Bruce Boudreau, the 2008 Jack Adams Award winner as NHL Coach of the Year, will join the NHL Network as an analyst for the remainder of the Stanley Cup Playoffs. Boudreau’s debut will be alongside Jamie Hersch and Ken Daneyko tonight.
Boudreau’s Gift of Gab
It wouldn’t be out of the question for the NHL Network to use a seven second delay. The 13-season coaching veteran who has the nickname “Gabby” is not one to hold back his opinion and will undoubtedly add some rather colorful commentary. His free-flowing narrative and personal takes will infuse the network with character as well as insightful takes.
While Boudreau doesn’t have the non sequiturs, abundance of useless trivia, and awkward presence of NBC’s Pierre McGuire or Mike Milbury, he brings a lot to the table. He’s as genuine as they come. And he doesn’t have an off switch. The stocky, vociferous hockey man is a student of the game and has a wicked sense of humor.
Boudreau has spent time behind the bench for the Washington Capitals (2007-2011), Anaheim Ducks (2011-2016) and Minnesota Wild (2016-2020). His impressive 567-302-115 (.635) record is the third-best regular season points percentage in NHL history. He also has eight division-winning seasons and has overseen 90 playoff games as coach.
Boudreau was at the helm in Washington, transforming a prospect-rich team into an offensive juggernaut. In four seasons as head coach, he amassed a 201-88-40 record, but failed to see that success translate into the playoffs. The Capitals failed to get past the second round of the playoffs, often falling to the Pittsburgh Penguins. He was let go early during the 2011-12 season.
Boudreau doesn’t just have experience as a bench boss, he’s also skated in 141 regular season NHL games for the Toronto Maple Leafs and Chicago Blackhawks during the late 1970s and early 80s. He was a third-round pick by the Leafs in 1975.
Boudreau’s Next Gig
Since getting the axe in Minnesota, he elected to have knee replacement surgery and has been recuperating during the pandemic quarantine. He was also a guest panelist for Sportsnet at this past trade deadline.
Though Boudreau told Zach Parise and Ryan Suter that his last coaching gig would be for the Wild, that’ll likely be his own decision. Several teams could scoop him up after this season is over. He’s a proven winner, full of personality and still has the dream to win the Stanley Cup.
Hockey is in Boudreau’s blood. At 65 years old, he’s never gone two weeks without having a job in the game, so this stretch has been tough on him. Fortunately, for him and for fans of the game, he’ll be back. Even if it’s only in the booth.
Jeff has been covering the NHL for over a decade for various sites. He’s been with The Hockey Writers as a lead Sabres writer three years, while also writing a satire column called “Off the Crossbar.”