The Minnesota Wild have hired former Anaheim Ducks coach Bruce Boudreau, making him the fourth full-time head coach in franchise history.
The Wild and Boudreau have agreed to terms on a four-year contract, the team announced Saturday night. The deal is reported to be $11.6 million over the term, according to Travis Yost. If true, that would be around $2 million more than owner Craig Leipold has ever paid a head coach in Minnesota.
— Minnesota Wild (@mnwild) May 8, 2016
Ottawa interviewed Boudreau on Friday, and they were long considered the favorite to land the coach who hit 400 wins faster than any coach in NHL history. That is in part because he has family in the Ottawa area.
However, Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman reports that Minnesota “stepped up after Boudreau visit to [Ottawa] yesterday.” It’s believed that they upped their offer and were willing to go with the four-year term. Bruce Garrioch reports that Ottawa was not willing to assent the term Boudreau was looking for.
Other factors that may have played into Boudreau’s decision, according to reports, was that the Wild ownership is willing to spend on the team, they have an analytics department in place and that they have more consistently been appearing in the postseason than other teams competing for Boudreau’s services.
Boudreau was fired by the Anaheim Ducks after they were eliminated in the opening round of the playoffs by the Nashville Predators. He had one year remaining on his contract with Anaheim. They will be off the hook for that year with Boudreau inking a new deal.
He has a career record of 409-192-80 between the Ducks and Washington Capitals. That gives him the best winning percentage among all active coaches (.659).
The Wild have been searching for a coach, reportedly interviewing interim head coach John Torchetti, as well as Guy Boucher and Marc Crawford. Boucher and Crawford, as well as former Minnesota Wild head coach Mike Yeo, Kevin Dineen and Randy Carlyle have all interviewed in Ottawa as well.
Boudreau was unemployed for eight days, slightly longer than the two days he was without a coaching gig between losing his job in Washington and being hired in Anaheim.
This post has been updated from when it was originally posted.
Dustin Nelson writes about news and the Minnesota Wild for The Hockey Writers.