Bruce Boudreau fired as Anaheim Ducks Head Coach, Will Draw Ottawa Senators' Interest
The Sens are looking for a new coach, and Boudreau's the biggest name out there
After losing his fourth consecutive Game 7 as coach of the Anaheim Ducks, Bruce Boudreau has been relieved of his duties. It's hardly surprising, as the Ducks had faltered out of the gate this year, but Boudreau turned the team around to win their division for the fourth-straight division title. However, it was always assumed that he'd have to go deep in the playoffs to keep his job. With the Blackhawks and Kings eliminated in the first round this year, Anaheim had a good chance to go deep, and instead his team lost to the Nashville Predators.
Boudreau is an interesting case, in that he holds the second-highest career winning percentage of anyone to coach at least 100 games in the NHL. He's been championed as one of the best coaches in the NHL. And yet, he's gone 1-7 in Game 7s with two stacked teams in the Ovechkin-led Capitals and the Getzlaf/Perry-led Ducks. For a guy with so much regular season success (his team has won the division EVERY FULL SEASON he's coached!), his teams just can't seem to get it done in the playoffs.
So should the Sens be interested in him? Absolutely! Names being thrown around for experienced coaches include Mike Yeo, Marc Crawford, Guy Boucher, and more recently Kevin Dineen. Boudreau has the most experience and the best track record of any of these names by far. There would be other problems to fix in Ottawa besides improving on last year's coaching, but Boudreau would instantly make the Sens a much stronger team.
Will Ottawa be able to land him? It's hard to say. A few sites have listed the Sens as an option, including Elliotte Friedman's latest 30 Thoughts. There are two issues I see. One, he'll be expensive. Eugene Melnyk doesn't seem too enthused about opening up the wallet for a new coach. And two, he'll have other offers. The Sens seems like a bit of a mess right now (though coaching likely had something to do with that). We already know the Wild are looking for a new coach. But some teams may suddenly decide to fire their coach in order to hire Boudreau now that he's available. Keep in mind that Boudreau was hired by the Ducks two days after he was fired by the Caps. The Ducks fired Randy Carlyle so they could hire Gabby, and I wouldn't be surprised to see another team do this.
In the end, I think Boudreau will be at the top of GM Pierre Dorion's list. The question is whether he'll be at the top of Melnyk's, and whether the Sens are at the top of Boudreau's.