Randy Robert Carlyle (b. April 19, 1956 in Sudbury, Ontario, Canada) is a former professional defenseman who played in the National Hockey League for the Toronto Maple Leafs, Pittsburgh Penguins and Winnipeg Jets. He is currently the head coach of the Anaheim Ducks.
Carlyle was a hard-nosed defenseman. The Sudbury Wolves alumni was drafted by the Leafs in to the NHL 30th overall in the 1976 NHL Amateur Draft and to the World Hockey Association by the Cincinnati Stingers 7th overall in the 1976 WHA Amateur Draft. When the Leafs drafted him, he had already signed a WHA contract with the Stingers; Leafs general manager Jim Gregory believed that once the three years deal signed with the Stingers would be over, Carlyle would have received all the proper training and would be ready by then to make an immediate impact with the team.
But Carlyle denied having signed with Cincinnati, and Gregory had him sign right away for Toronto, which, of course, wasn't to please the Stingers, who said they would take the young player to the court for breach of contract. With time, things sorted themselves and the Leafs kept Carlyle. After two seasons spent between Toronto and the Dallas Black Hawks of the Central Hockey League, the Leafs gave up on Carlyle, trading him to the Pens with George Ferguson for Dave Burrows. There, Randy blossomed.
Carlyle won the James Norris Memorial Trophy in 1981 with Pittsburgh, an achievement no Maple Leafs player ever won. He enjoyed his best seasons with the Pens before being traded to the Jets on March 5, 1984 for the Jets' first round draft pick in the 1984 NHL Entry Draft (Doug Bodger) and future considerations (Moe Mantha).
Carlyle took part to international competitions only once, at the 1989 World Championship, and the outcome certainly wasn't good for him. While he had enjoyed a lot of success on the ice, with 5 points in 9 games, he has been victim of a mistake that dirted his name. He had been randomly selected following a game against the West German National Team for a urine sample, which he provided and it was announced that he had failed the tests. Carlyle withdrew from the competition to avoid tainting the team's further results and a scandal arose. The world having recently been shocked by Ben Johnson's steroid use at the Olympics, Carlyle was becoming yet another cheating Canadian. The following day however, the International Ice Hockey Federation declared that the B sample was perfectly clean. No further explanation was given, and no apologies have been made to the player, who was left dirted by deeds he never committed.
Randy retired from playing in 1992-93. He would go on and take several assistant-coach in the NHL as well as in the AHL; he was head coach of the Manitoba Moose for four seasons and a half from 1997 to 2001. He was appointed Anaheim Mighty Ducks head coach in 2005 and coached them ever since, leading them to a first Stanley Cup in 2007.
Awards and Achievements
- “Honoured Member” of the Manitoba Hockey Hall of Fame