Eight days. It took a total of eight days for Bruce Boudreau to find his next NHL coaching gig after his firing from the Anaheim Ducks.
The Minnesota Wild announced Saturday evening that they’ve agreed to terms with Boudreau to become the club’s new bench boss. No terms of the contract have been released, but TSN’s Bob McKenzie reported that the contract is expected to be a four-year deal worth a reported $12 million. Boudreau’s hiring will end the tenure of interim coach John Torchetti, who took over behind the Wild bench on Feb. 13. According to the Minneapolis Star-Tribune’s Michael Russo, Boudreau will be introduced as the coach on Tuesday.
Under Torchetti, the Wild went 15-11-1, but stumbled into the post-season. Minnesota lost their final five games before the playoffs and their stay in the post-season didn’t last long, losing in six games to the Central Division champion Dallas Stars.
Landing in Minnesota, Boudreau, 61, will be expected to help lead a Wild team that hasn’t advanced past the second round of the post-season since the 2002-03 campaign and haven’t finished higher than fourth in the Central Division over the past three seasons to some sustained success. Minnesota has many of the pieces in place to be a competitive team and cornerstone players in winger Zach Parise and defenseman Ryan Suter, as well as promising young talent such as Charlie Coyle, Nino Niederreiter and Matt Dumba.
If there’s any coach that could make an immediate impact in Minnesota, too, it’s Boudreau. Over his 10 seasons coaching, Boudreau has won eight division titles and was the fastest coach in NHL history to 400 victories. Not only that, but Boudreau has had success at just about every level he’s coached. Boudreau won an ECHL championship in 1998-99 with the Mississippi Sea Wolves and an AHL title in 2005-06 with the Hershey Bears. The Stanley Cup, however, has eluded Boudreau.
Boudreau was reportedly in discussion to be the coach of the Wild and Ottawa Senators, but it was reported Minnesota made a final push to sign the coach following Boudreau’s visit to Canada’s capital. Following Boudreau’s firing by the Ducks, Wild GM Chuck Fletcher reportedly went to California to visit with the former Anaheim bench boss.
With Boudreau’s hiring in Minnesota, the Anaheim Ducks, Calgary Flames and Ottawa Senators are teams who currently have coaching vacancies.