Bruce Boudreau Reportedly Fired as Wild Head Coach After 3-Plus Seasons

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured ColumnistFebruary 14, 2020

Minnesota Wild head coach Bruce Boudreau watches his team play against the Florida Panthers during the third period of an NHL hockey game Thursday, Dec. 13, 2018, in St. Paul, Minn. The Wild won 5-1. (AP Photo/Hannah Foslien)
Hannah Foslien/Associated Press

The Minnesota Wild fired head coach Bruce Boudreau on Friday, according to Elliotte Friedman of Sportsnet and Michael Russo of The Athletic.

Russo also reported that Minnesota will name assistant coach Dean Evason the interim head coach until a long-term replacement is found.

Boudreau was head coach of the Wild for parts of four seasons. He went 158-110-35 overall and led them to the playoffs twice. Minnesota is 27-23-7 this season, which leaves it three points out of a playoff spot.

The 65-year-old Boudreau has been an NHL head coach since the Washington Capitals named him to the position in 2007-08. Boudreau went 201-88-40 in parts of five seasons with the Caps and then 208-104-40 in parts of five seasons with the Anaheim Ducks.

In 13 seasons as an NHL head coach, Boudreau is 567-302-115 (.635 points percentage) and he has led his team to the playoffs on 10 occasions.

The biggest knock against Boudreau is the fact that his teams have gotten ousted in the first round of the playoffs six times, and he has made it as far as the Conference Finals only once. Boudreau has never led a team to the Stanley Cup Final, either.

Despite his playoff shortcomings, TSN's Travis Yost is among those who believe Boudreau should land on his feet quickly:

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With eight NHL head coaching changes already being made this season, however, TSN's Pierre LeBrun noted that Boudreau will have some competition when it comes to landing a new job:

While the Wild missed the playoffs last season and are out of playoff position currently, the timing of Boudreau's firing was somewhat surprising since Minnesota is 4-1-1 in its past six games.

Boudreau's last game as head coach of the Wild was Thursday night, which saw the New York Rangers beat the wild 4-3 in a shootout.

Friedman suggested that former NHL star Doug Weight could be a name to watch in the Wild's search for Boudreau's replacement. Weight was head coach of the New York Islanders for parts of two seasons in 2016-17 and 2017-18. He went 59-49-14 and never managed to reach the playoffs.

Weight would be a logical fit in Minnesota since he and Wild general manager Bill Guerin were teammates many times during their NHL careers with the Edmonton Oilers, St. Louis Blues and Islanders.