Former Washington Capitals head coach Bruce Boudreau is reportedly set to be behind the Vancouver Canucks bench for the final time on Saturday against the Edmonton Oilers (10 PM ET, ESPN+), according to The Fourth Period’s David Pagnotta. The team’s 4-1 loss to the Colorado Avalanche on Friday was their ninth in regulation over their last 11 games.
In the “worst kept secrets” department: All signs point to tonight being Bruce Boudreau’s last game as #Canucks head coach.
A Monday press conference to officially announce the coaching change is expected, with Rick Tocchet (who arrives in Van this wknd) set to take over.
— David Pagnotta (@TheFourthPeriod) January 21, 2023
After getting hired on December 4, 2021 and leading Vancouver to a 32-15-10 for the rest of the season, Boudreau was extended for two seasons last May.
However, Vancouver started the season 0-5-2 and blew leads in each of their first five games (three of which by multiple goals). The team is currently 18-24-3 (.433 points percentage) and 12 points behind Colorado, who has a game in hand, for the final wild-card spot in the Western Conference.
Boudreau was appointed for the position by Vancouver’s ownership and not GM Patrik Allvin, who was the assistant GM under current Vancouver President of Hockey Operations Jim Rutherford when he was with the Pittsburgh Penguins. It has been reported that former Pittsburgh assistant and Arizona Coyotes head coach Rick Tocchet is likely headed to and has already landed in Vancouver.
Boudreau was hired a quarter of the way through the 2007-08 season by Washington and led them to the Stanley Cup Playoffs for the first time in the Alex Ovechkin era with 11 wins in the final 12 games of the season. He won the Jack Adams Award as the NHL’s coach of the year that season. In five seasons with Washington Boudreau went 201-88-40. He guided them to their first Presidents’ Trophy in 2009-10 and to the top of the Eastern Conference again the next season but was never able to get them past the second round.
Boudreau worked as a studio analyst for NHL Network between his jobs with the Vancouver and Minnesota and had a conversation with Washington about returning in the same role after they fired head coach Todd Reirden in August 2020 but it did not go far. The team ultimately decided to hire Peter Laviolette instead.
He has a career coaching record of 617-331-128 in 1,069 regular season games with Vancouver (2021.22 to 2022.23), Minnesota (2016.17 to 2019.20), the Anaheim Ducks (2011.12 to 2015.16), and Washington (2007.08 to 2011.12).
By Harrison Brown