- Craig Custance
It was a day between games during the Western Conference finals, and the Anaheim Ducks were getting in a little work at United Center in Chicago. A few players were on exercise bikes, others going in and out of meetings.
Coach Bruce Boudreau was finished with his news conference and stopped to chat casually with a few media members.
Ducks general manager Bob Murray had been named a finalist for the NHL General Manager of the Year award, and a couple of writers stopped him when he came out of one of the side offices near the dressing room.
He politely paused to talk, but it didn’t last all that long. He was asked a question, made a self-depreciating joke, smiled and moved on. It seems that right now, the last thing he wants is for the Ducks' success to be about him. But it is.
It’s impossible to look at this team on the ice and not admire the job he has done because without much fanfare, he has built a roster that is one win away from playing for a Stanley Cup, and he has done it with the lowest payroll of any team remaining in the playoffs by a good margin.
“I love that he has that old-school feel but he’s very creative, innovative and believes in playing young players,” said Sharks GM Doug Wilson, who has gotten to know Murray well in their tenure as California GMs.