Tuesday, January 31, 2023

Canucks fire head coach Bruce Boudreau, hire Rick Tocchet


VANCOUVER — After weeks of hypothesis, the struggling Vancouver Canucks have fired head coach Bruce Boudreau.

The Canucks introduced the transfer on Sunday, saying in a launch that the 68-year-old veteran NHL coach has been changed by Rick Tocchet, former head coach of the Tampa Bay Lightning and Arizona Coyotes.

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“Rick Tocchet brings a wealth of data to this group from each a coach and participant perspective,” basic supervisor Patrik Allvin mentioned in an announcement. “He has had greater than 20 years of teaching expertise, guiding groups of varied types. As a participant, he displayed a excessive stage of character, grit and depth, whereas recording spectacular offensive numbers.”

Assistant coach Trent Cull was additionally let go.

The group has added Adam Foote as an assistant coach and Sergei Gonchar as a defensive improvement coach.

“Each people loved lengthy, profitable enjoying careers as NHL defencemen and collectively present a variety of experience on each side of the puck,” Allvin mentioned.

“Tocchet, Foote, and Gonchar all convey a championship pedigree to the group and we sit up for welcoming them to Vancouver.”

The adjustments comes after the Edmonton Oilers handed Vancouver a 4-2 defeat Saturday, marking the Canucks’ third loss in a row and their ninth within the final 10 video games.

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Vancouver (18-25-3) has given up multi-goal leads in eight losses this season and sits sixth within the Pacific Division, 14 factors out of a playoff spot.

Boudreau was employed on Dec. 6, 2021, changing former head coach Travis Inexperienced. Underneath Boudreau’s steering, Vancouver went 32-15-10 to shut out the marketing campaign and missed the post-season by 5 factors.

The 68-year-old Boudreau holds a 617-342-128 teaching document over 15 seasons.

Speak has lengthy swirled that the Canucks had been planning to make a training change, and the coach took a while after Saturday’s loss to face on the bench and applaud the group as they chanted “Bruce, there it’s!” to the tune of Tag Staff’s “Whoomp! (There it’s)”.

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“I simply needed to savour wanting on the stands as a result of who is aware of if I’m ever going to get this opportunity once more,” he mentioned. “And simply maintain that in my thoughts and the reminiscence, let it burn there eternally.”

Canucks defenceman Luke Schenn mentioned gamers continued to compete for Boudreau regardless of an abundance of outdoor noise and a disappointing string of outcomes.

“Clearly, we really feel like we let him down within the room. He deserves higher. I believe that’s on us as gamers,” he mentioned. “I’ve performed clearly a very long time and I’ve gone by, I don’t know, a handful of teaching adjustments. And a number of time you do want a shake up and generally coaches do lose the room and I don’t assume this was the case right here.

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“Guys get pleasure from enjoying for Bruce and on this room, we really feel like we let him down. We needed to proceed to attempt to do higher for him and sadly, simply too many losses pile up.”

After final season’s success, expectations for the Canucks had been excessive heading into the 2022-23 marketing campaign.

“Not making the playoffs could be a catastrophe for us,” Boudreau mentioned forward of coaching camp.

“However to make the playoffs we’ve got to do higher and be extra constant over 82 video games, not simply 56 video games or regardless of the quantity was. ? I might name it a failure if we didn’t achieve our targets this yr.”

The Canucks misplaced their first seven video games of the season and made historical past by changing into the primary NHL group to lose its first 4 outings whereas giving up multi-point leads in every.

Whereas Vancouver constantly discovered methods to attain, the group additionally given up a mean of three.96 targets per recreation. The Canucks’ penalty kill has been a legal responsibility, working at league-worst 65.9 per cent.

Boudreau mentioned the group always works on defending in apply.

“That’s all we actually work,” he mentioned after a 5-4 loss to Vegas in November. “We don’t work on an excessive amount of offence as a result of we’re scoring sufficient targets however we work on defending. And that clearly nonetheless wants extra work.”

In late October, Allvin instructed reporters Boudreau nonetheless had his help, however weeks later, Jim Rutherford, the group’s president of hockey operations, publicly criticized the group’s efficiency.

“If we had been enjoying in an actual sturdy construction, it might make it simpler for our defence to play,” he instructed a Vancouver radio station on Nov. 7. “And it wouldn’t matter who was on our defence. However proper now, we don’t have that sturdy construction, and we have to change the make-up of our defence.”

Vancouver employed Boudreau earlier than both Rutherford or Allvin took their roles in Vancouver.

The coach mentioned Saturday that he believed his tenure was over after “sure issues had been mentioned” in November.

“And it wasn’t. We stored going. We stored going,” Boudreau mentioned. This final stretch was fairly powerful. The blokes gave it their all. I’m so happy with them.”

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A former centre for the Toronto Maple Leafs and the Chicago Blackhawks, Boudreau beforehand coached the Washington Capitals, Anaheim Geese and Minnesota Wild. He received the Jack Adams trophy because the league’s high bench boss in 2008.

Requested after the Canucks’ season-opening highway stretch how the prolonged skid was affecting him mentally, Boudreau mentioned shedding was nothing new.

“I’ve been by all this earlier than. You attempt to maintain a good keel,” he mentioned. “I attempt to not learn something (the media) writes, attempt to not watch an excessive amount of TV, aside from the sport itself, and simply form of keep in my very own little zone and simply do what we do to organize for the video games.

“And I’ve simply been by this so many occasions that I do know if we maintain doing the proper issues and keep upbeat about it that good issues find yourself at all times occurring.”

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