Ducks GM rips ‘returning players who decided training for this season was optional’

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The Anaheim Ducks went into the Christmas break with a 12-15-6 record, the second-fewest points in the entire league, and one grumpy general manager.

“We had far too many returning players who decided training for this season was optional, thus a poor start,” Bob Murray told the O.C. Register in a candid interview.

“After succeeding during the past few regular seasons, suddenly we are underachieving and having to handle adversity, and some are not physically prepared to work through the challenge.”

Murray didn’t name names, but one immediately thinks of captain Ryan Getzlaf, whose casual play has drawn sharp criticism as the Ducks have failed to get on track. The budget-conscious franchise is paying Getzlaf a lot of money. He has one goal in 29 games, an empty netter at that.

The Ducks are fortunate that they’re in the Pacific Division, where a 12-15-6 record has them just five points back of a playoff spot, with three games in hand on third-place Vancouver.