Vancouver Canucks coach Bruce Boudreau became emotional on Friday when asked about rumors that he may soon be fired.
“I’d be a fool not to say that I don’t know what’s going on,” Boudreau said as tears welled in his eyes. “But … you come to work and you realize, you know how great the game is.”
Boudreau’s job security has been in question since the Canucks (18-23-3) got off to an 0-5-2 start. Vancouver was sixth in the Pacific Division, 12 points out of a playoff spot, entering Friday’s home game against Colorado.
The 68-year-old Boudreau, who previously coached the Washington Capitals, Anaheim Ducks and Minnesota Wild, was hired on Dec. 6, 2021 to replace Travis Green. Vancouver began last season 8-15-2 under Green but went 32-15-10 under Boudreau, missing the playoffs by five points.
The success has not carried over to this season. The Canucks are allowing 3.96 goals per game and their penalty kill has a league-worst 66.9% success rate.
Jim Rutherford, the team’s president of hockey operations, told reporters on Monday that he’s had conversations over the last few months about bringing in a new coach.
“Bruce is our coach right now,” Rutherford said.
Asked Friday what it means to be a head coach in the NHL, Boudreau said, “I’ll talk later,” turning away from reporters.
Earlier, Boudreau said he’s been trying to block out the noise.
“It’s tough not to feel it,” he said. “But, look — you love it, you want to go do it. So that’s the way I shut it out, just basically realizing how much you care about the game and the players and all that goes on.”
The Associated Press