Former Capitals head coach Bruce Boudreau spoke with Washington early on during their coaching search, per The Athletic’s Tarik El-Bashir. Bruce and wife Crystal have moved back to the area as well. But, according to El-Bashir, Boudreau is not currently in the running for the Caps’ vacant head coaching job, “at least not at the moment”.
The Seattle Kraken need a head coach while Dallas, San Jose, and Calgary all currently have interim bench bosses. Boudreau is being linked to his beloved Toronto Maple Leafs as a possible assistant coach. The Leafs shed two of their assistants over the summer, Paul McFarland and Andrew Brewer.
In an interview on the ESPN On Ice podcast, Boudreau addressed all those rumors and revealed that he hopes he gets another shot as an NHL head coach sooner rather than later. Gabby was fired from his most recent position as head coach of the Minnesota Wild on Valentine’s Day by Minnesota Wild GM Bill Guerin. Now he’s serving as an analyst on NHL Network.
The Boudreau interview starts at the 11:02 mark
“I’ve really come to love the NHL,” Boudreau said. “I was happy for 30 years not being there, but once you get there, you [want to stay]. I love the people we deal with on a day-to-day basis and all about the hockey, the going home and knowing every player when you’re watching the other teams on TV. I love that aspect of it.
“I don’t want to end my [career] of being an NHL coach by being let go in February,” Boudreau added. “I’m pretty driven to do it again and get that opportunity that happens mostly every spring of winning a Cup. I dream about it on a constant basis. That being said, I want to get back to it. I’d love to be a head coach first. That’s what I’ve been every year except one as a head coach, but I want to coach in the NHL.”
But Boudreau was open to the Leafs’ assistant coach vacancies.
“I think the one thing about head coaches is they know what they want from assistant coaches,” Boudreau said. “So I think I could definitely fit that bill if that’s what I’m asked or whether I choose to go there which is another thing. I want to be back in the game. I don’t think I could sit on the couch and not be involved in hockey when you’ve been involved since you are five-years-old. That’s my goal.”
Gabby also inadvertently revealed that he could be the savior the Leafs need to end their Stanley Cup drought since 1967.
“I just remember my dad, this must have been 1983 now,” Boudreau said. “When the Leafs sent me down (to the minors) again, he says ‘that’s it they’re never going to win a Cup again until you’re back here full time.’ I’ve always remembered that because he never got angry and he was really angry. Not at me, but talking to me being angry. It just hit me and every time I see the Leafs bowing out of the playoffs the next year, I’m going to myself ‘uh oh, there’s my dad talking to them again, not letting them win.’ Then I went out and said that on-air a couple of days ago and now
it’s got some steam. My dad loved the Leafs, don’t get me wrong. He just loved me more.”
Boudreau joked that his mother Theresa, who still lives in Toronto and is in her late 80s, “hasn’t left the house in the last week” due to his comments.
"He said they'll never win a Stanley Cup until I come back"
Longtime head coach Bruce Boudreau gets to the bottom of why the #MapleLeafs haven't won a Stanley Cup since 1967 on #LeafsLunch with @AndiPetrillo and @CraigJButton: His father's curse. 😂 pic.twitter.com/vxXKH1lem8
— Leafs Lunch (@LeafsLunch1050) September 3, 2020
As for the Capitals’ opening at head coach, Boudreau said he thinks the team will hire a coach with a track record in the NHL.
“I think right now the way the league is going, I really believe it’s win-now so they’re looking at experienced coaches for the most part,” Boudreau said. “There are very few young guys coming in and if they’re young guys they’re getting an older assistant coach as a mentor. I’m not saying that from the Leafs situation, I’m looking at Jacques Martin going to the Rangers and I talked to one GM and he said they’re looking for experienced coaches because the league doesn’t want to take the time. They can mentor somebody while they’re there as a head coach but the trend is going for someone who’s been there and done that. That’s why I think there’s only one head coaching job out there and the talks of Laviolette and Babcock and Gerard Gallant and such because they’re all experienced and have done that. There are great coaches in college. There are great coaches in the American League coming up. But those are the names that appear to be everywhere right now. So that’s the trend that’s going with it.”
Boudreau added, “I hope that’s the trend that continues!”
Screenshot courtesy of the Wild
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