Canucks pick Rick Tocchet to replace fired coach Bruce Boudreau

Canucks pick Rick Tocchet to replace fired coach Bruce Boudreau in the middle of a DISASTER season when club president says team needs ‘major surgery’

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The Vancouver Canucks fired head coach Bruce Boudreau in the middle of another disappointing season and replaced him with veteran NHL player and coach Rick Tocchet.

The team announced the trade Sunday, less than a week since president of hockey operations Jim Rutherford said “major surgery” was needed to fix the Canucks, who only made the playoffs once in recent years. eight years. Vancouver has lost 28 of 46 games this season.

“This was not an easy decision to make, but we felt it was necessary for this franchise,” general manager Patrik Allvin said in a statement thanking Boudreau for his contributions.

Vancouver Canucks head coach Rick Tocchet, left, and general manager Patrik Allvin listen during a news conference after the NHL hockey team announced the hiring of Tocchet in Vancouver, British Columbia , Sunda.

Vancouver Canucks head coach Rick Tocchet, left, and general manager Patrik Allvin listen during a news conference after the NHL hockey team announced the hiring of Tocchet in Vancouver, British Columbia , Sunda.

The Vancouver Canucks fired head coach Bruce Boudreau in the middle of another disappointing season and replaced him with veteran NHL player and coach Rick Tocchet.

The Vancouver Canucks fired head coach Bruce Boudreau in the middle of another disappointing season and replaced him with veteran NHL player and coach Rick Tocchet.

The Vancouver Canucks fired head coach Bruce Boudreau in the middle of another disappointing season and replaced him with veteran NHL player and coach Rick Tocchet.

Boudreau greeted the crowd after the Canucks’ latest loss on Saturday night, their third in the last four games. Chants of ‘Bruce, there he is!’ to the tune of ‘Whoomp! (There It Is)’ echoed through the arena as a tribute to the highly respected 68-year-old hockey player who ranks among the greatest regular-season coaches in NHL history.

He is the second coach Vancouver has fired in less than 14 months. Boudreau took over in December 2021 when previous coach Travis Green and general manager Jim Benning were fired 25 games into last season.

Assistant Trent Cull has also been relieved of duty, the team said Sunday. Adam Foote was named assistant and Sergei Gonchar defensive development coach on Tocchet’s coaching staff.

Tocchet previously coached the Tampa Bay Lightning for parts of two seasons from 2008-10 and the Arizona Coyotes for four years from 2017-21. He won the Stanley Cup as a player with the Pittsburgh Penguins and then twice as an assistant for them.

“Rick Tocchet brings a tremendous amount of knowledge to this team, both from a coach’s and a player’s perspective,” Allvin said. ‘He has had over two decades of coaching experience, guiding teams of various styles.’

Head coach Bruce Boudreau of the Vancouver Canucks looks on from the bench during their NHL game against the Edmonton Oilers at Rogers Arena on January 21, 2023 in Vancouver.

Head coach Bruce Boudreau of the Vancouver Canucks looks on from the bench during their NHL game against the Edmonton Oilers at Rogers Arena on January 21, 2023 in Vancouver.

Head coach Bruce Boudreau of the Vancouver Canucks looks on from the bench during their NHL game against the Edmonton Oilers at Rogers Arena on January 21, 2023 in Vancouver.

The Canucks have missed the playoffs in the past two seasons since reaching the second round in the COVID-19 bubble in 2020.

Boudreau was with his fourth NHL organization after seasons with Washington, Anaheim and Minnesota. He won the Jack Adams Coach of the Year Award in 2007-08 when he was called up from the minors to coach the Capitals on Thanksgiving and led them to the playoffs.

Teams coached by Boudreau for a full season have made the playoffs nine out of 10 times. His .626 point percentage ranks fourth among coaches with at least 500 games behind the bench, and his 617 wins are tied for 20th in league history.

But a disorganized Canucks team didn’t give him much of a chance to sustain that success. Rutherford at a news conference Monday said big changes would come in the offseason, citing the need for the team to get younger.

They could happen sooner than that, especially with captain Bo Horvat unsigned beyond this season and attracting attention ahead of the March 3 trade deadline.

Boudreau was with his fourth NHL organization after seasons with Washington, Anaheim and Minnesota.  He won the Jack Adams Coach of the Year Award in 2007-08 when he was called up from the minors to coach the Capitals on Thanksgiving and led them to the playoffs.

Boudreau was with his fourth NHL organization after seasons with Washington, Anaheim and Minnesota.  He won the Jack Adams Coach of the Year Award in 2007-08 when he was called up from the minors to coach the Capitals on Thanksgiving and led them to the playoffs.

Boudreau was with his fourth NHL organization after seasons with Washington, Anaheim and Minnesota. He won the Jack Adams Coach of the Year Award in 2007-08 when he was called up from the minors to coach the Capitals on Thanksgiving and led them to the playoffs.

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