The Anaheim Ducks announced today a revised deal for the 2011-2012 season (of which he was already under contract) plus a two year contract extension for Head Coach Randy Carlyle. The OC Register is reporting that the new contract moves Carlyle up amongst the ranks of the highest paid coaches; however, the specific dollar figures were not released by the organization. As quickly as the news of Carlyle's signing hit the hockey world, the conversation went off of him and on back on to Teemu Selanne. GM Bob Murray noted that Selanne's recovery from knee surgery has been slow and Teemu is feeling down. (For a guy that is ALWAYS happy, it's a little jarring). September is weeks away. We've got plenty of time to speculate more on this development.
Anyway, back to Carlyle. Since Daniel, Robby, and I have been writing here, we've never been accused of holding back how we really feel about Carlyle and the choices he's made through the years. Heck, I even broke up with him in my second post for the site. My feelings of the extension are "meh". I'm not totally enraged by the move, but I'm not Tom Cruise jumping on the couch excited either. He's had a great run for us and you can't completely turn your back on that kind of success. Yet, it's hard for me to gauge how much of that success can be attributed to a coach's methods than it can be to the team that was built to win. As long as the players continue to respond to him, I'm cool.
What is most interesting to me about this deal is the length. His new contract ends one season after the expiration of the contracts of Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry. The last year of the twins' deals is crucial for the franchise. If Getzlaf and Perry don't feel like they continue to win in Anaheim without changes major changes, is the organization likely to stand by Carlyle or give in to the super star players in order to keep them around? All speculation at this point, but something to consider. For the time being, he's our grumpy head coach, and I'm ok with that. How about you, boys? Don't tell me you two disagree on this, too..DANIEL:
I don't know what to say about this signing. I've been a pretty big Carlyle fan for his entire tenure. I think Carlyle and Brian Burke did something that no other Coach/GM tandem was able to do in the entire history of the franchise - build an identity. In those few years, every fan who watched a game knew what Ducks hockey was, and we knew what type of player our GM was looking for.
My opinion on Carlyle as the Ducks' coach can be summed up as follows: If Murray can commit to finding the players that Carlyle likes/needs to run his system, then there is no reason Randy should go anywhere. Having said that, Murray needs to find him a Samuel Pahlsson replacement and some more effective muscle up front to keep this system going. Oh, and a Norris candidate wouldn't hurt either. All in all, I think this is a good move for the Ducks. I like Carlyle and I like watching the blue collar hockey he tries to preach.
I've been a fairly vocal critic of Carlyle in the past, especially for his seeming unwillingness to take any pressure off his top two lines. And although his lack of patience can be grating at times (watch how quickly he puts RPG back together after starting the came with Bobby on a different line), you can't really argue with results. Sure, teams under Carlyle have been slow to get out of the gate. And yeah, it sucked in 2009-2010 to have team loaded with Olympic medalists that couldn't reach the playoffs, but overall, it's worked out more often than not under Carlyle.
While I'm fine with the extension, I'd also like to see what a different coach could get out of this team. The Ducks are a loaded team and sometimes I wonder if Carlyle's management philosophy doesn't hold us back. But at the end of the day, the Ducks have excelled under Carlyle. Honestly, there's really not a good enough reason to prevent the Ducks from bringing him back.