NHL News: Ducks hire Pat Verbeek as GM, and World Cup of Hockey

Ducks Pat Verbeek
Apr 4, 2018; Anaheim, CA, USA; Anaheim Ducks mascot Wild Wing waves a flag at center ice on the Ducks logo during an NHL hockey game against the Minnesota Wild at Honda Center. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The Anaheim Ducks named Pat Verbeek the sixth general manager in franchise history on Thursday.

Verbeek, 57, joins the Ducks with 36 years of NHL experience — 20 as a player and 16 as an executive.

He spent the past two-plus seasons as assistant general manager of the Detroit Red Wings.

Ducks make Verbeek hire official

“It’s an honor and a privilege to be named General Manager of the Anaheim Ducks. My family and I are looking forward to becoming part of the Orange County community,” Verbeek said. “… The Ducks are a championship organization with world-class facilities, and I look forward to working with our entire staff to build on the foundation in place to construct a championship team our fans will be proud of on and off the ice.”

Verbeek replaces Bob Murray, who resigned in November and entered a treatment program for alcohol abuse following allegations of misconduct. Ducks executive Jeff Solomon served as general manager in the interim.

“Susan and I are delighted to welcome Pat Verbeek to our community to guide our hockey club as the next General Manager of the Anaheim Ducks,” Ducks owners Henry and Susan Samueli said in a team release. “Pat’s outstanding work ethic and vast knowledge of the game as a successful executive and player throughout his 35-plus years in the NHL make him an outstanding fit to lead us forward. He brings a unique pedigree, having vast experience and serving in integral leadership roles for championship teams as both a player and executive at the NHL level.”

A forward, Verbeek played 1,424 games with the New Jersey Devils (1982-89), Hartford Whalers (1989-95), New York Rangers (1995-96), Dallas Stars (1996-99, 2001-02) and Red Wings (1999-2001). The Ontario native won a Stanley Cup with the Stars in 1999, appeared in two All-Star Games and retired with 1,062 points (522 goals, 540 assists) and 2,905 penalty minutes.

Verbeek worked as a scout for Detroit from 2006-10 before joining the Tampa Bay Lightning, where he was the director of professional scouting (2010-12) and later the assistant GM and director of player personnel (2012-19).

World Cup of Hockey aiming for February 2024

1996 World Cup of Hockey
1996 World Cup of Hockey (Rick Stewart /Allsport/Getty Images)

The last time the World Cup of Hockey took place was in 2016. It’s a tournament that kicked off in 1996 with a thrilling victory for the United States over Canada.

Traditionally, the World Cup and World Championship tournaments have all taken place in the offseason. Now the discussion is to play it in-season during the 2023-24 campaign.

“The NHL and NHLPA had a meeting last week about the next best-on-best event, the World Cup of Hockey, to be held in 2024. The two sides plan to meet again next week,” Pierre LeBrun reported.
“The strongest possibility, in terms of a window to hold the World Cup in 2024 is in February, mid-way through the 2023-24 season, which is a complete departure from past World Cup and Canada Cup events that are usually held in September before the season. The NHLPA has asked the league for years to think about holding the events mid-season.”

It is expected that several owners will strongly be opposed to another tournament being played during the season.

When the news that the NHL was opting out of the Olympic participation became official, Ottawa Senators owner Eugene Melnyk was happy.

“You don’t want your players to go over there and get hurt,” Melnyk said recalling Domink Hasek’s injury back in 2006. “It’s a nightmare, I’ve lived it, and it cost us the chance of winning a Stanley Cup. “I don’t want to get caught again because doing it once was enough.”

–Field Level Media contributed to this report