Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Kings fire Andy Murray

Terrible move.

I've always felt Los Angeles Kings coach Andy Murray was one of the more underrated bench bosses in the NHL, and from the way his club played through the first 60-odd games this season, he seemed to be living up to that moniker.

A recent rash of injuries, including those to Pavol Demitra and Alex Frolov, have since contributed to a 2-5-0 string since March 7. The Kings have also just not gotten good enough goaltending from Mathieu Garon (and little-used Jason LaBarbera).

Murray's teams have been made of glass in recent years: The Kings have lost 1,165 games to injury the past two seasons, both of which set records.

If Kings GM was really looking to improve his club, he could have fired himself for trading away two of the team's best young assets for overpaid and overrated players like Mark Parrish and Brent Sopel. I didn't like the deal at the time, and it looks even worse now, as Parrish has just one goal in seven games and is -3. Sopel has drawn in only three games due to an injury and looks, well, Sopel-ish.

As you can probably tell, I'm a fan of Murray. Despite the firing, however, it's not going to be a huge problem for him to find employment. Lou Lamoriello in New Jersey, for instance, knows coaching talent when he sees it, and I wouldn't be surprised in the offseason if Murray is who takes over there.

As for the Kings? Well, if they weren't going to miss the playoffs before this move, they are now. The handful of teams battling for those final spots in the Western Conference can all breathe a sigh of relief.


At 3:07 a.m., March 27, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Andy's going to win the Cup (probably in New Jersey, if they're smart enough to hire him) much sooner than the Kings will (if they ever do). AM's been the most under-rated coach in hockey for years. But in fairness to GM Dave Taylor, his hands have been tied by AEG Sports, who refused to snuggle up to the salary cap to make up for the injuries to key players. Kings management has ALWAYS overrated their talent. Been that way for 40 years here. The guy who should have been canned is Tim Leiweke. AM's always been popular with the fans and his firing was not a popular decision, but it's also clear some of the players quit on him, Sean Avery being one.


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