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Boudreau Fired

Via the Washington Post,

ARLINGTON, Va. — The Washington Capitals have fired coach Bruce Boudreau and replaced him with Dale Hunter.


Chuck Gormley, Caps Insider

The Capitals announced the move Monday, less than a week after Boudreau reached 200 wins faster than any coach in modern NHL history.

He increased the team’s level of accountability by benching players. He demanded more of them physically than ever before. He challenged them privately and through the media.

But when the Capitals followed a 7-0-0 start with a 5-9-1 nosedive from first in the Eastern Conference to eighth, general manager George McPhee was forced to make a change.

Japer’s Rink will undoubtedly be all over this today.

 

There’ll be plenty to discuss on this move - from the decision itself to the reasons behind it and what Hunter brings to the team - but for now we’d like to tip our cap to Coach Boudreau and thank him for all he’s done for the team, its fans and the city. Bruce Boudreau may not have been the guy to take the Caps to the next level, but it’s been a pleasure to watch and cover him over the past handful of years, and we wish him nothing but the best in whatever he does next.

Filed in: | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Comments

Evilpens's avatar

GM Goerge McPhee ought to be the Next 1 Out the door But Sweaty Teddy is to busy thinking up his Next really important Blog

Posted by Evilpens on 11/28/11 at 12:18 PM ET

BrendonR's avatar

I can see Bruce landing in TO if Wilson doesn’t survive past this season.

Posted by BrendonR on 11/28/11 at 12:23 PM ET

Pharazon's avatar

can’t say i’m really surprised…

Posted by Pharazon from England on 11/28/11 at 12:33 PM ET

wolverine's avatar

Shame on the players.  Davis Payne gets fired in St. Louis, and the team goes 7-2-1.
Why are you playing now Chris Stewart and T.J. Oshie?  You got a good guy fired.

Posted by wolverine on 11/28/11 at 12:42 PM ET

Nathan's avatar

One guy is a hundred million dollar man and his money is guaranteed. He’s the one that brings the fans to the game and gets ‘em to buy sweaters.

The other guy is a few million dollar man that nobody comes to see, and frankly if doing his job as excellently as possible, nobody should notice.

Pretty obvious it would come to this.

That’s not to say Boudreau is at fault here… there’s probably plenty of blame to go around. I’ll be disappointed in Ovechkin if all of a sudden he looks like the player we came to know and love to watch now that Boudreau is going. That would be way too primadonna for my taste. And would essentially be confirmation that while Boudreau was part of the problem, Ovechkin wasn’t exactly working toward a solution himself.

Posted by Nathan from the scoresheet! on 11/28/11 at 12:44 PM ET

Flashtastick56's avatar

I sort of feel bad for the guy…

But…how dare he try to get his captain to play two-way hockey…and try to get, arguably, his second best player to stop taking lazy hooking/slashing/tripping penalties?!?  EVERY GAME.  Those are totally ridiculous and unmanageable tasks!

Seriously, though…it seemed like he was trying to do all the right things.  And is Dale Hunter going to let Ovehkin (because he doesn’t deserve the “c”...get it!?!?!  I’m hilarious…) do whatever he wants?  Seems like that’s the only way he’ll get to keep his job…

Posted by Flashtastick56 from Meriden, CT on 11/28/11 at 12:49 PM ET

Avatar

Well this seemed inevitable.  Boudreau seems like a really good guy and did all he could with this team.  But they probably should have done this in the off-season.

Will be interesting to see what Ovi does from here on out.  If he lights fire then he’s a little sissy that got Bourdreau fired.  If he still sucks then something is seriously wrong with him.  Either way he’s not going to look good coming out of this.

Posted by tbassett on 11/28/11 at 12:50 PM ET

Sullyosis's avatar

I was shocked to read this news this morning.

And even more shocked to find it at A2Y. As a Wings fan, I’m not sure how it factors in to our plans of taking over the world, nor why we should give a sh*t at all, but still…shocking.

Posted by Sullyosis from A hateful lair in Post Apocalyptic US (or Arizona) on 11/28/11 at 12:50 PM ET

IwoCPO's avatar

And even more shocked to find it at A2Y. As a Wings fan, I’m not sure how it factors in to our plans of taking over the world, nor why we should give a sh*t at all, but still…shocking.

Sully, I think I posted that on KK hockey. Might be wrong though.

Posted by IwoCPO from Sunny San Diego, bitches on 11/28/11 at 12:56 PM ET

Hank1974's avatar

The Caps are a mess.
They can’t win playoff games so they make the team more defensive.
Now the team can’t win defensive regular season games.

This team is built to score and firewagon hockey. Go with it, or deal Ovie and Semin and get guys in that can win defensive games.

Posted by Hank1974 on 11/28/11 at 01:08 PM ET

J.J. from Kansas's avatar

I don’t feel sorry for Boudreau. It’s his job to handle the talent in Washington’s locker room and he clearly wasn’t.

This move was overdue.

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 11/28/11 at 01:11 PM ET

Hank1974's avatar

I don’t feel sorry for Boudreau. It’s his job to handle the talent in Washington’s locker room and he clearly wasn’t.

This move was overdue.

I agree.
Still, I think McPhee needs to take some ownership of the problems too.
He drafted and signed many offensive players who will fight a defensive system tooth and nail.
It’s pretty clear that Ovie detests playing this kind of hockey.
I think Ovechkin would rather score 65 goals a year and lose in the first round than get 30 and make it to the Finals.

He looks completely devoid of passion. His famous toothless smile has been gone for a while too. He’s simply not having any fun.
I’m not sure Hunter will help the situation. We’ll see.

Posted by Hank1974 on 11/28/11 at 01:14 PM ET

Chris in Hockey Hell's avatar

“I think Ovechkin would rather score 65 goals a year”

But Dany Heatley will score 70 goals every year.

Posted by Chris in Hockey Hell from Ann Arbor, MI but LIVING in Columbia, TN on 11/28/11 at 01:17 PM ET

DocF's avatar

I do not know if Dale Hunter will help the situation at all.  I sort of think he and a certain star forward who is from Russia will actually come to blows within the next 4 weeks.  Hunter is a hard nose.  Boudreau was a cupcake by comparison.

Anyway, the upshot is one of the good coaches is now in the market for a new job.  He will get one as there are several other teams that are or will be looking for a coach.  I see Anaheim needing one, for sure. 

Doc

Posted by DocF from Now: Lynn Haven, FL; was Reidsville, NC on 11/28/11 at 01:34 PM ET

Chris in A^2's avatar

Still, I think McPhee needs to take some ownership of the problems too.
He drafted and signed many offensive players who will fight a defensive system tooth and nail.
- Hank1974

You can say the same thing about Boudreau trying to force a defense first system onto his current roster.  After they lost to the Canadiens in the playoffs, they basically copied the Jacques Martin system.  For one, I think that system is outdated in a league where playing in the defensive zone guarantees a weak penalty call.  Spending more time in the defensive zone with players that aren’t particularly good at defense makes it doubly foolish.

Posted by Chris in A^2 from Nyquist Puck Control on 11/28/11 at 01:36 PM ET

Evilpens's avatar

Who is the good Coach ?

Posted by Evilpens on 11/28/11 at 01:43 PM ET

MsRedWinger's avatar

So Ovie doesn’t care anymore but it’s the coach’s fault.  Right.

Posted by MsRedWinger from Flori-duh on 11/28/11 at 01:50 PM ET

Evilpens's avatar

@MsRedWinger OH he cares ...... about himself & Jizz & playing run & Gun hockey & Cherry Picking

Posted by Evilpens on 11/28/11 at 01:52 PM ET

Chris in Hockey Hell's avatar

“OH he cares ...... about himself & Jizz”

Jizz? Really?

Posted by Chris in Hockey Hell from Ann Arbor, MI but LIVING in Columbia, TN on 11/28/11 at 01:55 PM ET

Evilpens's avatar

That is Semin’s Nickname ! I didn’t make it up LOL

Posted by Evilpens on 11/28/11 at 02:05 PM ET

Sullyosis's avatar

Sully, I think I posted that on KK hockey. Might be wrong though.
Posted by IwoCPO from Sunny San Diego, bitches on 11/28/11 at 09:56 AM ET

Right you are Chief, my bad. But still!

Posted by Sullyosis from A hateful lair in Post Apocalyptic US (or Arizona) on 11/28/11 at 02:07 PM ET

Paul's avatar

Wanted to thanks IwoCPO for posting this while I slept in after a very long weekend.

Posted by Paul from Motown Area on 11/28/11 at 02:13 PM ET

redxblack's avatar

Bruce to Columbus. It’s a natural fit - a dysfunctional club with weak management and strong willed coach with a core of undisciplined but talented players. Because this match would work so well, Columbus will blow it and fail to get him.

Posted by redxblack from Akron Ohio on 11/28/11 at 02:53 PM ET

hockeychic's avatar

I have thought Bodreau was a problem in Washington for a few years now.  He seems unable to adjust in the playoffs when things don’t work right for Washington.  Granted, he has all kinds of problems this year from awful goaltending to whatever is going on with Ovi that aren’t necessarily in his control.  But something had to change.

I just don’t think Dale Hunter is the right answer.

Posted by hockeychic from Denver, CO on 11/28/11 at 03:21 PM ET

Hank1974's avatar

I just don’t think Dale Hunter is the right answer.

i don’t think either.
I think this team needs a whole new identity.
If Hunter can’t find a system that works for the playoffs and motivates Ovie, then I think the only answer is to trade Ovie and Semin.
But Ovechkin’s contract makes that nearly impossible.

Posted by Hank1974 on 11/28/11 at 03:31 PM ET

UMFan's avatar

He increased the team’s level of accountability by benching players. He demanded more of them physically than ever before. He challenged them privately and through the media.

Sometimes you just can’t do Scotty Bowman things without actually being Scotty Bowman. Although I haven’t followed this story all that closely, I’m not sure changing coaches will solve anything. Seems to be an organizational thing that needed a players change more than a coaching change.

Posted by UMFan from Denver, Colorado on 11/28/11 at 03:49 PM ET

BrendonR's avatar

But Ovechkin’s contract makes that nearly impossible.

Posted by Hank1974 on 11/28/11 at 12:31 PM ET

I think in some crazy world where they actually trade Ovi, there would be plenty of takers for that contract.

Posted by BrendonR on 11/28/11 at 03:54 PM ET

Primis's avatar

Why are you playing now Chris Stewart and T.J. Oshie?  You got a good guy fired.

Posted by wolverine on 11/28/11 at 09:42 AM ET

As someone who has Chris Stewart on 2 fantasy teams, I can assure you he’s still NOT playing any better than he was, so don’t go there…


Dale Hunter is an absolute piece of garbage and always will be.  Have fun with that Washington… I now officially am rooting like hell against your team every… single… game.  And so are many, many others.  This is like NJ or COL hiring Claude Lemieux as head coach, only maybe worse…

Posted by Primis on 11/28/11 at 04:00 PM ET

redxblack's avatar

Chris Stewart failed to finish quite often in the AHL even.

Posted by redxblack from Akron Ohio on 11/28/11 at 04:01 PM ET

Sullyosis's avatar

All I can really hope for is that Ovie is traded to CBJ for Nash and maybe someone else.

Then, in a dick-move, CBJ highers Bruce Boo-dreau after firing their heach coach.

“Welcome back to my fat, loving arms,” Gabby says. And then Ovie starts crying what Gabby can only interpret as tears of joy.

Posted by Sullyosis from A hateful lair in Post Apocalyptic US (or Arizona) on 11/28/11 at 04:02 PM ET

Chris in Hockey Hell's avatar

“Dale Hunter is an absolute piece of garbage and always will be.  Have fun with that Washington… I now officially am rooting like hell against your team every… single… game.  And so are many, many others.  This is like NJ or COL hiring Claude Lemieux as head coach, only maybe worse…”

I’m sure that Pierre Turgeon hopes that this entire organizations crashes and burns.

Posted by Chris in Hockey Hell from Ann Arbor, MI but LIVING in Columbia, TN on 11/28/11 at 04:03 PM ET

Sullyosis's avatar

*head* coach. My brain hasn’t figured out this “no-constant-barrage-of-food” thing just yet.

Posted by Sullyosis from A hateful lair in Post Apocalyptic US (or Arizona) on 11/28/11 at 04:03 PM ET

MsRedWinger's avatar

I think in some crazy world where they actually trade Ovi, there would be plenty of takers for that contract.

Posted by BrendonR from Toronto, ON on 11/28/11 at 12:54 PM ET

Not the Red Wings.  The guy is not a team player.

Posted by MsRedWinger from Flori-duh on 11/28/11 at 04:04 PM ET

SYF's avatar

Because this match would work so well, Columbus will blow it and fail to get him.

Posted by redxblack from Akron Ohio on 11/28/11 at 11:53 AM ET

CBJ was my first thought as well.  With Neil Smith as their GM.

Not the Red Wings.  The guy is not a team player.

Posted by MsRedWinger from Florida, but wishin’ I was back in the Mitten. on 11/28/11 at 01:04 PM ET

The same was said about Brett Hull.  wink

Posted by SYF from the team that re-signed KFQ and DFC by KFH on 11/28/11 at 04:23 PM ET

mrfluffy's avatar

The same was said about Brett Hull.  wink

Posted by SYF from a north-bound Wings dressing room on 11/28/11 at 01:23 PM ET

One could say Brett Hull had just a wee bit of an impact on Pav and Hank…

Posted by mrfluffy from A wide spot on I-90 in Montana on 11/28/11 at 04:27 PM ET

Avatar

But Ovechkin’s contract makes that nearly impossible.

Do you think there wouldn’t be a handful of teams falling over eachother to try and get Ovechkin?

Not that I think there’s much chance that Washington even seriously thinks of moving him.

Posted by Garth on 11/28/11 at 06:18 PM ET

HockeytownOverhaul's avatar

a MATURE Brett Hull had a good impact on Pav and Hank…  well, as mature as the silly bastard is capable of.

Like Babs says, you gotta stay fresh and that orginization isn’t fresh anymore and you can tell.  Something had to give and I’m sure Budreau will land on his feet.  This is just the nature of sports.

Personally I think there is more gained in keeping a coach that has a good relationship with the GM and knows he has job security.  If the players know it will be them to go first vs. the coach they’re more likely to toe the line.  Lookat Ruff.. he gets a lot out of what little he’s got in Buffalo.  Same with Trotz.  They were allowed to be that authority figure and actually given the power by the GM.

Then look at Columbus, who’s gone through a Stanley Cup coach, the coach of the division leading Oilers and about to go through Arniel who will most likely go somewhere else and become a great coach.  All these coaches and no different results.. moving players is the most effective way to correct difficienies on a team, whether it’s in the locker room or on the ice.

Posted by HockeytownOverhaul on 11/28/11 at 09:25 PM ET

HockeytownOverhaul's avatar

and before you point to Hitch, two of his assistant capt’s played for him in Dallas, one won a cup with him so naturally they would gel quickly and the team would rally around him as I’m sure his new assistant captains did.

Posted by HockeytownOverhaul on 11/28/11 at 09:29 PM ET

wolverine's avatar

            Then look at Columbus, who’s gone through a Stanley Cup coach, the coach of the division leading Oilers…

I think you’re thinking of Dave King.  Agree with what you said though.

Posted by wolverine on 11/29/11 at 04:07 PM ET

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Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.

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