While the NHL's on-ice product is the best it's ever been and only getting better, the league has recently taken a PR beating on the level of Jonathan vs. Bouchard for off-ice malfeasance...
And Anaheim Ducks GM (as of press time) Bob Murray is the latest exec to find himself bloodied and dazed on the ice.
"The Ducks have placed Executive Vice President and General Manager Bob Murray on administrative leave pending an ongoing investigation related to professional conduct."
"We recently became aware of accusations of improper professional conduct against Bob Murray. After internal review, we enlisted Sheppard Mullin to perform an independent investigation. Upon recommendation from their initial findings, we have decided to place Bob on administrative leave pending final results. In the interim, Vice President of Hockey Operations and Assistant General Manager Jeff Solomon will assume the role of Interim General Manager. We will have no further comment until the investigation is complete."
As the DailyFaceoff.com's intrepid ace reporter Frank Seravalli reported...
Multiple league and team sources tell Daily Faceoff that Murray is under investigation for allegations of creating a toxic workplace environment by way of his repeated verbal abuse and harassment of Ducks players, coaches and personnel, plus his intimidation tactics and temper tantrums that fostered a culture of fear throughout the organization.
“Working for Bob Murray was pure daily mental warfare,” one source said. “The abuse was endless. Crazy text messages to players and staff berating them for their performance and threats of job security happened with regularity. These weren’t one-time slip-ups or mistakes. These were regular explosions and eruptions.”
It is unclear how or why Murray’s behavior went unchecked for so long, given that so many people associated with the Ducks organization bore witness to it. This season marks Murray’s 45th consecutive year in the NHL; Murray was promoted to Ducks GM on Nov. 12, 2008.
Another source said: “There’s not just one skeleton in the closet here with ‘Murph,'” as Murray is known by his nickname around the NHL. “The list of people who have felt his wrath first-hand over the years is long.”
First off, a guy named Bob Murray going by "Murph" should have been a red flag ages ago. But I digress.
It basically sounds like Murray is a top-tier, Grade A, major-league asshole and people who work beneath him were fed the fuck up with it. Higher-ups took a look then felt the need to bring in a big-time law firm to conduct an independent investigation. That doesn't happen for yelling at an intern for putting too much Stevia in your coffee. And it's not just a generational thing---it's just about treating folks like human beings.
This didn't happen overnight. This guy has been an absolute dick to work for ages but it was seemingly tolerated for so long in Anaheim. Well, that's what fear does to people---it shuts them up. And if you have nobody to air your complaints to in confidence, you'll shut the fuck up, too, if you want to keep your job and career prospects. But what about the owners and the people above Murray? How did they not know he was a royal (alleged) cunt to everyone?
Either way, some people with the Ducks said enough was enough and went over his head to let the bigger suits to know what a living hell it apparently is to work in that environment. Good for them. Nobody should have to deal with dehumanizing bullshit just to make living. Now the law firm will do its due diligence (probably at $2K an hour) and issue its final report.
Regardless of what McKenzie, Brackman, Chaney, Kuzak, and Becker conclude, it's hard to conclude that Bob Murray will return as GM of the Anaheim Ducks after what has transpired. Word is out: he's a nightmarishly asshole 66-year-old boss. Bringing him back to the Ducks will just deflate employees (especially those who complained) and make them pretend to accept the 'new and improved' Bob Murray. He's in the last year of his deal and no extension talks were known to be held. This is really an easy call for the Samuelis. And it would also serve as a reminder to every other team that you don't need to employ people like this in order to be successful. Or evern semi-successful in Murray's case.
(Because this is a Ducks blog, I have to take my obligatory shot. "Ducks" for an NHL team name is BA-RU-TAL. Once Disney sold the team and "Mighty Ducks of Anaheim" was toast, the new owners should've gone full re-do instead of dropping the adjective and keeping a soft bird known for getting shot as a name. But Getzlaf is the fucking man at least.)