Tag: Bob Murray


Under Pressure: Anaheim’s goaltenders


While GM Bob Murray went and made upgrades to his blue line (Kevin Bieksa) and forward group (Chris Stewart, Carl Hagelin & Shawn Horcoff) during the offseason, one area of concern heading into the 2015-16 season is the Ducks’ goaltending situation.

Anaheim did acquire Anton Khudobin from the Carolina Hurricanes at the NHL Draft, but it’s hard to say the 29-year-old is the solution to the Ducks’ problem of inexperience in goal. Khudobin, who made 34 appearances with the Canes’ last season going 8-17-6, has never played a Stanley Cup playoff game.

Khudobin is set to become an unrestricted free agent after the upcoming season.

Frederik Andersen, who was the Ducks’ starter in 2014-15, looked great in the playoffs against the Winnipeg Jets and Calgary Flames, but against an experienced Blackhawks team, he faltered down the stretch.

The 25-year-old was 35-12-5 in 54 regular season games posting a 2.38 G.A.A. and a .914 save percentage. He appeared in all 16 playoff games posting an 11-5 record. After a sweep of the Jets and a five-game series win over the Flames, he struggled against the Blackhawks.

Andersen failed to register a save percentage higher than .875 in any of the last four games of the Western Conference Final – the Ducks won just one of those games.

Given that it was just his second full season in the league, it’s clear Andersen’s career is trending in the right direction, but with a core group of forwards that includes Ryan Getzlaf (30), Corey Perry (30) and Ryan Kesler (turning 31 on Aug. 31), do the Ducks have time to wait for the Dane to gain the necessary playoff experience to help them win a Stanley Cup?

Andersen is a restricted free agent next summer.

John Gibson is the third goaltender in the fold with the Ducks heading into the 2015-16 season.

The 22-year-old was the Ducks’ opening night starter last October dropping a 6-3 decision in his native Pittsburgh. Gibson was sidelined by a groin injury in early November allowing Andersen to take the reins.

Once healthy, Gibson found himself in the American Hockey League. He made 23 appearances with the Ducks last season posting a 13-8-0 record to go along with a 2.60 G.A.A. and a .914 save percentage. He also played 11 games with the AHL’s Norfolk Admirals going 6-3-2.

“I’ve got to believe Gibby, now that he’s healthy, he wants to play,” said Boudreau during his year-end media availability. “He’s not used to sitting on the bench. And I think Freddie has gotten a taste of what it’s like to be No. 1 and he won’t let it up. I would venture to guess it would be a pretty good battle.”

Gibson is heading into the final year of his contract and will be a restricted free agent next summer.

With a combined 27 games of playoff experience under their belt, the Ducks goaltenders are under pressure heading into the 2015-16 season.

Report: Leafs have granted the Ducks permission to hire Dave Nonis

Dave Nonis

The Anaheim Ducks filled out their coaching staff on Tuesday with the hiring of Paul MacLean, now they’re looking to add to the their front office.

According to hockey insider Darren Dreger, the Toronto Maple Leafs have granted the Ducks permission to hire Dave Nonis as an advisor.

Nonis was fired by the Leafs along with interim head coach Peter Horachek on April 12.

The 49-year-old joined the organization as the club’s senior vice-president and director of hockey operations in December 2008. When Brian Burke was fired in January 2013, Nonis was promoted to the GM’s role.

Under Nonis’ leadership the Leafs qualified for the playoffs once in three seasons.

Nonis previously held the title of senior advisor of hockey operations with the Anaheim Ducks from June to December of 2008.

Current Ducks GM Bob Murray and Nonis have worked together previously with the Ducks and the Vancouver Canucks.

Nonis was first linked to Anaheim last month by the Vancouver Sun.

Beleskey rejects Ducks’ offer, headed to free agency

Matt Beleskey

After saying the club would take one final shot at signing Matt Beleskey on Monday, Anaheim Ducks GM Bob Murray told reporters on Tuesday that talks have broken off.

Sportsnet’s Chris Johnston reports that the Ducks’ latest offer to Beleskey was “rejected immediately”, according to Murray.

Beleskey, who took home $1.4 million during the 2014-15 season, will become an unrestricted free agent on July 1.

According to Lisa Dillman of the Los Angeles Times, Anaheim’s final offer to Beleskey was believed to be a four-year extension worth $16 million.

“We’ve done a lot of work here and we’ve turned him into a pretty good hockey player,” Murray said per Dillman. “I could have traded him the day before the deadline – I had a deal – and I just said ‘No, that was wrong for my hockey team.'”

The 27-year-old set career highs in goals (22), assists (10) and points (32) in 65 games last season.

Ducks will take ‘one more shot’ at signing Beleskey

Chicago Blackhawks v Anaheim Ducks - Game Seven

It appears Anaheim Ducks’ forward Matt Beleskey could be headed to the open market.

The 27-year-old set a career-high in goals (22) and points (32) during the 2014-15 season.

His two-year, $2.7 million contract is set to expire on July 1 making him an unrestricted free agent and, according to GM Bob Murray, the two sides aren’t close.

“It’s a bumpy road right now,” Murray told The FAN 590 on Monday. “I’m not going to lie. We’re going to take one more shot at it, and then we’ll have to move on.

“You gotta protect yourself. It’s not just the contract this year; it’s what it does to your team in future years. You’ve gotta be looking one, three, five, seven years out. You gotta see what that contract does to you, the term of it. There’s lots of things that go into this that people don’t see right off the bat.”

Prior to last season Beleskey scored just 35 goals total in parts of six seasons with the Ducks.

Beleskey has expressed his desire to remain in Anaheim, but the Ducks have decisions to make with Emerson Etem and Jakob Silfverberg both set to become restricted free agents.

Murray also has to make a decision on Tomas Fleischmann who is set to become an unrestricted free agent next month.

“The organization has some very difficult decisions coming up in the next two or three months,” Murray said.

On the blue line Francois Beauchemin is schedule to become an unrestricted free agent on July 1.

Beleskey ‘hopeful’ to get a deal done in Anaheim

Matt Beleskey

With new career highs in goals (20) and points (27) already established, Matt Beleskey is hoping to cash in.

The 26-year-old is scheduled to become an unrestricted free agent after this season and is looking for a raise on the two-year, $2.7 million contract, which is expiring.

“Talks are continuing, and we are hopeful that we will be able to get something done,” Beleskey’s agent Murray Kurtz told the Orange County Register. “It’s an ongoing process and I honestly can tell you that both sides want to find a solution.

“As mentioned previously, Matt’s priority is to stay in Anaheim with the Ducks. We haven’t set any deadlines, and to my knowledge neither have they. We will continue to work with the Ducks management in the hopes of keeping Matt in Anaheim for a very long time.”

Beleskey’s contract status has made him the subject of trade rumors; however, he insists he’d like to remain in Anaheim long-term.

“You do think about the future,” Beleskey said last month. “I want nothing more than to stay in Anaheim. I’ve never been anywhere else and I don’t think there’s a reason to go anywhere else.

“This is where I’d like to be. Hopefully we’ll see what happens.”

As Eric Stephens points out, general manager Bob Murray and the Ducks will have to keep in mind future contract negotiations with defensemen Hampus Lindholm and Sami Vatanen.

Both are likely due for a raise after next season.

Ryan Kesler will also become unrestricted after the 2015-16 season.

As much as both sides in the Beleskey negations may want to get a deal done, Murray has to make sure he doesn’t handcuff himself with this deal considering what’s to come.