On Friday afternoon, the Vancouver Canucks announced that Bruce Boudreaux will return as the team’s head coach for the 2022-23 season.
Bruce, here’s the cheers going for another season, and questions about the coach’s future in Vancouver set aside.
Boudreaux met the media on a Zoom phone call from a golf cart as he had just finished his second round of the year.
– David Quadrelli (@QuadreIli) May 14, 2022
Boudreaux began the close-up call by answering questions about the future of his coaching staff. Boudreaux brought Scott Walker with him to join Brad Shaw, Jason King and Kyle Gustafson to complete his squad last season.
He was asked about the future of his current assistants and if he had an idea of who would be next to him on the bench next season.
“Right now, Patrick and Jim, mostly Patrick, are reviewing everyone,” Boudreaux said. “I’m sure that’s where it all stands. We’re all in review mode. I’ve been kind of out of the loop for the past two weeks. So, it’s all coming to me today. For now, I think the best thing to say is all Something and everyone is under review. It started with me. I’m back and we’ll move on to other people.”
With a full season in place, management will be able to assess what worked at Boudreau last season and whether changes were needed before the 2022-23 season.
The conversation turned to analytics as Boudreau spoke about his engagement with Aiden Fox and his desire to be more involved in working with and understanding how advanced statistics, situational trends, and other bits of data can help him in the coming years.
“I want to get better at analytics,” Boudreaux said. “I want to know her more and understand her more. So, I will deal with Aiden [Fox] Much more in the summer and fall than I did last year. This is something I really want to move on.”
As we remember, Rutherford said, “Our exit isn’t good. It’s probably one of the worst in the league.” Boudreau was asked about Jim Rutherford’s comments on team structure and area exits.
“What Jim [Rutherford] I was talking about it probably that I wasn’t paying close attention to all of this stuff as I should, and we’re going to get better at it,” Boudreaux said. “My focus was all on the gains and losses and how they affected us. I’d probably use different terms for “exits and inlets” and all that stuff, but I’ll pay more attention. I will study these things during the summer. I will know exactly what we are talking about and I will correct it. Whatever that problem is, it will be corrected.”
Rutherford’s comments about the Hulk and area exits led many people to conclude that Canucks was somewhat unhappy with Boudreaux as coach. Boudreau stated early in availability that there were personal reasons why he chose not to return to the Canucks. He talked about his 90-year-old mom making sure she’d be okay in Ontario as well as dealing with the junior team in Coon Rapids, Minnesota that he’s part-owner.
“I knew I was keeping the Canucks waiting and I don’t like doing that.”
– Bruce Boudreaux on arranging some personal things before making the final decision last night
– 𝗖𝗵 Editer Faber 🔥🎙 (@ChrisFaber39) May 14, 2022
There has been a lot of talk about building on the momentum the team created during the last 57 games of the 2021-22 season. Boudreau learned a lot about the players on the roster and was impressed with the quality players playing.
“I didn’t know much about any of the guys. So I mean, a lot of guys shocked me. When you’re in the East, you can’t see how good these guys are, or how great the people are. I knew everyone was talking about Demko being a good goalkeeper but I didn’t I realize he was as good as him. I didn’t realize that Queen Hughes was as good as him and able to do what he can do. JT Miller, Elias Pettersson, Bo Horvat – these are the guys you can make teams with and that excites me.”
When it comes to being a coach without a contract next season, the 67-year-old has no worries. He has been in this game long enough to feel confident in his current role and has stated that a two-year deal is what was agreed upon and that he is not worried about anything next season.
“I have no fear of going in with Year One. I don’t feel like a lame duck. I feel like I’ve got management’s support and we’ll go ahead and do our best going forward. I won’t worry about anything other than the team, and contracts won’t appear at all during the year.”
As for the summer, Boudreaux plans to help build a team when management requires him to but knows that his role is to coach the team he has been assigned. He expects to see every player come into camp in good shape and will work hard so that the team doesn’t shy away from what they built in the second half of the last season.
“We’ll come up with a great plan [together] For the summer the players will come in perfect condition. I can tell you that. I’ve been doing this for a long time and one of the things they will know is that [my] Training camps are not easy. I might be a little old school and all that. But I mean when you’re in Vancouver where you’re going to lose about 12 to 15 more training days a year traveling than other teams – you have to be in shape. The training camp is where you get to be in good shape and hopefully we can be the best adapted team in the league.”
“Bruce, over there!” Chant fills the arena!
Safe to say, Canucks fans are impressed with what they see from the Bruce Boudreau team that coaches him.
– CanucksArmy (@CanucksArmy) December 7, 2021
Now that Boudreaux has been installed as coach for next season, the Canucks management is not under pressure to assess players and contract positions. Brock Boeser is a restricted free agent and needs a contract before next season. We are also less than two months away from the 2022 draft where the Canucks will pick 15th overall in the first round.
Retaining their coach for the 2022-23 season was the first sign of the Canucks’ checklist off season, and they can now move on to building an improved roster so Boudreaux is given every opportunity to enter his team into next season’s playoffs.