Executive Vice President and General Manager
Since taking over as Executive Vice President and General Manager in 2008, Murray has revamped the club’s roster, adding skilled youth and veteran leadership. Murray has acquired defensemen Lubomir Visnovsky, Toni Lydman, Francois Beauchemin and Luca Sbisa. The Ducks enter the 2011-12 season with a standout group of forwards that includes Ryan Getzlaf, Corey Perry, Bobby Ryan, Teemu Selanne and Saku Koivu, along with the expected return of number one goaltender Jonas Hiller. Murray has also recently drafted several highly touted players, including three widely lauded selections in the first 42 picks of the 2010 draft with Cam Fowler (12), Emerson Etem (29), and Devante Smith-Pelly (42).
Murray made two critical moves to help the Ducks qualify for the playoffs in 2010-11. After Hiller was unexpectedly stricken with vertigo in February, Murray acquired goaltenders Ray Emery (free agent) and Dan Ellis (trade). Both Emery (7-2-0) and Ellis (8-3-1) played extremely well down the stretch, leading the Ducks on a climb that took them from 11th place to a fourth place finish in the Western Conference. Murray’s teams have now been in the playoffs nine of the last 10 NHL seasons, four with Vancouver (2001-2004) and five of six with the Ducks (2006-2009, 2011).
After a series of mid-season roster moves, the 2008-09 Ducks made a late charge to qualify for the playoffs, going on to beat the Presidents’ Trophy-winning San Jose Sharks in the Western Conference Quarterfinals. That made Anaheim the fifth team in the expansion era (1967-68) to upset the league’s top regular season team in the first round. The Ducks fell to Detroit in a dramatic, seven-game series in the Conference Semifinals.
Prior to being named Executive Vice President and General Manager, Murray was the club’s Senior Vice President of Hockey Operations for three-plus seasons. He was named to the post on July 14, 2005. Much of Murray’s work behind the scenes under then-General Manager Brian Burke led directly to many successful trades and other player transactions by Anaheim. During that three-year period, the Ducks won a Stanley Cup (2007), a Pacific Division title (2007), and qualified for the playoffs each season.
Murray’s previous responsibilities as Senior Vice President of Hockey Operations included overseeing all aspects of player development and serving as General Manager of Anaheim’s American Hockey League (AHL) affiliate (previously Portland and Iowa). Murray was the General Manager of the Portland Pirates from 2005-06 through 2007-08. The Pirates went to the Conference Finals twice (2006 & 2008), appearing in six playoff rounds. Between 2005 and 2008 (three seasons), Anaheim and Portland combined to win 10 and appear in 14 playoff rounds over the last three seasons, both the most of any organization in hockey.
Prior to joining the Ducks, Murray worked as a Professional Scout with the Vancouver Canucks from 1999-05 under Burke (1998-04). Murray’s scouting expertise helped to build teams that recorded 100+ point seasons two years in a row (2002-03 and 2003-04) and advanced to the Stanley Cup Playoffs four seasons in a row (2001-04). Before his stint in Vancouver, he served as a Scouting Consultant for Anaheim during the 1998-99 season.
Murray was a member of the Chicago Blackhawks organization for 25 years, serving as General Manager from 1997-99. He was named the sixth General Manager in team history on July 3, 1997. He was promoted to the post after serving as Assistant General Manager under Bob Pulford for two seasons. Before joining upper-management, Murray was named the Director of Player Personnel in 1991 and was largely responsible for the club’s NHL Entry Draft selections over eight seasons.
Drafted by the Blackhawks in 1974, Murray spent his entire 1,008-game, 15-year career in a Chicago uniform. He became just the fourth player in Blackhawks history to reach the 1,000-game plateau in 1989-90. In addition, he became the first defenseman in club history to appear in 100 postseason contests, reaching the mark during the 1990 Stanley Cup Playoffs. In all, Murray scored 132-382=514 points and currently ranks second in all-time points among Blackhawks defensemen (13th overall in club history). He was named to both the 1981 and 1983 NHL All-Star Games. Murray retired at the conclusion of the 1989-90 season. Known for his work ethic, intelligence and determination as a player, Murray remained with the organization as a Professional Scout following his retirement in 1990.
Bob and his wife, Betsy, have four children: Kevin, Andrew, Amanda, and Katie; and two granddaughters: Mikayla and Aisley.