The Anaheim Ducks have “enormous potential” general manager Jeff Solomon said Thursday, one day after he replaced Bob Murray.
Solomon was named GM on Wednesday after the Ducks said they would “begin a methodical, extensive search for a permanent general manager to lead us forward.”
Murray, who had been Anaheim’s GM since Nov. 12, 2008, resigned and said he was enrolling in an alcohol abuse program. The 66-year-old was originally put on administrative leave pending an investigation into his professional conduct on Tuesday. He joined the Ducks as senior vice president of hockey operations in 2005.
Anaheim (7-4-3) is third in the Pacific Division.
“Nothing has changed for me,” Solomon said prior to the Ducks playing at the Seattle Kraken on Thursday (10 p.m. ET; ROOT-NW, BSSC, BSSD, ESPN+, NHL LIVE). “Nothing has changed about my vision for the franchise. Nothing has changed about the quality of the people that are here and how I feel about the enormous potential that this team has, which we’re at least seeing some of the benefits and realizing some of the potential right now.”
Solomon said he had not spoken to Murray since learning of his resignation and accepting the position from owners Henry and Susan Samueli and chairman of the board of ocV!BE Sports & Entertainment Michael Schulman.
“I was made aware of the investigation just like you on Tuesday and I was asked whether or not I could take on the interim role to lead the team forward in the vision that we all shared,” Solomon said. “It was really a simple answer. It’s an easy answer for me. That’s my obligation to the team. That’s my obligation to ownership. Because I made a commitment that was beyond just a commitment to Bob, it was a very easy position for me to accept.”
The 63-year-old said he has not yet thought about becoming the Ducks full-time general manager.
“I’m thinking about getting the team past yesterday and then past today and taking it one day at a time and doing the best job that I can,” Solomon said. “It’s way in the back of my mind and way down the road, it’s really not a factor for me.”
Solomon is in his first season with the Ducks after spending the previous 15 years with the Los Angeles Kings as a hockey operations executive, most recently as the executive vice president of hockey operations and legal affairs.
He said he has not personally witnessed any unprofessional conduct in his six months with the team.
“From my perspective and certainly my involvement and interaction with the players and staff we have a really healthy relationship,” Solomon said. “I really wasn’t personally aware of anything that may have happened behind the scenes so from my personal experience, my introduction to this organization has been outstanding.”
Solomon said he has been given the authority to do what is needed to improve the team when necessary. Anaheim has not qualified for the Stanley Cup Playoffs the past three seasons.
Solomon said he wants an inclusive environment and will lean on assistant general managers Dave Nonis and Martin Madden along with director of player personnel Todd Marchant.
“We have a ton of experience here,” Solomon said. “I didn’t know Dave very well personally but in the last six months I’ve gotten to know him very well, I’ve gotten to know Martin very well. We worked very closely building up to the [2021 NHL Draft]. As a group I can honestly tell you we get along fantastically. We all have very complimentary skillsets so my vision here is to include everyone. Everyone will participate in the important decisions.
“Everybody in this group stands for dedication, experience, knowledge and character. These are the people I want to work with. To the extent we have to make decisions together, we’ll do it as a group, I’ll accept everybody’s input and I’ll make the final recommendation.
“There are no restrictions. We’ll continue to execute the plan the way we envision it.”