Canucks’ Rutherford says he has spoken to potential coaching candidates

Vancouver Canucks president of hockey operations Jim Rutherford talks about how Bruce Boudreau is the team's head coach for now and doesn't know that he wants to make a change, but says he has 'called a few people' when asked about replacements.

Canucks president Jim Rutherford confirmed that he has spoken to potential candidates to replace head coach Bruce Boudreau, but added that: “Bruce is our coach. And that’s the way it is today.”

On a day when Rutherford held a media conference to discuss the medical treatment received by forward Tanner Pearson (whose season is over), the discussion inevitably shifted to the health of his hockey club. And, more specifically, the status of Boudreau, who was hired by the Canucks four days prior to Rutherford’s arrival. But whenever he offered up any kind of endorsement of his current head coach, it always ended with a subtle qualifier.

“There’s lots of speculation out there. Bruce is our coach now, OK?” Rutherford said. “When we got off to a slow start this year, we, as a hockey staff, we watch the coaching staff closer.

“There’s been times when we’ve had real good runs and the teams played pretty well. There’s been times when we haven’t. And why is that? And when I say this, I’m not pointing this at Bruce. Bruce is a friend. I really like Bruce. He’s done good work here. But this is what we review all the time and try and make a decision.

“So all I can say is, Bruce is our coach right now.”

The Canucks are 18-22-3, good for sixth place in the Pacific Division and 12 points back of a playoff spot in the Western Conference.

Rutherford was then asked if he’d conducted any kind of search to replace Boudreau, which seems to be a poorly kept secret around the league, with former NHLer Rick Tocchet frequently mentioned as a coach-in-waiting.

“I’ll say I have, and I’m not gonna get into names,” Rutherford said. “This is even going back a couple of months ago. I have called a few people to talk to people, yes.

“But with that, it was clear that, I’m calling and talking, but don’t know that we’re making a change. And don’t want to make a change.”

Rutherford was then asked why not make a change now, so the process of incorporating a new structure can be started.

“No,” Rutherford said. “Bruce is our coach. And that’s the way it is today.”

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