Ducks officially hire ‘proven winner’ Randy Carlyle

Randy Carlyle meets with the media to comment on being hired by the Anaheim Ducks for the second time as their head coach.

Good one, Randy.

After a year and a half spent outside the NHL’s coaching fraternity, Randy Carlyle is heading back to Anaheim, where he hoisted the Stanley Cup in 2007.

Carlyle’s hiring as the Ducks’ new head coach was first reported by ESPN’s John Buccigross Monday night and announced by the club Tuesday.

“A proven winner and motivator, Randy has expertly managed the bench throughout his coaching career,” said Ducks executive vice president and general manager Bob Murray, who signed Carlyle to a two-year contract.

“Our expectations are extremely high, and I believe Randy is the coach who can lead us to playoff success and our ultimate goal, the Stanley Cup.”

Ducks legend Teemu Selanne approves of the hiring:

Travis Green, Dale Hunter, Mike Yeo and Rick Bowness were reportedly candidates for the job.

Ironically, Carlyle replaces Bruce Boudreau, who replaced Carlyle mid-season as head coach of the Ducks in 2011-12.

“I’m thrilled to have the opportunity to come back to Anaheim and rejoin the organization that gave me my first opportunity as an NHL head coach,” Carlyle said.

“I’ve followed this team closely for the last couple of years and am familiar with the core group. I believe this team can win immediately and I can’t wait to get started.”

Carlyle, 60, coached the Toronto Maple Leafs for parts of four seasons, making the playoffs once in 2013. He was fired mid-season in 2014-15.

“I reached out to a few players, and the support for Randy was unbelievable,” Murray said. “A few even pushed for him. It was good.”

Boudreau went 208-104-40 in Anaheim while winning the last four Pacific Division titles and falling one game short of the 2015 Cup Final. He was fired by general manager Bob Murray on April 29 after Nashville eliminated the Ducks, who lost a Game 7 on home ice for the fourth consecutive season.

Boudreau has since been hired as the head coach of the Minnesota Wild.

Carlyle’s coaching record in Anaheim was 273-182-61 from 2005 to 2011. He also won a club-record 36 playoff games during his Ducks tenure, made two trips to the conference finals (2006 and 2007) and became the first coach to lead a California team to the Stanley Cup. He is the franchise’s all-time winningest coach.

The defenceman was born in Sudbury, Ont. He played 18 seasons in the NHL, with Toronto, Pittsburgh and Winnipeg. He won the Norris Trophy for the league’s top defenceman for his play with the Penguins in 1980-81.

Carlyle and Ducks assistant coach Paul MacLean were teammates with the Winnipeg Jets.

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