The Ducks rewarded Randy Carlyle with a contract extension Monday that will keep the head coach in Anaheim through the 2013-14 season. Carlyle’s contract was due to expire a year from now, and the 2011-12 portion of his contract is being reworked as part of what is essentially a new three-year deal.
“We’ve been talking probably for a month an a half here on the direction which we were both trying to get to,” Carlyle said via telephone from his off-season home in Mindemoya, Ontario. “It’s something that probably started a little bit before the draft. Once the draft comes into play, usually everything else gets put aside. We were working at this thing piece by piece. It wasn’t that there were a lot of contentious issues, just that there was more time than normal.”
Carlyle guided the Ducks’ turnaround from another poor start last season, when they began 4-7-1 but came back to clinch the No. 4 seed in the Western Conference on the final day of the regular season.
Along the way Carlyle had to navigate the learning curves of rookies Cam Fowler, Brandon McMillan and young defenseman Luca Sbisa, and a season-ending injury to all-star goalie Jonas Hiller.
“I’ve all along said he’s a good coach. We’re always competitive, no matter what kind of team we throw at him,” general manager Bob Murray said. “He takes what you give him and he tries to win and he does very well at it, as his record indicates. He’s a good coach. His record speaks for itself.”
Under Carlyle, the Ducks have clinched the playoffs five times in six season, earning at least 98 points in four of the six seasons. Murray praised Carlyle’s work with the younger roster in 2010-11.
“He has his way with young guys,” Murray said. “He also took (Ryan) Getzlaf and (Corey) Perry when they were kids, too. The players are changing. He’s got to stay up with that. I think he’s done a good job staying up with how they’ve changed.”
More in tomorrow’s editions.