Canucks fire coach Boudreau, hire Tocchet as replacement
Bruce Boudreau was fired as coach of the Vancouver Canucks, who are once again on track to miss the playoffs with another underperforming season.
The team announced the change on Sunday, less than a week after president of hockey operations Jim Rutherford said a “major surgery” was needed to fix the Canucks, who played just one game. only time in the playoffs in the past eight years. Rick Tocchet was hired as Boudreau’s replacement for a Vancouver team that has lost 28 of 46 games this season.
Boudreau waved to the crowd after the Canucks’ final loss on Saturday night, their third in the last four games. Chants of “Bruce, that’s it!” to the tune of “Whoomp!” (He’s here)” echoed through the arena in tribute to the highly respected 68-year-old lifer who ranks among the greatest regular season coaches in NHL history.
He is the second coach Vancouver has fired in less than 14 months. Boudreau took over in December 2021 when former coach Travis Green and general manager Jim Benning were fired for 25 games last season.
Deputy Trent Cull was also relieved of his duties, the team said on Sunday. Adam Foote was named assistant and Sergei Gonchar defensive development coach on Tocchet’s staff.
The Canucks have missed the playoffs for the past two seasons since reaching the second round in the bubble in 2020.
Boudreau was in his fourth NHL organization after stints in Washington, Anaheim and Minnesota. Winner of the Jack Adams Award as Coach of the Year in 2007-08 as he was brought up from the minors to coach the Capitals on Thanksgiving and take them to the playoffs.
Teams coached by Boudreau for a full season have made the playoffs nine times out of ten. His .626 point percentage ranks fourth among coaches with at least 500 games behind the bench, and his 617 wins are tied for 20th in league history.
But a Canucks team in disarray didn’t give him much of a chance to hold onto that success. Rutherford said at a press conference on Monday that big changes are coming in the off-season, citing the need for the team to rejuvenate.
They could happen before then, especially with captain Bo Horvat unsigned after this season and drawing attention before the March 3 trade deadline.
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