The Anaheim Ducks have placed executive vice president and general manager Bob Murray on administrative leave, pending “an ongoing investigation related to professional conduct,” the team announced Tuesday.
Murray, 66, has been with the organization since 2005.
The team said it “recently became aware of accusations of improper professional conduct” against Murray. The Ducks reviewed the matter internally and then hired the law firm Sheppard Mullin to perform an independent investigation.
“Upon recommendation from their initial findings, we have decided to place Bob on administrative leave pending final results,” the Ducks said. “In the interim, vice president of hockey operations and assistant general manager Jeff Solomon will assume the role of interim general manager. We will have no further comment until the investigation is complete.”
Murray was an assistant general manager when Anaheim won the Stanley Cup in 2007 and replaced Brian Burke as general manager in November 2008. Murray was named NHL general manager of the year for the 2013-14 season.
It wasn’t one singular incident that led to this investigation, but rather Murray’s continued behavior toward staffers, coaches and players, sources told ESPN Tuesday night. One source described it as an “abusive culture.” A team source says all of the initial complaints involve verbal abuse.
There is no time frame on the investigation. The team intends to see it through, but there was enough evidence in early interviews to suggest Murray was not fit to continue in his current role. The Ducks are on a road trip this week, and the plan is for Murray to return to Anaheim. On Tuesday night, the team defeated Vancouver 3-2 in overtime.
This is the second internal investigation into the behavior of an NHL front office this year.
In October, the Chicago Blackhawks accepted the resignations of general manager Stan Bowman and senior director of hockey administration Al MacIsaac following an independent investigation into how the team handled sexual assault allegations against former video coach Brad Aldrich during its 2010 Stanley Cup run.
Former Blackhawks/then-current Florida Panthers coach Joel Quenneville also resigned after meeting with NHL commissioner Gary Bettman about his inaction after the claims made by former player Kyle Beach.
ESPN’s Emily Kaplan contributed to this report.