Fired by the Ducks, Bruce Boudreau may not be out of coaching for very long – Los Angeles Times

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Bruce Boudreau allowed himself all of a couple of hours to decompress following his firing as Ducks coach. He grabbed his golf clubs and hit the links, but barely long enough to ponder his second shots.

“I didn’t even keep score,” Boudreau said. “I just hit the ball and relaxed.”

Since then? It’s been a blur. Boudreau has nearly lost his voice from many phone conversations as he attempts to get a third shot as an NHL head coach, after stops in Washington and Anaheim.

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“Everybody and their brother’s been phoning,” Boudreau said Tuesday with a hoarse voice, six days after his team was eliminated in the first round by Nashville. “It’s been pretty hectic. … You’re [also] thinking, I’ve got to get movers. I’ve got to move.”


Call it falling up. Boudreau is the hottest coaching commodity on the market following yet another postseason flop — a fourth straight Game 7 loss at home with the Ducks.

Boudreau, whose previous unemployed stint lasted 48 hours, wouldn’t talk about the teams in pursuit but the Minnesota Wild and Ottawa Senators have been given permission to contact him. The list of coaching vacancies also grew Tuesday when the Calgary Flames fired Bob Hartley.

Boudreau had one year remaining on his Ducks contract. How he would have been able to fulfill that final season is a point of conjecture after five years in Anaheim. Boudreau said he thought it was Stanley Cup or bust after General Manager Bob Murray needed to re-evaluate Boudreau and his staff following a Game 7 loss to the Chicago Blackhawks in last season’s Western Conference finals.

“I thought all year, I guess we’ve got to win the Cup,” Boudreau said.

Murray said it had to do with the string of similar playoff endings. The Ducks lost a 3-2 series lead for the fourth straight season.

Center Ryan Getzlaf said the bar was set high for Boudreau following last season.

“When you’re talking about winning the division and going into the playoffs and everybody is saying it’s ‘Stanley Cup or you’re fired’ is not an easy situation,” Getzlaf said.

“As players, we’re not immune to reading those things and seeing those things. The expectation was kind of there, so to speak, at the end of the year. I think we kind of figured Bob was going to make a move after all that.”

Players said last week that Boudreau took the fall for their underachievement, and he appreciated the sentiment.

“That’s going to be the toughest thing is leaving a great group of people,” Boudreau said.

“I certainly understand this business. There have been an awful lot of better coaches that have been fired. You’d like to stay in the same place for 40 years but that doesn’t happen.”

Despite his playoff history — 1-7 in Game 7s — Boudreau has an impressive resume. He has won 409 regular-season games and eight division titles in a nine-year coaching career. He has 41 playoff wins and was the 2008 winner of the Jack Adams Award as coach of the year.

Boudreau also was seen as a personable coach with players young and older.

Murray, who is in the preliminary stages of a coaching search, could go the opposite way — with a coach perceived to be tougher on players.

Do the Ducks need that?

“I don’t know,” Corey Perry said last week. “Possibly. We’re probably going to have talks with Bob and kind of the direction of where we want to go with it. Ultimately it’s his decision. Whatever he thinks fits, it’s going to fit and it has to fit, because it’s going to be our new coach.”

Follow Curtis Zupke on Twitter @CurtisZupke

Fired by the Ducks, Bruce Boudreau may not be out of coaching for very long – Los Angeles Times