(Reuters) - The Anaheim Ducks fired coach Randy Carlyle following a slump-ending 4-1 victory over the Montreal Canadiens on Wednesday as the franchise searches for a new direction for a team that has grown stagnant.
Despite claiming a win to end a seven-game losing run, the Ducks bid farewell to the man that had led them to their greatest triumph, replacing the 55-year-old Carlyle with former Washington Capitals coach Bruce Boudreau. "This was an extremely difficult decision," Ducks executive vice president and general manager Bob Murray told reporters.
"At this time, we simply felt a new voice was needed. Bruce is a proven winner with a great track record, and we are optimistic we can turn this season around under his leadership."
Carlyle was in his seventh season of a tenure that included five playoff appearances and a Stanley Cup win in 2007, but the recent 2-12-4 run was the worst of his career and Anaheim chose to start afresh as they also sacked two of his assistants.
Boudreau, 56, takes over at Anaheim after being released by the Capitals earlier this week. He had served as the head of the Washington franchise since the 2007-08 season, and led the Capitals to four straight Southeast Division titles but with little playoff success. Boudreau will now inherit a Ducks team that sits at the foot of the Pacific Division with a 7-13-4 record, the second poorest in the Western Conference.
"It's a frustrating thing. It's one of those things where you're working and working and working and not getting the results that you need," Anaheim captain Ryan Getzlaf said following the win but prior to the news of a coaching change.
"This is the first time I'd ever been through something like that. We're going to take tonight and enjoy this one and get back to work."
(Writing by Jahmal Corner in Los Angeles; Editing by John O'Brien)