Well Bruce Boudreau didn’t spend much time in the unemployment line after being jettisoned Monday as the Washington Capitals’ coach.
The coach who holds the NHL record for notching 200 wins the soonest is also the soonest to be re-hired. He was on a jet to the Anaheim Ducks faster than he could pack up his office and autographed momento of Alexander Ovechkin’s 65-goal season in 2008. “To Gabby, You’re the best coach ever. Thanks for letting me just be me and score goals. Don’t ever change. Love, Ovie.”
Ah, memories. Well things change, sometimes really fast.
Fresh off his Washington firing, Boudreau now finds himself with having to rehabilitate the plummeting fortunes of the 7-13-4 Anaheim Ducks, the 2007 Cup champs now reduced to bottom feeders in the West.
The casual fan may do a double-take as they look behind the Ducks’ bench and see one former chubby, balding middle-aged white guy replaced with another chubby, balding, middle-aged white guy. Only this one has more charm.
Boudreau replaces curmudgeonly, hard-assed Randy Carlyle whose no-fun approach had worn a little thin. Perhaps Carlyle could apply to be an assistant to Brent Sutter in Calgary. Wouldn’t that be a barrel of laughs for the Flames. At least that’s one way of getting Iginla to waive his no-trade clause.
Carlyle’s presence is even rumoured to be the source of star Bobby Ryan’s displeasure who apparently gave the Ducks an “either he goes or I go” ultimatum that was the principal reason that a Ryan trade was floated out there this week.
But it’s funny how the NHL musical chairs of coaching works.
Just days earlier, it was Caps’ GM George McPhee saying the players were no longer responding to Boudreau but is received gratefully in Anaheim in record time for his “leadership” and “great track record.” Guess the Ducks’ GM didn’t count the last six or so weeks.
Guess it depends which day of the week it is as to which players are/are not responding to which coach. It’s a bit confusing to tell you the truth. But the Ducks are convinced Bruce is the man — for now. Players will be paying close attention to him just because he isn’t Randy Carlyle. And if they continue to lose, so be it. It just might be that it’s more fun losing with Boudreau than winning with Carlyle.
We’ll check back in a couple of months.