Bruce Boudreau is likely in his final days as head coach of the Vancouver Canucks, and fans are trying to send him off appropriately.
With the beloved “Bruce there it is!” chants.
Boudreau was serenaded by the chant from the 18,813 in attendance at Rogers Arena for Friday’s 4-1 loss to the defending Stanley Cup champion Colorado Avalanche, hearing the cheers and tapping his chest twice midway through the second period.
— Tim and Friends (@timandfriends) January 21, 2023
“You guys see everything don’t you?” Boudreau said postgame. “Oh my god. I was actually thinking of when Ovi and I saw him in the warmup when he did it. I was trying to do it very slightly but you guys catch everything.
“It’s unbelievable. I’ve only been here a year, but it’ll go down in my memory books, out of the 48 years I played and coached, the most incredible thing I’ve experienced on a personal level… other than winning championships, of course. It’s very touching.”
Boudreau was hired on December 6, 2021, and was immediately greeted by Canucks fans with the new chant. The head coach wasn’t immediately a fan.
— Vancouver Canucks (@Canucks) January 21, 2023
“I wish they’d stop singing that stupid song, though, in the stands,” he said a week later.
But he’s since changed his tune.
“There was a reasoning,” Boudreau said Friday. “I didn’t want to take away from how good the players were playing, so it’s never about the coach. Now, it’s things you’re going to miss.”
The chants capped off an emotional day for Boudreau, whose tenure in Vancouver is quickly coming to a close.
Reports indicate the Canucks have already tagged Rick Tocchet to be their next head coach, and Jim Rutherford, president of hockey operations, didn’t squash those rumours in a press conference Monday.
— Tim and Friends (@timandfriends) January 20, 2023
An official announcement could come as soon as Monday, leaving Boudreau twisting in the wind in the meantime.
“I’d be a fool to say that I don’t know what’s going on,” Boudreau told reporters Friday morning, before quickly taking an emotional exit when asked what he’d savour.
He might have just one more left, when the Edmonton Oilers visit Vancouver on Saturday night.
“I love to coach. I love to be with the players. I love to be behind the bench. I love more than anything, to win,” Boudreau said.
“I’m really passionate about it. This is what I’ve done my whole life, from the time I could walk until now. Never took time off in between, and when I’m taking time off I’m running four hockey schools in the summer. It’s everything. When everything is finally over you’re going to miss it like crazy.
“Those are the things you think about.”