Ducks give Murray four-year extension. Updated with Murray comments.

The Ducks have extended the contract of general manager Bob Murray through the 2015-16 season, the team announced today. Financial terms weren’t disclosed.

The NHL trade deadline is three days away, but the Ducks didn’t wait that long to hand Murray his report card.

“Bob has positioned us well for the future,” CEO Michael Schulman said in a statement. “He has added youth to our current lineup, with several exciting prospects still on the horizon. He deserves the stability this contract extension brings.”

“My family and I are really happy and excited to be staying here,” Murray said. “We enjoy it here, we enjoy working for the Samuelis (owners Henry and Susan) and Mike Schulman. It’s just an honor and a privilege to continue.”

Murray has been busy since the season began, trading 11 different players (Ryan Carter, Danny Syvret, Rob Bordson, Paul Mara, Brendan Mikkelson, Troy Bodie, Curtis McElhinney, Brett Festerling, Aaron Voros, Joffrey Lupul, Stu Bickel) off the 50-man roster, not to mention prospect Jake Gardiner and the draft picks used to acquire Francois
Beauchemin, Jarkko Ruutu and Maxim Lapierre.

The net result? The Ducks are two points behind the eighth-place teams in the Western
Conference with 20 games left in the season. That’s arguably ahead of where they were expected to be when the season began, but still out of the playoffs if they began today.

It could be worse.

Murray managed to re-sign Bobby Ryan last September, convinced Teemu Selanne
to re-sign for another season (maybe the most important off-season signing, given Selanne’s production), and identified top-two defenseman Toni Lydman out of almost nowhere at a reasonable cost (three years, $9 million).

“I think the defense is, going forward, we’re in good shape,” he said. “There’s no Scotty (Niedermayer) or Chris (Pronger) there, but it’s a pretty good defense and I think it in time I think will get better. They’re locked up for next year, so that’s stable. That’s good. The forwards, we’ll have to see. Obviously there are some question marks looking forward to next year, and that’s my job, is to look next year, and the year after and the year after, where we’re going to go with that. But it’s nice to have the goaltending and the defense looking in the right direction.”

Murray is now under contract longer than any player on the current roster.

“His relationship with management and the Samuelis, (they) feel comfortable with Bob and the direction he’s taken the hockey club,” head coach Randy Carlyle said.

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About J.P. Hoornstra

J.P. Hoornstra covers the Dodgers, Angels and Major League Baseball for the Orange County Register, Los Angeles Daily News, Long Beach Press-Telegram, Torrance Daily Breeze, San Gabriel Valley Tribune, Pasadena Star-News, San Bernardino Sun, Inland Valley Daily Bulletin, Whittier Daily News and Redlands Daily Facts. Before taking the beat in 2012, J.P. covered the NHL for four years. UCLA gave him a degree once upon a time; when he graduated on schedule, he missed getting Arnold Schwarzenegger's autograph on his diploma by five months.

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