Canucks hire Bruce Boudreau as head coach to replace Travis Green

Bruce Boudreau is the newest coach of the Vancouver Canucks. (AP/file)

The Vancouver Canucks have fired head coach Travis Green and hired Bruce Boudreau to replace him, Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman reports.

The move came Sunday, after the Canucks lost for the 10th time in 13 games, falling 4-1 to the visiting Pittsburgh Penguins on Saturday. Sportsnet’s Iain MacIntyre says the deal for Boudreau is for this season and next which is what was left on Green’s contract.

MacIntyre also reports that more changes could be coming soon for Vancouver.

It was a particularly ugly night with fans chanting “Fire Benning” – making their feelings known about general manager Jim Benning in the third period. Later, one fan tossed a jersey on the ice as a modest two-game win streak – against two of the weaker teams in the league in Montreal and Ottawa – came to an end.

The Canucks are 8-15-2 on the season, last in the Pacific Division.

Boudreau, 66, has coached the Washington Capitals, Anaheim Ducks and, most recently, the Minnesota Wild. In 984 games coached, he has 567 wins, 302 losses and 115 overtime losses. In 2007–08, while with the Capitals, Boudreau won the Jack Adams Award as top coach, but his inability to take an Alex Ovechkin-led team deep into the playoffs, combined with an early-season slump, led to his dismissal on Nov. 28, 2011.

He wasn’t out of work for long: Two days later, the Ducks hired him to take over from another former Maple Leaf, Randy Carlyle (Green is also a former Maple Leaf), setting an NHL record for quickest to be rehired after being fired. Boudreau coached the Ducks to four consecutive division titles but not much success in the playoffs, resulting in his firing on April 29, 2016.

It took a bit longer for Boudreau to get his next job. Less than two weeks later, on May 7, 2016, he was hired by the Wild, but had middling success over four seasons. After being fired by the Wild on Feb. 14, 2020, he spent part of this season as an analyst with the NHL Network – which is appropriate for a guy whose nickname is “Gabby.”

Over 14 total seasons behind the bench, Boudreau has never had a losing season. He has, however, never coached a team to the Stanley Cup Final, getting to the conference finals once.

Boudreau was born in Toronto and played for both his hometown Marlies as well as the Maple Leafs. His playing career was spent primarily in the minors, however, over 779 games between 1972 and 1992 in the AHL, CHL and IHL. In 141 NHL games, all but seven with the Leafs (he also played for the Blackhawks), he had 28 goals and 42 assists for 70 points.

The 50-year-old Green, a native of Castlegar, B.C., became the second head coach fired in the NHL this season after Chicago’s Jeremy Colliton (Florida Panthers head coach Joel Quenneville resigned in amid the Blackhawks’ sexual abuse scandal).

Hired to replace Willie Desjardins after the 2017 season, Green missed the playoffs in three of four full seasons with the Canucks.

The lone playoff appearance came in 2019-20 when the Canucks made the deepest run of Canadian team, falling in Game 7 of the second round against Vegas.

But the Canucks followed that up by finishing last in the all-Canadian division last year following a COVID-19 outbreak that created a hectic late schedule.

Green signed a two-year extension with the Canucks in May.

Green was hired by the Canucks after he coached the team’s AHL affiliate in Utica for four years, highlighted by a run to the Calder Cup final in 2015.

Previously, Green guided the Portland Winterhawks to the Memorial Cup final in 2013.

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