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Exclusive: Bruce Boudreau hopes to rejoin Canucks next week

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Vancouver Canucks Bruce Boudreau
Vancouver Canucks Head Coach Bruce Boudreau.

Vancouver Canucks Head Coach Bruce Boudreau told Vancouver Hockey Now on Wednesday that preferably by early next week he hopes to confirm the option to return to the club for the 2022-’23 season with Canucks President of Hockey Operations Jim Rutherford and General Manager Patrik Allvin.

There are a couple of important minor details to work out. He’s not waiting for any particular tactical reasons or for any leverage of any sort.

Otherwise, Boudreau has been simply taking a break after what he again referred to as a ‘perpetual game-7 since December’.

‘Gabby’ has until June 1st to make a commitment, but with no other opportunities of interest in existence, nor any real desire to pursue one, Boudreau would like to be back to “complete what we started.”

He’s still under contract to the Vancouver Canucks and has not spoken to other clubs.

“I have as special a relationship with these players in Vancouver as I did with the guys in Washington on my first NHL job,” Boudreau told VHN.

He’s been on the go since heading back east last Wednesday, visiting with friends and family, including his mom in Toronto, and making arrangements for summer hockey camps.

“I’m just taking a breather here, the plan and desire is to come back,” he added.

As for the dream scenario of coaching his childhood team and the club he played 134 of his 141 NHL games for, the Toronto Maple Leafs, that remains simply a dream, even if the Leafs were to collapse again in the first round. It’s not a realistic scenario for him to pursue nor has he been thinking about it.

“It will remain a dream,” Boudreau said. “My dream now is to win as much as possible with the Vancouver Canucks. We started something special here and I want to see it to fruition.”

Between Covid setbacks and injuries, and employing AHL players in the line-up over the final weeks of the season, he believes the Canucks otherwise would have been a playoff team.

“We accomplished a lot, it was quite a challenge,” Boudreau said. “I’m proud of the guys.”

Boudreau hopes to nail down a couple of items with management next week and would like to have things settled within the next ten days if possible. The items do not involve his term or salary.

The club to this point has not wavered on its commitment to the timeline, while the Vancouver Canucks players have given Gabby their overwhelming endorsement.

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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Robert Alpiner

I think Mr. Boudreau did a magnificent job with Vancouver this season, given the circumstances that he was hired under. With a full training camp next season, who among us wants to bet the Canucks do not make the playoffs? His history is to revive failing teams.

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