There it is: Bruce Boudreau will return to Canucks next season

May 13 2022, 6:49 pm

After weeks of speculation, Bruce Boudreau is staying put.

For next season, anyway.

Boudreau will return as head coach of the Vancouver Canucks, the team revealed in a press release today.

“We are pleased to see Bruce’s commitment to return to the Canucks next season,” said Canucks GM Patrik Allvin. “He has done a great job since arriving in Vancouver and we are eager to see the team continue to perform under his leadership as they did during the second half of the season.”

When Boudreau was hired back in December, he was only guaranteed the remainder of the 2021-22 season. The contract included next season as well but had opt-out clauses for both the team and the coach.

At his year-end press conference on May 2, Boudreau said he wanted to return to the team. But the next day, President of Hockey Operations Jim Rutherford delivered some mixed messages.

While Rutherford said he wanted Boudreau to return, he was also quick to criticize the team’s structure, which is a criticism of the coach. That was surprising given that Boudreau turned around the team, as the Canucks had an impressive 32-15-10 record after he took over behind the bench.

Rutherford also said the team wasn’t willing to offer Boudreau a contract extension beyond next season, which many coaches in his situation would have received.

It put the ball in Boudreau’s court, with a June 1 deadline. It seemed like they were daring him to leave.

But in the end, Boudreau has decided to come back to the city that has embraced him since day one, where the fans chant his name.

“My desire has always been to come back to coach this team,” said Boudreau in today’s press release. “I love the organization, city, fans, and the players. I’m also grateful for the opportunity provided to me by Jim and Patrik to continue building what we started.”

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