The Vancouver Canucks are really bad this season. With a 17-22-3 record, Vancouver is tied for sixth in the Pacific Division, behind only San Jose and Anaheim. Their big weakness is the penalty kill, with a 66.1 percent kill rate that is last in the league.
So you can certainly understand why the team would want to make changes, especially with the head coach Bruce Boudreau. Boudreau’s dismissal appears to have been decided, but the team will keep him in coaching limbo for a few more weeks.
On a radio show Saturday, reporter Rick Dhaliwal suggested Boudreau won’t be traded until late January.
“A lot of people listen during the month,” Dhaliwal said. “I heard Rick TocchetLast weekend his name and they talk to him [. . . ] Most people in the industry that you talk to think in two, three weeks. It’s their decision.”
There was no mention of a possible temporary coach.
Tocchett, a former NHL player, previously coached Tampa and Arizona. He’s currently a studio analyst for TNT, which could mean Boudreau could stick around for a few more weeks.
“Somebody told me they had to give four weeks’ notice to TNT or something,” Dhaliwal said. “It’s a process. It takes time.”
After Vancouver’s 4-3 loss to Florida on Saturday night, Boudreau audibly grunted when asked about his job. It seems both bleak and boring at the same time, Boudreau said. “I wake up every day and go to work until they tell me not to.”
Assuming no one is fired in the next few weeks, Boudreau will become the first NHL coach to be fired this season.
Boudreau is in the second year of a two-year deal, a fact that may have initially come as a surprise to general manager Jim Rutherford, who joined the team a year ago. “I understood that he was going to sign a contract with only one [2021-22]Rutherford told CBC’s After Hours in October. “He’s signed for two years really and he still has his contract. Not that we extended him for a year, but that we lived by his contract.”
Prior to Vancouver, Boudreau spent four years in Minnesota, five years with Anaheim and five years in Washington. His teams haven’t made the playoffs since 2018. Boudreau also co-owns the Hershey Cubs with his wife Crystal.
Header photo: NHL.com