Thursday, December 1, 2011

Ducks Hire Boudreau: Is The Tank Really Empty?

Unless you've been in a coma for the past 24 hours, you've probably heard our hockey neighbors to the south made a few MINOR changes to their organization last night.

Only 40 minutes after the Ducks 4-1 win over the Habs, Ducks Vice President and General Manager Bob Murray cleaned house behind the bench, firing Coach Randy Carlyle, two assistant coaches and their video coordinator. Then he made the truly shocking announcement that Carlyle's  replacement would be none other than former Washington Capitals head Coach Bruce Boudreau -- who was just fired from his job 3 DAYS AGO.

Boudreau certainly comes with great credentials for the job. When he was fired by Washington, I briefly thought about what kind of match he would be for the Kings in the event Terry Murray found himself suddenly unemployed. After all, Boudreau coached the Manchester Monarchs for four years as part of his stint in the AHL so he has some ties to the Kings organization. He won the Southeast Division four times with Washington and took them through 3 consecutive play-off appearances (yeah, they choked in all of them, but the Kings aren't exactly in a position to throw stones there).

Then I thought about the time I saw him run the Caps through a hard practice at Toyota Sports Center on New Years Day 2010.

Bruce was NOT happy...not happy at all

My first thought was "This man yells so much he must wear out his voice so he can't speak in regular life." My second thought? That half our guys would be puking their guts out from exhaustion after one practice with Gabby. He definitely made a Terry Murray practice session look like a garden party.

Everything Boudreau does he does with 150% effort at 300% volume. When discussing Boudreau's firing, Caps GM George McPhee stated Bruce had "emptied the tank" with the Caps, and in spite of doing everything in his power just couldn't get them going anymore. Which begs a question. If you're Bob Murray (or Dean Lombardi) and trying to get your team moving, don't you want someone with something left in the tank behind your bench?

Don't get me wrong. Boudreau seems like a very nice man. I watched a practice once in Washington a couple of years ago and he was kind enough to stop and pose for a nice photo with my friend. He even smiled.

NHL coaching jobs obviously don't grow on trees, so you can't blame Boudreau for wanting to work and do what he loves. But maybe a step back -- a chance to refill the tank -- would have been the better move to make for both Bruce Boudreau AND the Ducks. Only time will tell. But one thing is for certain -- the Western Conference just got a lot wilder. And a WHOLE LOT LOUDER.


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