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Hockey Hot Stove With Bob Murray – Zoom Edition
By Michael Walters
The Anaheim Ducks Brian Hayward sat down and talked to the General Manager Bob Murray. Jacob Perreault and Jamie Drysdale joined the zoom call towards the end. Below are the questions that Hayward asked and a summary of the answers.
1. How did COVID affect scouting the players?
Murray said it made things more difficult because he did get to see the end of year tournaments, specifically the under 18 specifically. There were also no playoffs in the minor leagues.
He stated they had to do zoom interviews with the players and it was difficult. He missed sitting with them in person and getting to know each player’s personalities.
2. You have about 11 amateur scouts, how was the logistics with the draft?
Murray said he could not get them all together to meet in one place. They had a big screen with all the other scouts that weren’t at Anaheim during the NHL draft. He mentioned that the amateur scouting job is already extremely difficult in normal times.
3. Ducks had a few first rounders’s the last two drafts and Hayward alludes to a possible strategy of drafting a first-line group.
Murray said he had to look at the depth chart. When they were competitively for all those years they didn’t have high draft picks. He said at times you can get lucky at the draft regardless of where you pick.
4. Tracey/Zegras, where those players right now?
He stated that Zegras is currently is in Anaheim. Murray said he wants Zegras to be more efficient with his skating. He mentioned that Tracey is currently in Calgary.
5. Free Agency – impact from COVID financially: 2019 $582 million, 2020 $136 million, money spent in the first 4 hours
Murray stated that COVID had turned everything upside down. Murray said he doesn’t know when we can play or have fans.
Murray said he moved Erik because he had to open up some cap space. Every team is trying to that and they are going to continue to keep trying to move players. Some teams are in desperate situations. Murray pointed to Tyler Johnson and how no one picked him up because of the uncertainty.
6. On Acquiring Shattenkirk:
Murray said he made the right decision to go to Tampa Bay instead of coming to us. He said he learned how to win and he wants to win again.
7. On The Return of Derek Grant:
Murray said he didn’t want to trade a guy like Derek. He is well-liked in the locker room and he can fill in different roles. Murray said Derek wanted to come back so it all worked out.
8. Are you planning on loaning players to Europe?
Murray said if he sends a guy to the SHL, then they have to stay there for a year. Isac Lundestrom is going to play in Timra, but he will be back. He said they may send some younger players down the road depends on how the minor leagues work out.
10. Another expansion draft, are the rules better understood?
He said they had a good team the last time the expansion happened and had to protect many players. He had to decide between Theodore and Montour, which Murray said was a difficult decision.
11. Uncertainty Next Season
Murray calls the teams that didn’t make the playoffs the “Forgotten 7.” He has been trying to get more time for training camp for all the seven teams. He doesn’t think they will play a full season, but I don’t know for sure. He thinks it will be a short season. The Canadian border could be an issue and there could be a movement of teams in divisions for the scheduling. There could also be hub cities like the playoffs. Everything is up in the air.
12. What is your plan for a backup goalie?
Murray said he is in no rush. He talked to Ryan Miller’s agent today. He comes to skate with the guys once in a while. Murray said he is going to keep things wide open. The expansion draft doesn’t affect the goalie situation and there are plenty out there.
13. Which of the kids is key to taking a big step forward?
He said that Max Jones came the farthest last year. He thinks there are a few of them that “are ready to go” but he didn’t mention names to avoid putting pressure on them.
14. Should we expect Zegras to play for the Ducks next season? Getzlaf as a mentor?
Murray thinks he will play some games, but he is not going to rush him. He still has some learning to do. He will start at the wing more often. He is going to determine how many games he will play. He was impressed with how hard he is working.
15. What is going on with the AHL?
Murray said it’s really up in the air, but he heard Feb 5th as a start date. The issue has to do with the 11 independent teams because they don’t want to play with no fans. It could be a shortened schedule.
Orange Alliance Questions
1. How have you gotten through COVID?
Murray said there was a two-month period of things being slowed down. He said he took a step back and refreshed me.
2. How much will the transition change to get the team back in sync?
Murray said he has been on zoom calls with the team about how they need to get them back in shape and competitive. The players really want to play. They want more exhibition games. The seven teams deserve to have some more games. He stated that practicing gets old.
3. What is one rule change that you would like to see the league implement?
Two Things – He said the draft lottery doesn’t work. There is no reason that Detroit goes from 1st to 4th. It needs to be fixed in his eyes. No one outside the top 5-6 should get the top pick.
Murray wants the red line back. The defense doesn’t have to make those 10-15 foot passes, then can just shoot up to the ice, and then it can be tipped in. Murray also doesn’t like the puck over the glass rule. He thinks the refs need to have discretion.
4. How do we increase scoring on regular play and power play?
He said that bringing in Shatternkirk should help on the PP, but it isn’t all on him. Players need to move more on the PP. Players need to win puck battles. He said they have too many young kids that aren’t scoring.
Discussion With Jamie Drysdale and Jacob Perreault
1. Where do you get the hats and jerseys from?
Jamie – They gave us 31 hats and jerseys from the league.
2. Was it special to be with your family during the draft?
Jacob – He mentioned missing out on being on the stage at the draft, but it was good to be with all of his family.
Jamie – Said it was special to have his family and close friends there with him in person at his house.
3. Do you model yourself after an NHL player?
Jamie – He mentioned Morgan Rielly and how he likes his two-way game.
4. Have you been to California Jacob since your dad(Yanic Perreault) played for LA?
Jacob – He said he has been to LA and that’s it.
5. You have played against each other? Scout each other.
Jacob on Jamie – His biggest strength is skating ability, very fast, shifty on the puck, and change direction. He has a good shot and hockey IQ.
Jamie on Jacob – He is a good playmaker and he has a solid shot.
6. Training? How do you plan to train this summer?
Jamie – He said the offseason was weird. He trained in his living room with weights. He has been training with a group at the gym with some pros. He said he is working on getter bigger and increasing my strength. He has been working on his shot because people think of him more as a passer.
Jacob – He said he works out in his basement and that he runs quite a bit. He took face-offs with his dad and had a tarp to shoot pucks. He has been skating 5-6 times a week.
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October 10th, 2020