Why only one year for Carlyle, McNab, and more.

Bob Murray’s contract as general manager of the Ducks runs through the 2011-12 season, and he wanted Randy Carlyle and David McNab to be able to say the same. Nothing more, nothing less.

“My experience has taught me that nobody goes past me,” Murray said on a conference call Tuesday afternoon to announce the contract extensions for Carlyle and McNab. “That goes back to something from a previous job where I was gone and some people were left in some very uncomfortable positions when I was gone. Good and bad. That won’t happen again. I felt bad for some people after I was gone.”

“I’m up at the end of next year, and nobody’s going past mine.”

Continue reading “Why only one year for Carlyle, McNab, and more.” »

Carlyle, McNab extended through 2012.

Randy Carlyle’s seat just grew a bit colder Tuesday.

The head coach, along with Senior Vice President of Hockey Operations David McNab, both received one-year contract extensions that will keep them with the Ducks through 2012.

Carlyle’s job security was questioned after the Ducks stumbled out of the blocks this season, before general manager Bob Murray publicly backed the head coach. Murray put his money where his mouth is Tuesday with Anaheim climbing the Western Conference standings at 16-13-4.

The 54-year-old coach has the most wins and highest winning percentage in Ducks history,
compiling a 235-152-56 record in 443 career NHL games (.594 winning
percentage). Only Buffalo’s Lindy Ruff, Nashville’s Barry Trotz and Detroit’s Mike Babcock have been with their current teams longer.

McNab has been with Anaheim since the organization came into existence in 1993, and has been an NHL scout in some capacity since 1978. He served as the Ducks’ assistant general manager for 14 seasons prior
to his appointment to his current title in Nov. 2008. McNab’s duties
include overseeing all aspects of player development, having an
expertise on the Collective Bargaining Agreement and its relationship to
the salary cap in the NHL, contract and arbitration negotiation, player
evaluation and scouting.

Down on the farm, some Ducklings are hatching.

The Syracuse Crunch can loosely be broken down into two
groups of players: Those who are still developing, and those you might see in
Anaheim this season.

Nick Bonino and Kyle Palmieri cut to the front of the
promotion line with strong performances last week. By Wednesday they were in
Ducks uniforms, playing against the Tampa Bay Lightning.

That might have been ahead of the curve for both, who are
just beginning their first full season in professional hockey. Even though
Ducks fans have been hearing about Bonino and Palmieri for more than a year, if
anything they have been fast-tracked to the NHL.

“In baseball, most of the top prospects get put into
Single-A and work their way up,” said David McNab, the Ducks’ senior vice
president of hockey operations. “It doesn’t appear that they draft a player and
immediately stick them in Triple A. that’s what the American League is:
Triple-A baseball. It’s a tough league. There’s a lot of veteran hockey players
in the American Hockey League who are great players. It takes time.”

Continue reading “Down on the farm, some Ducklings are hatching.” »

Kyle Palmieri recalled from Syracuse.

Recognizing the need for more offense against the NHL’s best offensive club, the Ducks have recalled right wing Kyle Palmieri from AHL affiliate Syracuse.

In his second week as a professional hockey player, the 19-year-old had five goals in three games last week for the Crunch to earn AHL player of the week honors. For the season Palmieri had seven goals (tied for the league lead) and nine points in nine games.

On Monday the Ducks recalled Nick Bonino, who had been centering the line with Palmieri and left wing Nicolas Deschamps, and the two could will be paired together (according to Randy Carlyle) tonight against the Tampa Bay Lightning.

“It’s all positives when you’ve got young players in their first foray into the American Hockey League and they’re playing to a top level,” Carlyle said Tuesday.

Ducks assistant general manager David McNab said Tuesday that Palmieri and Bonino will both have to prove they can perform at the NHL level before determining whether they can be counted on long-term to help the Ducks. But Palmieri’s accomplishments in a short time in the AHL speak for themselves.

“I don’t know if there’s another 19-year-old in the AHL or not. Most guys are in junior until they’re 20,” McNab said. “Very few under-20 players play in that league. He’s walked in and scored goals, done everything that you wanted. He’s been – not a surprise – but to play this well this early, and score as many goals as he has, just his play all around as well, he’s a guy who likes to shoot the puck, likes to score goals, gets chances and plays hard. In a 30-team league and your second week as a pro hockey player, to be player of the week in the AHL, not many guys do that.”

More from McNab on the development of other Ducks prospects in the AHL in a future blog soon.

Warg signs in Sweden, but he’s still on Ducks’ radar.

Defenseman Stefan Warg, a fifth-round draft pick by the Ducks in 2008, has signed with the rebro Vipers of HockeyAllsvenskan, the second-highest league in Sweden. Warg is a native of Stockholm.

Warg split the 2009-10 season between the Seattle Thunderbirds and the Prince Albert Raiders of the Western Hockey League, scoring 20 points, all assists, in 64 games. The 20-year-old was not tendered an entry-level contract by the Ducks, and only could have returned to the WHL as an overage player.

“We talked to his agent two weeks ago, and he asked us to give our blessing on
where we wanted (Warg) to play,” Ducks assistant general manager David McNab said. “We thought going back (to Sweden) would be good for
him. We know he’ll play more. We own his rights until June 1, then we’ll make a decision.”

More Kyle Palmieri.

Not much new today regarding the situation of Ducks prospect Kyle Palmieri, but the St. Catherines Standard relays some interesting contents of a conversation with the father of Notre Dame teammate Riley Sheahan.

Sheahan, who was arrested along with Palmieri on Sunday in South Bend, Ind., “would be eligible for a pre-trial diversion program that would require him to
complete 40 hours of community service and stay out of trouble with the
law for a year, after which charges would not be filed.”

Ducks assistant general manager David McNab said that “the organization has definitely looked into [Palmieri’s arrest], is on top of it, and has talked to the player.” McNab declined further comment because he hasn’t personally spoken to Palmieri.

Why CuJo thanked David McNab.

In announcing his retirement Tuesday, Curtis Joseph took time to specifically thank David McNab, the top assistant to Ducks general manager Bob Murray. Why?

It’s a good story. According to the Canadian Press:

David McNab was a big believer in the power of a baseball cap. He would send them to prospects whom he felt needed encouragement and, as a scout with the Hartford Whalers, he’d often take the extra step of writing personal letters as he did with one unheralded goaltender a little more than 20 years ago.

Curtis Joseph was playing amateur hockey in Saskatchewan at the time, and can remember running through the cold to the mailbox. In an era before the Internet, the promise of a free National Hockey League media guide was a big deal and the encouragement meant even more.

“In this business, sometimes there are really good players who maybe need to be reminded they’re really good players – the guys who aren’t drafted and things like that,” said McNab, now senior vice-president of hockey operations with the Anaheim Ducks. “Sometimes, it’s not the worst thing in the world to tell somebody, ‘Geez, you really are good, and you really do have a great chance to play in the NHL.”‘