Today wasn’t a permanent farewell for Bruce Boudreau with the media, as there’s very little chance he won’t be back as the Head Coach of the Vancouver Canucks next season.
If we don’t hear about a commitment from the club on Tuesday from General Manager Patrik Allvin and President of Hockey Operations Jim Rutherford, and it’s rhetoric instead, it won’t be long before we do hear a decision. Why wait?
The Vancouver hockey executive duo will meet with the media in the early afternoon.
‘Gabby’ had his turn on Monday.
“I told Patrik and Jim that I wanted to coach here next year,” Boudreau said. “We’re just talking right now and I’m sure, hopefully things get done. I think they want me back and I know I want to be back, so I think it should work out.”
A one year extension exists, it remains to be seen if Boudreau will seek a bigger, longer committment.
Boudreau has previously coached the Washington Capitals for four-plus seasons, the Anaheim Ducks for four-plus seasons, and the Minnesota Wild for almost four. His Wild job ended two-thirds of the way into the 2019-’20 season when he had a record of 27-23-and-7 and was it brought to an end by first-year Minnesota GM Bill Guerin. Boudreau has 599 total regular season wins as an NHL head coach and one of the highest winning percentages in history.
This season he finished his partial first run with the Vancouver Canucks with a record of 32 wins, 15 losses, and 12 OT/Shoot-out points.
“Coming back and having that kind of record, and the team playing the way they did in a lot of different areas positively, it makes you believe when you go home that you did well and you still can do the job,” Boudreau said, “and the other thing is you still know you have the fire in your belly and the desire to do the job and you can still handle the stress of the job and you wake up every morning and can’t wait to get back to the job.”
One would expect to see a pay raise for Gabby and a two-year deal. He would appear to have the overwhelming support of his players.
In the meantime he’ll leave Wednesday for his home in Hershey, Pennsylvania where he coached the Bears of the AHL for two full seasons just before getting the call to coach the Capitals early in his third. The teams were affiliated and Boudreau had won a Calder Cup Championship with Hershey in 2006. He had previously won an earlier title in the ECHL one level below.
Gabby will play golf, watch Stanley Cup playoff hockey on TV and hit a couple of Bears playoff games. He’ll also take part in a couple of summer hockey camps and will answer any questions the Vancouver Canucks may have for him about his players and the future line-up.