Monday, October 2, 2023

Canucks fire head coach Bruce Boudreau; Rick Tocchet hired as replacement

The Vancouver Canucks announced Sunday that they have fired head coach Bruce Boudreau after a tenure that lasted just over a year and culminated in the Canucks losing 28 out of their last 46 games. Assistant coach Trent Cull has also been fired.

The Canucks have replaced Boudreau with former Arizona Coyotes coach Rick Tocchet, who has been named the 21st head coach in the history of the Canucks franchise. Adam Foote has been named assistant coach, while Sergei Gonchar has been hired as a defensive development coach.

“We would like to extend our sincere thanks to Bruce and Trent for their contributions to this organization,” read a statement by Canucks general manager Patrik Allvin. “We appreciate their dedication and wish them nothing but the best moving forward. This was not an easy decision to make, but one that we felt was necessary for this franchise.

“Rick Tocchet brings a wealth of knowledge to this team from both a coach and player perspective. He has had more than two decades of coaching experience, guiding teams of various styles. As a player, he displayed a high level of character, grit and intensity, while recording impressive offensive numbers.

“We are also excited about the additions of Adam Foote and Sergei Gonchar to our coaching staff. Both individuals enjoyed long, successful playing careers as NHL defencemen and together provide a wide range of expertise on both sides of the puck. Tocchet, Foote, and Gonchar all bring a championship pedigree to the organization and we look forward to welcoming them to Vancouver.”

Boudreau, who remains among the winningest coaches in the NHL since first being hired by the Washington Capitals in 2007, was hired by the Canucks in December 2021 after the firing of both head coach Travis Green and general manager Tim Benning. Although the Canucks would see an uptick in performance the rest of the 2021-22 season, a poor start to the 2022-23 season put Boudreau’s status as head coach in jeopardy, with Canucks president of hockey operations Jim Rutherford openly acknowledging that he had been speaking to potential replacements.

Despite the Canucks’ dysfunction, Boudreau has been a popular figure in Vancouver, receiving farewell chants Saturday night after a loss to Edmonton.

“You never know if it’s the end,” Boudreau said in a report by ESPN. “So when you’ve been in it for almost 50 years — you know, the majority of your life — and now if it’s the end, I had to stay out there and look at the crowd and just try to say, ‘OK, try to remember this moment type of thing.'”

Tocchet brings a degree of experience to the Canucks head coaching position, as he posted a 178-200-60 record as head coach of the Tampa Bay Lightning and Coyotes.

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