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Philadelphia a Realistic Option for Canucks Bruce Boudreau

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Vancouver Canucks, Bruce Boudreau
Vancouver Canucks Head Coach Bruce Boudreau addressing the media earlier this season.

There are two realistic scenarios for current Vancouver Canucks Head Coach Bruce Boudreau moving forward. A third one, that we spelled out yesterday in a dream sequence scenario, is just that. There’s slim to no chance ‘Gabby’ will be coaching the Toronto Maple Leafs anytime soon. Too many things would have to fall into place for him to coach his hometown team.

Scenario 1

Mike Yeo was fired as interim head coach of the Philadelphia Flyers on Monday.

Not many dominoes at all would have to fall into place for Boudreau to coach the Philadelphia Flyers. The club’s current general manager Chuck Fletcher hired Boudreau in May of 2016 to be the head coach of the Minnesota Wild.

Fletcher was let go before the coach, bounced in the spring of 2018 after nine seasons in St. Paul while Gabby was fired by the new Wild General Manager Bill Guerin 22 months later. We should say 2nd new GM, since there was the seemingly bizarre Paul Fenton GM experiment in-between Fletcher and Guerin that Boudreau rode through.

Gabby’s first two seasons in Minnesota ended in first-round playoff exits, an ongoing knock against him, and his third season ended in no playoffs at all. He didn’t survive the fourth season.

Oddly enough, the last full-time head coach of the Minnesota Wild before Boudreau took over was Mike Yeo. John Torchetti had served as an interim. This scenario would involve a bit of history repeating itself.

Fletcher now runs a mess. He definitely has more work to do in Philadelphia than Jim Rutherford and Patrik Allvin have to do with the Vancouver Canucks. There’s less to work with in the City of Brotherly Love. There is no Thatcher Demko, while D-man Ivan Provorov would be Quinn Hughes-lite in terms of talent.

Both are lefties, so they have that in common.

What forward depth they have has been injured. Their longtime captain Claude Giroux is now a Florida Panther. Their highest paid player is 29-year-old center Kevin Hayes at $7.1-million per season.

Would Boudreau want to take that on? For at least a two-year term for more money in a market that’s just a couple of hours from the family’s HQ in Hershey, Pennsylvania … hell yes.

Security in a gig for a 67-year-old hockey coach sounds pretty good.

Of course, this is not to suggest it’s a done deal, it’s just a scenario. Other very viable names are out there, including one that comes up often in former Flyers forward and former head coach of the Arizona Coyotes, Rick Tocchet. Just last year ‘Tock’ was inducted into the Flyers Hall of Fame and he’s also done some television work in the market.

Although Fletcher comes from outside the ‘Flyer Family’, and believe me it is tight, he doesn’t have the same ties to the ‘Bobby Clarke, Ron Hextall, Bill Barber, and ghosts of the past.

‘Hexie’s’ the GM of the dreaded Pittsburgh Penguins for Pete’s sake, so anything is possible, but tradition with a bit of incestuousness is important in the Philadelphia market.

Scenario 2

Gabby takes his week of ‘decompression and family time’ and saddles back up with the Vancouver Canucks. The deal’s in place, he knows what he has, he likes what he has, and it’s an opportunity to take the next step with the franchise.

Most could argue, even without the location convenience and the potential security that might come out East, the Vancouver gig is clearly the better option.

Boudreau is certainly not afraid of proving himself to earn that next deal.

Right now it’s just about doing a certain level of due diligence, weighing scenarios, and making a decision, should a decision need to be made.

Give it about a week. Gabby and the Vancouver Canucks both have until June 1st.

VHN Managing Editor Rob Simpson has been covering the NHL for three decades on live TV, radio, and as a journalist. He worked his first ever game getting postgame sound as a teenager; it was Vancouver vs. Detroit.

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Fat Head Dave

Bruce isn’t going anywhere

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