This afternoon, Anaheim Ducks owners Henry and Susan Samueli sent this letter to season ticket holders:
To Our Valued Orange Alliance Members:
Today is a difficult day for our franchise. Randy is a dedicated, passionate man that we respect immensely. During his two stints as our head coach, he became the winningest coach in club history, took us to the Conference Finals three times, and of course, won a Stanley Cup. We thank him deeply.
This has been a surprisingly difficult season. We supported Bob Murray’s previous decision to allow the players and staff to battle out of this situation. While no one person should take the blame for our current predicament, recent results dictated that Bob needed to make this move.
We are a proud organization with a great winning tradition. Our current performance is very disappointing and therefore we have given Bob permission to do whatever is necessary to get us back to our winning ways. By placing Bob behind the bench for the remainder of the season, he will gain unique insights into the team which will enable him to best determine the changes that need to be made. Changes are always difficult but you can rest assured that ownership and management will do a thorough and thoughtful assessment of our team and make decisions that are in the best interests of the team for both the near term and long term. We are confident that we can turn this around quickly.
We are grateful and thankful for the support and dedication that our fans have provided over the years and we ask for your patience and support as we navigate through the remainder of the season.
- Henry and Susan Samueli
This letter is the kind of communication many Ducks fans, including us here at Anaheim Calling, have been wanting ever since the 12-game losing streak earlier in January. It looks like they just wanted to have a significant event to attach it to.
With the letter, the owners thank Carlyle for his contributions to the team and acknowledge that they did not expect this season to be as difficult as it has been. Luckily, they realize that the situation the Ducks are in is one they know they have to examine closely and make significant changes in order to become competitive again, including in the long term.
This letter seems to indicate that the Ducks do not plan on gunning for a playoff spot, despite their current proximity, and that some level of rebuild is coming. What that rebuild will look like, of course, remains to be seen.
But the Samuelis letter, which urges patience and asks for support as significant changes to the organization are evaluated, is a great first step in having some level of transparency with the fans and will go a long way in restoring trust that had been lost over the past several weeks.
The future is uncertain in Anaheim. At least for now. But at least there is finally a faint light on the horizon as a difficult season for the Ducks reaches its penultimate stage.
With the trade deadline just two and a half weeks away, we could be in for a wild ride and a much different team come March 1st.