"It was funny because [general manager] Bill [Guerin] came in, and he shut the door, and as soon as he shut the door, I knew," Boudreau told Michael Russo of The Athletic. "You just know, right? And he says, 'I'm going to make a change,' and I instantly said, 'Are you firing me?!'—just like that. And he goes, 'Yes.' I said, 'Are you f--king kidding me?'"
Boudreau was in his fourth season with the Wild before being let go following a 27-23-7 start.
"It's not just one win, it's not just one loss," Guerin said in a release. "It's not one week. It's a series of things. In a decision like this it's never just one thing. I just felt like the timing was right."
Boudreau has spent 14 seasons as a head coach in the NHL, winning 567 games with the Wild, Washington Capitals and Anaheim Ducks. Though he was eventually fired in each of his three stops, the latest was the most surprising.
"I'll tell you what, I'm pretty sharp when it comes to these things," he said of being fired. "I may not be sharp in a lot of things, but with firings, I usually know. This one I didn't see coming."
The 65-year-old noted he kept his living situations temporary in Washington and Anaheim ahead of losing his jobs.
Of course, his family still expected to move on by the offseason.
"We knew [he'd be fired] at the end of the year, but at this point, we thought it would definitely be the end of the year," his wife, Crystal, said.
Boudreau was in the final year of his contract and didn't expect to be retained by Guerin, who joined the organization last August and would presumably hire his own coach. Assistant Dean Evason has been named the interim coach.
The Wild sit five points back for the final wild-card spot in the Western Conference with 24 games remaining in the 2019-20 regular season.