most was the lack of emotion, the lack of pushback," he noted. "This has always been a pride team and it's gone away, it's not there."
— Anaheim Ducks (@AnaheimDucks) February 10, 2019
The 2014 NHL General Manager of the Year, Murray has worked in NHL front offices since 1991 but has never taken on the position of head coach before. In fact, he has never coached at any pro level.
He said the decision to personally take over came from the advice he received from other executives.
"We've got problems here and they've got to be fixed," said Murray, who won the 2007 Stanley Cup with the Ducks. "Some real wise GM's told me 'You should go behind the bench just so you know what coaches go through.'
"This is my job and I'm looking forward to finding out what the issues are."
As the long-tenured GM commented on the call, he must now find out if the team currently has players with the proper leadership skills to get the team back on track.
"Not everyone has leadership capabilities," Murray insinuated, considering his roster is bolstered by Ryan Getzlaf and Adam Henrique. "There are leaders and there are followers. I got too many guys following and I think there should be people leading here. One of the biggest things I have to determine here is if I have people that can do that. I thought we did and I haven't given up on them, but I'm obviously very worried."
The Ducks will play their first game with Murray at the helm Feb. 13 at home against Vancouver. He does expect to feel the pressure when the Canucks come to town.
"I think Wednesday night is going to be interesting and I'm sure I'll be very nervous," the first-time bench boss said. "I'll be very focused on watching my players."