Fire Vancouver Canucks coach Bruce Boudreau hires Rick Tocchet as a replacement

Fire Vancouver Canucks coach Bruce Boudreau hires Rick Tocchet as a replacement

Bruce Boudreau has been fired as coach of the Vancouver Canucks, who are once again on track to miss the playoffs with another underachieving season.

The team announced the change Sunday, less than a week after president of hockey operations Jim Rutherford said “major surgery” was needed to fix the Canucks, who have only made the playoffs once. only in the last eight years. Rick Tocchet was hired as Boudreau’s replacement on a Vancouver team that lost 28 of 46 games this season.

“This was not an easy decision to make but one that we felt was necessary for this franchise,” general manager Patrik Allvin said in a statement thanking Boudreau for his contributions.

Boudreau addressed the crowd after the Canucks’ latest win on Saturday night, their third in four games. Chants of “Bruce, it is!” to the tune of “Woomp! (There It Is)” by Tag Team’s throughout the arena in tribute to the 68-year-old respected hockey lifer who is among the best regular season coaches in NHL history.

SEE | Boudreau congratulates the Vancouver crowd in the final game with the Canucks:

An emotional end to the game for Canucks head coach Bruce Boudreau an hour before the break

It looked like Bruce Boudreau would remain on the Canucks bench Saturday night after his team’s 4-2 loss to Edmonton. It would be his last game after he was stung by the team hours later.

He is the second Vancouver coach fired in less than 14 months. Boudreau took over in December 2021 when previous coach Travis Green and general manager Jim Benning were fired 25 games into last season.

Assistant Trent Cull was also relieved of his duties, the team said Sunday. Adam Foote was named assistant and Sergei Gonchar defensive development coach on Tocchet’s staff.

‘Wealth of knowledge’

Tocchet previously coached the Tampa Bay Lightning for parts of two seasons from 2008-10 and the Arizona Coyotes for four years from 2017-21. He won the Stanley Cup as a player with the Pittsburgh Penguins and then twice as an assistant for them.

“Rick Tocchet brings a wealth of knowledge to this team from both a coach and player perspective,” Allvin said. “He has more than twenty years of coaching experience, leading teams of different styles.”

The Canucks have missed the playoffs in the past two seasons since reaching the second round in the 2020 COVID-19 bubble.

Boudreau was with his fourth NHL organization after stints with Washington, Anaheim and Minnesota. He won the Jack Adams Award for coach of the year in 2007-08 when he was promoted from the minors to coach the Capitals on Thanksgiving and got them to the playoffs.

The teams Boudreau coached for a full season have reached the playoffs nine out of 10 times. His .626 hitting percentage ranks fourth among coaches with at least 500 games behind the bench, and his 617 wins is tied for 20th in league history.

But a struggling Canucks team didn’t give him much of a chance to keep that success going. Rutherford said in a news conference on Monday that there would be big changes to come in the offseason, citing the need to get the team younger.

They could happen before then, especially with captain Bo Horvat unsigned after this season and drawing attention before the March 3 trade deadline.

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