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Ducks GM stops short of guaranteeing Boudreau's return

Sergei Belski / USA Today

Anaheim Ducks general manager Bob Murray needs some time to process his team's failure to close out the Western Conference Final.

Up 3-2 in a series against the Chicago Blackhawks, Murray's Ducks weren't able to advance to the Stanley Cup Final after losing two straight, including a Game 7 on home ice.

As a result, the GM wasn't able to say that Bruce Boudreau would certainly be back behind the bench next season.

Murray addressed the situation after the Ducks held exit interviews Tuesday:

I haven’t talked to the coaching staff one bit. I thought the coaching staff made strides this year. But I’ve still got to talk to them. I’m not ready to talk to them. We’ve got to meet later.

I’ve got to sort things out in my mind. I’m not one to do things quickly. I’m evaluating the whole hockey team. That’s not a yes or a no. I’ve got to evaluate everything.

Boudreau, who signed a two-year extension with the Ducks that runs through to the end of the 2016-17 season, guided the Ducks to a 109-point regular season, a third straight division title, and an appearance in the conference final.

However, Anaheim was eliminated from the playoffs in a Game 7 on home ice for the third year in a row, and the Ducks' inability to close out the series against Chicago is an apparent cause for concern for Murray.

"We didn’t react properly whatsoever," Murray said of the final two games of the series. "All structure went right out the window. I wasn't impressed by it at all.

"This is a team. Everything we do is as a team. The unanswered question is still the structure when we get under stressful periods. When you’re not playing well, you have to fall back on your structure. It failed us at critical moments."

Murray did say he was fairly happy with the overall performance of the coaching staff this season, but his reluctance to declare his full confidence in Bourdeau keeps the door open for some measure of change behind the bench, at least for the time being.

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