Vancouver Confirms Replacement Of Head Coach Boudreau With Tocchet

Photo: Yardbarker

Vancouver Canucks General Manager Patrik Allvin announced today that the club has made multiple changes to its coaching staff (press release).

From Vancouver

Head Coach Bruce Boudreau and Assistant Coach Trent Cull have been relieved of their duties.

Rick Tocchet has been hired as the 21st Head Coach in franchise history. Adam Foote has been named Assistant Coach and Sergei Gonchar has been hired as a Defensive Development Coach.

“We would like to extend our sincere thanks to Bruce and Trent for their contributions to this organization,” said Allvin. “We appreciate their dedication and wish them nothing but the best moving forward. This was not an easy decision to make, but one that we felt was necessary for this franchise.

“Rick Tocchet brings a wealth of knowledge to this team from both a coach and player perspective. He has had more than two decades of coaching experience, guiding teams of various styles. As a player, he displayed a high level of character, grit and intensity, while recording impressive offensive numbers.

“We are also excited about the additions of Adam Foote and Sergei Gonchar to our coaching staff. Both individuals enjoyed long, successful playing careers as NHL defencemen and together provide a wide range of expertise on both sides of the puck. Tocchet, Foote, and Gonchar all bring a championship pedigree to the organization and we look forward to welcoming them to Vancouver.”

Tocchet, 58, joins the Canucks having most recently served four seasons as head coach of the Arizona Coyotes from 2017.18 to 2020.21. During his tenure in Arizona, Tocchet led the Coyotes to their first trip to the Stanley Cup Playoffs (2020) in eight years, when the team defeated the Nashville Predators in four games to advance from the Qualifying Round. That same season, he was selected to coach the Pacific Division at the NHL All-Star Game in St. Louis. Prior to his appointment in Arizona, Tocchet spent three seasons (2014.15 to 2016.17) as an assistant coach with the Pittsburgh Penguins, winning back-to-back Stanley Cup championships in 2016 and 2017.

Tocchet began his coaching career in 2002 when he was hired as an assistant coach by the Colorado Avalanche, a position he held for two seasons. During that time, the Avalanche won consecutive Northwest Division championships and appeared in four straight seven-game playoff series. He then spent the 2005.06 season as an assistant coach with the Coyotes, before moving on to the Tampa Bay Lightning as both an assistant and head coach for two seasons.

The Scarborough, Ontario native also played 18 seasons in the NHL, splitting time between the Philadelphia Flyers, Pittsburgh Penguins, Los Angeles Kings, Boston Bruins, Washington Capitals, and Phoenix Coyotes. Tocchet appeared in 1,144 regular season games during his playing career, accumulating 952 points (440-512-952) and 2,972 penalty minutes. The five-time 30-goal scorer also appeared in 145 career playoff games, collecting 112 points (52-60-112) and 471 penalty minutes (fourth-most in NHL playoff history), winning the Stanley Cup in 1992 as a member of the Pittsburgh Penguins.

Foote, 51, most recently served as head coach of the Kelowna Rockets of the Western Hockey League over parts of two seasons (2018.19 to 2019.20). Prior to that position, he spent four seasons as a development consultant with the Colorado Avalanche and earned a gold medal with Canada at the 2018 Spengler Cup as a development consultant.

The native of Toronto, Ontario appeared in 1,151 regular season games during his 19-year playing career with the Quebec Nordiques, Colorado Avalanche, and Columbus Blue Jackets. Known for his physical play as a shutdown defencemen, the former Avalanche and Blue Jackets captain accumulated 308 points (66-242-308), 1,534 penalty minutes, and a +99 plus-minus rating in his career. He also won two Stanley Cups (1996, 2001) with the Avalanche and played in 170 career playoff games (7-35-42).

Gonchar, 48, has spent the last two seasons as an assistant coach for Russia’s national team, including at the 2022 Winter Olympics. Previously he was an assistant coach (2017.18 to 2019.20) and defenceman development coach (2015.16 to 2016.17) for the Pittsburgh Penguins following his retirement from the NHL.

Hailing from Chelyabinsk, Russia, Gonchar played 20 seasons in the NHL, splitting 1,301 games between the Washington Capitals, Boston Bruins, Pittsburgh Penguins, Ottawa Senators, Dallas Stars, and Montreal Canadiens. Touted as an offensive defenceman, he registered 811 points (220-591-811) throughout his career (17th all-time among defencemen), alongside 981 penalty minutes and a +33 plus-minus rating. Appearing in an additional 141 playoff games (22-68-90), he also won the 2009 Stanley Cup as a member of the Pittsburgh Penguins.


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 18-25-3 (.433 points percentage) and 14 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.

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 617-332-128 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

About Harrison Brown

Harrison is a diehard Caps fan and a hockey fanatic with a passion for sports writing. He attended his first game at age 8 and has been a season ticket holder since the 2010-2011 season. His fondest Caps memory was watching the Capitals hoist the Stanley Cup in Las Vegas. In his spare time, he enjoys travel, photography, and hanging out with his two dogs. Follow Harrison on Twitter @HarrisonB927077
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24 Responses to Vancouver Confirms Replacement Of Head Coach Boudreau With Tocchet

  1. novafyre says:

    Bruce’s stock has gone up, Vancouver’s has gone down through this absolute disaster.

    • Jon Sorensen says:

      Agree on your stock quotes. Rutherford’s tanking too.

      • Diane Doyle says:

        Rutherford wasn’t all that great of a GM with Carolina either although they did win the Cup on his watch there. But then declined. He was successful with Pittsburgh but then again, almost anyone is successful with Pittsburgh. Rutherford’s value rightly should tank, as a result of this debacle.

        • Anonymous says:

          Lmfao, he literally ran the Whalers/Canes for two decades, then took a team on the decline and built a back-to-back Cup winner. “Almost anyone is successful with Pittsburgh”- the Pens have had 10 GMs in their history, with three who the Cup: Patrick (2), Shero (1), Rutherford (2). He’s literally done the best, get out of here with your nonsense 😂

  2. Jeremy says:

    Poor Bruce; also, I never got the appeal of Tocchet

    • novafyre says:

      I’m assuming that Bruce was too friendly, too player focused. Tocchet appears to be more abrasive. Don’t remember him as player or coach, just analyst. Looking at his coaching stats, I’m not impressed. Wikipedia says he does hold the NHL record for Gordie Howe hat tricks. I was surprised to see that he played 13 games for the Caps.

      • Diane Doyle says:

        If you’re going to replace a coach, it should be with somebody better. Which is not the case with Tocchet who does not impress me as being a good head coach.

        • Anonymous says:

          All the haters who think two Cup wins as a coach means nothing. The Canucks are a developing team and Tocchet has a reputation for developing talent (ask Stamkos).

          • novafyre says:

            He won 2 Cups as head coach? Which teams?

            So you say that Tocchet was better than Barry Melrose. Hey, I agree. But that is a pretty low bar. Tocchet’s Bolts record? 53 wins, 69 losses, missed playoffs both years.

            Stamkos is his shining example. He treated Stammer differently than Barry did and Stamkos does give Tocchet credit for that. But what other young players has he developed? I just don’t see glowing reports of his helping young players other than Stammer.

  3. Anonymous says:

    F___The Canucks

  4. Diane Doyle says:

    This has to be one of the least classy coach firings that I can remember in all the years I’ve followed hockey.

    • KimRB says:

      How NOT to fire a coach:

      Do not make your decision, and leak it to the press before telling him
      Do not leave him twisting in the wind, for several games as a lame duck coach, while you wait for your new man to become available
      Do not have him face the press, and fight to hold back the tears

      For more information see Canucks, Vancouver and Aquilini, Francesco

      How to fire a coach in a classy manner:

      Tell him you are firing him in private
      Announce it in an official statement
      Let him leave the organization with dignity, thank him for his time
      Appoint an assistant coach as interim head coach
      Wait for your new man to become available

      Again, for more information see Canucks, Vancouver and Boudreau, Bruce

    • Anonymous says:

      Not even remotely close, unfortunately. When Gerard Gallant got fired from Florida, he had to take a cab to the airport from the game.

  5. Scottlew73 says:

    Just an idea,is it not sportswriters who pick NHL Coach of the Year? If so with it being 1/2 way through season maybe fans should start campaigning to have Bruce named Coach of the Year for crap he put up with!! If fan sites like Nova Caps & others around league were to start names could be presented to sportswriters on fans behalf!
    Might set precedent that this league should be for FANS NOT OWNERS!

    • KimRB says:

      I’m on board! But the Jack Adams award winner is picked by the NHL Broadcasters Association. I would guess that would be Beninati and Laughlin and perhaps Walton.

    • novafyre says:

      Good sentiment but it’s not really the Best Coach of the Year award. The rules are “adjudged to have contributed the most to his team’s success.” Since the Canucks weren’t successful, I don’t think Bruce would qualify. Alas.

  6. Lance says:

    Bruce is Free!

    • Jon Sorensen says:

      Agree Lance. This is probably a good thing for Bruce.

      • Lance says:

        Has to be, Jon. Vancouver put Bruce in a terrible position. Hope he lands a good NHL HC gig next.

        • hockeydruid says:

          Good gig? How about THE GM and owner in Wash do something right after the snafu of the last 2 HC and bring Bruce back to oversee the start of the rebuild!

          • KimRB says:

            I’m on board 100% with that Druid. There’s a financial upside to this too, for Leonsis. A freewheeling Boudreau team will be more exciting to watch during Ovi’s Gretzky chase, thus more fan engagement.

            • novafyre says:

              Agreed. I watch the Caps to be entertained from game to game, win or lose. I never start a season planning on winning the Cup. To me, that means one winner and 31 losers. I just don’t view sports that way. And Bruce knows how to put entertaining hockey on the ice.

              For the moment, I hope Bruce goes back to Hershey, enjoys his Cubs, and basks in the admiration of Hershey hockey fans. And appears as a frequent guest on NBCSW.

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