Ducks Sign Boudreau to Two-Year Extension
“Since joining the organization last November, Bruce has done an outstanding job with the team,” said Executive Vice President/General Manager Bob Murray. “He’s committed to us and determined to lead us back to the playoffs.”
Boudreau, 57 (1/9/55), was named the eighth head coach in team history on Nov. 30, 2011 and led the Ducks to a 27-23-8 record in 58 games last season, including a 24-15-6 mark in 2012 that ranked fifth in the Western Conference. All-time, Boudreau has compiled a 228-111-48 record in 387 career NHL games with Anaheim and Washington for a .651 win percentage. Since making his debut as a head coach with Washington on Nov. 23, 2007, Boudreau is tied with Detroit’s Mike Babcock for the most standings points earned (504), while ranking second in wins (228, one behind Babcock).
“I’m really happy about this,” said Boudreau. “I’m convinced we have a great core of players and a bright future, and I’m excited to be part of it.”
As head coach of the Washington Capitals (2007-11), Boudreau won the 2007-08 Jack Adams Award (NHL Coach of the Year) and led his club to the 2009-10 Presidents’ Trophy as the NHL’s top club in the regular season. He posted a record of 201-88-40 (.672 winning percentage) with the Capitals and won the Southeast Division four times. Boudreau became the fastest coach in modern-day NHL history to win 200 games (Nov. 21, 2011 vs. Phoenix) and recorded more wins (184) in his first 300 NHL games than any NHL coach all time.
Before joining the Capitals, Boudreau spent nine seasons as an AHL head coach, including a Calder Cup championship with the Hershey Bears in 2006. He spent four years with Manchester (Los Angeles) and two with Lowell (Los Angeles) before joining Hershey (Washington). He compiled a 103-45-27 record with the Bears, including an AHL-best 51-17-12 in 2006-07. Boudreau began his coaching career in the Colonial Hockey League with Muskegon in 1992-93 and was named the International Hockey League Coach of the Year in 1993-94 with Fort Wayne. He also served as head coach and director of hockey operations for Mississippi (ECHL), where he won the 1999 Kelly Cup championship.
Boudreau played parts of eight NHL seasons with the Toronto Maple Leafs and Chicago Blackhawks between 1976-86, recording 28-42=70 points in 141 career games. A native of Toronto, Ontario, Boudreau was originally selected by the Maple Leafs in the third round of the 1975 NHL Entry Draft. As a Canadian junior playing for the Toronto Marlboros in 1974-75, he scored 68-97=165 points, a Canadian Hockey League record until Wayne Gretzky surpassed the mark during the 1977-78 season. Boudreau also ranks 11th all-time in scoring in AHL history with 316 goals and 799 points. No AHL player in the 1980s notched more points than Boudreau. He won the 1987-88 John B. Sollenberger Trophy for leading the league in scoring, and was also a member of the 1992 Calder Cup champion Adirondack Red Wings.
Back at his home in Washington, DC, Boudreau spoke to reporters this afternoon via a conference call. The following is a transcript:
On the contract getting finalized
We’ve been talking for a while. At the same time, it took 10 minutes. We finally got to the same place at the same time. Bob was off to the World Championships and I was in Anaheim. When he came home, I came (back to Washington, DC). We finally met in Toronto last week for 15 minutes. We saw an AHL game together and just chatted. We both have the same vision and are on the same page. It seemed like a really good idea. For me, I just think this team is just starting where we want to go. I look at the playoffs this year. If we had started a little bit earlier, anything could have happened. We competed with all the teams that are in it, touch and nail. It would have been interesting and it will be interesting come next year.
On if he was told about the summer plans
We didn’t really delve into that. It’s out there. We all know of the potentials of things to happen. We more concentrated on our team and the things that I can control as a hockey coach and that he can control as a GM. We sort of left that for the powers that be.
On last season’s stretch run
If you look at all the teams and you look at what is going even now, it’s really difficult to play at the pace you have to play at all year. We started to play well in January, but we were so far behind the eight ball. To keep that pace up, it was really difficult. That is why you have to start from the beginning. It’s a marathon season. Los Angeles, they were not in our position. They were always in the mix. Even they were just playing .500 until the last 10 games of the season when they caught fire. Dallas had that 12-game win streak, but it was too early. They couldn’t contain it or keep it up. I could go through a lot of teams that had that. It’s a tough thing to do with the parity. You look at the playoffs and what teams are in right now, it’s not always the No. 1 seeds that are in. That is what makes the NHL so entertaining.
On the importance of getting the extension done now
For family-sake, it’s always important. You’re going in knowing you have a little bit of security. As a coach, that doesn’t necessarily mean a lot because you put enough pressure on yourself to win all the time. At the same time, the players know that this guy isn’t in here as just a lame duck. He has time here and they believe in him. We better pay attention to this guy. It’s not him who is going to be the scapegoat this time. It’s always great that the GM and the ownership have that much faith in you. It’s my job to justify it.
On transitioning to living in California
I’m back in DC now, but it certainly is nice waking up every morning and the weather is always pretty fine. It was a lot nicer and easier than I thought. Being an East Coast guy pretty well my whole life, I didn’t know what it would be like. I thought the people were tremendous. I thought it was an awful lot easier to come to work every day than I thought it would be. I thought with the temperature and everything, ‘How do they do it out there?’ When you are a hockey player and you have hockey on your mind, it’s pretty easy to get excited and come to work whether it’s a beautiful day out or it’s snowing.
On working in the media during the playoffs
The guys at CBC were really good. It was like all softballs. They were professionals, especially Ron Maclean. He’s been doing it for 20 years and he has to put up with Don Cherry.
I was astonished with how quick you have to be, especially when I was doing ESPN. When you are doing the highlights, you can only talk during those highlights and it goes so fast. I was amazed at how quick everything goes. It was interesting to see how it was done. I’m glad that is not my day job.
On the Western Conference Finals
I think it’s going to be a tremendous Final. As much as I didn’t really want to do it, I picked LA to win the West. I thought they were the toughest team we played, especially coming down the stretch when teams had to win. For years, I have liked Jonathan Quick. He’s a tremendous goaltender. I have had Dustin Brown and always have loved what he’s done. Who knows with Mike Smith? When we played him the last time and he beat us, I think it was 3-0, he was incredible. I texted (Coyotes Assistant Coach) John Anderson after that game and said if you’re goalie can play like this, you can win it all. They have taken that to heart. I wouldn’t put anything by either team. Whatever it is, a new team is going to be in the Stanley Cup Final for the first time in a long time. I think that is great for hockey.
On the Kings
I don’t know yet. I’m happy in the sense that I think it will grow hockey in Southern California, with the attention. To me, it’s really important for the growth of the game. I have to be honest, I don’t think I’m going to sit here and say I hope they win. It all depends on who their opponent would be by the way. I guess my feelings are going to be a day-to-day thing. It’s going to be motivation for us if they do win. Is it going to make the rivalry more intense because now we would have won one and they would have won one in the last six years? It would have been two California teams winning the Cup since 2007. There is a lot to be said about that for our state and the two teams in general. They haven’t won theirs yet, so they still have a ways to go. The way they played the first two series, it’s not out of the realm.