A day after being put on administrative leave due to a “professional conduct” investigation, Anaheim Ducks executive vice president / general manager Bob Murray resigned his post, effective immediately, saying he would enroll in an alcoholism treatment program. It is one of many high-profile sports scandals to have erupted over the past week alleging inappropriate behavior by team leaders.
âI want to apologize to anyone affected by my behavior,â Murray said in a statement released by the team today. âI am committed to making changes in my life, starting with enrolling in a treatment program. I would like to thank (team owners) Henry and Susan Samueli, as well as (CEO) Michael Schulman, because working for them has been one of the highlights of my career.
âAs I move away from the Ducks, I will focus my attention on what it should be: improving my life for the betterment of my family and friends. “
The Samuelis issued a joint statement saying, âFirst of all, we apologize on behalf of the organization.
to anyone affected by Bob’s misconduct. We expect every member of our organization to be treated with respect and not tolerate abuse of any kind.
âBob resigned this morning while letting us know about his decision to enroll in an alcohol abuse program. While we do not condone his conduct, we fully support his efforts to improve his physical and mental health by asking for help. We will now begin a methodical and in-depth search for a permanent general manager to move us forward. We plan to complete this process no later than next summer.
Murray joined the team in 2005 and has served as General Manager since 2008. He previously worked for the Vancouver Canucks and Chicago Blackhawks. He spent about 15 years as a player with the Blackhawks.
The Ducks announced Tuesday that vice president of hockey operations and assistant general manager Jeff Solomon will fill the role of interim general manager.
The team never clarified the exact behavioral issues that led Murray to be put on leave before his departure. At least one media report, citing people familiar with Murray and the team, described a toxic work environment that included verbal abuse and harassment of employees and players.
The NHL released a statement saying it supported Murray’s decision to quit, and suggested the investigation was sparked by calls to a league hotline for reporting harassment and other issues.
“While we understand that he seeks appropriate counseling and treatment for his personal issues, there is no excuse and there is no room in our league for the type of behavior that has recently been reported via the NHL hotline, “according to the league. âWe thank the Ducks organization for its prompt and appropriate response to the hotline reports. The league and its clubs are committed to providing a safe and welcoming workplace throughout the NHL and will continue to take whatever steps are necessary to achieve this goal. “
The NBA launched an investigation into Phoenix Suns majority owner Robert Sarver last week following an ESPN briefing in which current and former Suns employees described a toxic and hostile workplace under Sarver. .
On Friday, the Portland Trail Blazers opened an investigation into their president of basketball operations, Neil Olshey, whose employees claimed to have created a toxic and hostile work environment beset by intimidation.
City News Service contributed to this report.