Former Capitals head coach Bruce Boudreau was fired on Valentine’s Day by Minnesota Wild GM Bill Guerin. It marked the second time Bourdeau, who owns the third-highest winning percentage in NHL history (.576, min. 500 games), has been let go mid-season.
With all that free time on his hands, Gabby shared some more tales about his time in Washington through the media. Boudreau coached Alex Ovechkin during the prime of his career in the NHL and turned the Capitals into a perennial playoff team.
Boudreau opened up during Sportnet’s trade deadline show as well as with Mike Russo of The Athletic.
What was it like first meeting Alex Ovechkin:
Bruce Boudreau: “I was in awe. The first time I saw him I was going around the dressing room. I went holy crap, that’s Alex Ovechkin. I didn’t know what to say to him. You sort of didn’t say much. But then, the more you get to know him, the more you can talk to him. As far as telling him what he was doing wrong, at the beginning, I was a little leery of doing that. But he was really accepting of all of that. He would come in after every game and want to watch video and stuff. He was a guy that wanted to learn and wanted to get better.”
What was the nature of the conversations you had with Alex Ovechkin? What types of goals did Ovi set for himself?
Bruce Boudreau: “I don’t know. He just wanted to score more and more. It was just like I want more. I want more. He was never satisfied with what he had. If he scored four goals one night, he’d want to score four goals the next night. That’s just the nature of him. He just wants to be the best at everything he does. And he’s well on the way to doing that.
What’s the trade deadline day like for coaches?
Bruce Boudreau: “For the most part, it’s sort of like we’re thinking it’s Christmas. We’re going to upgrade our team. I haven’t been on a team where we were selling it. So we’re thinking, what are we going to get. Can we get this fit? Can we get that fit? If we do, can we make a run at it. That’s how it’s always felt like for me.
“The best day was when George McPhee came down and said “Listen we wanted a second-line center and we got Sergei Fedorov.”
How were you fired in Washington? (Via Mike Russo at The Athletic)
Bruce Boudreau: “With George (McPhee) in Washington, I was on my way to work, he phoned and said, ‘Can you come by the house?’ What he didn’t realize is I was five minutes away. So when I got there, he answered the door in his pajamas. He said, ‘Can you wait in my office? I’ll be right down.’ He put a suit on, and then he told me. And with George, it was different. He fired me, but then he hugged me and he said, ‘I’m going to miss you.’ There was a genuine connection there, which is why I still really like him.”
Headline photo courtesy of the Minnesota Wild
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