Could Bruce Boudreau Be a Potential Fit for Nashville Predators?
Fans constantly bring up the desire for the Nashville Predators to move on from Head Coach John Hynes, but you then have to ask yourself who would you want to realistically replace him?
The Vancouver Canucks made a rather puzzling decision, as they decided to officially let go of Head Coach Bruce Boudreau on Sunday morning.
While the Canucks are a major disappointment in the Western Conference, it very much felt as if he was not the problem in Vancouver, and firing a head coach only one year after hiring him is certainly an odd choice. Not to mention, the way the Canucks organization went about the decision was pretty classless.
Any team with a potential upcoming vacancy at head coach is going to have interest in Boudreau, and the Nashville Predators are certainly among those teams. And honestly, it would be hard to find a better guy for the job if they are in fact searching for a new bench boss by the offseason or earlier.
Boudreau checks just about every box for Nashville Predators
Boudreau’s NHL head coaching win-loss record alone makes him a desirable candidate for a team looking to hire a new head coach. He has 617 career wins, which is tied for 20th all-time, as a NHL head coach spanning over stints with Washington, Anaheim, Minnesota and Vancouver.
What makes Boudreau more desirable for a new team is a league where coaches are oftentimes recycled, but even if that were not so much the case, Boudreau’s record speaks for itself.
Boudreau’s teams have been to the playoffs in ten out of the little over fourteen seasons in which he has been a head coach, and his teams have finished first in their division in eight of them.
Even last year when the Canucks did not make the playoffs, Boudreau helped to dig them out of an awful start and come up just short.
For reference, Hynes’ teams have made the playoffs in four out of the seven seasons in which he has been head coach, but he has a total of four playoff wins and 15 losses while going no farther than six games into a first round series.
Boudreau is also an offensive-minded head coach, and that is something the Nashville Predators desperately need right now with the state of their current offensive philosophy, and all-time offensive struggles. His teams have consistently finished near the top of the league in goals for, and you can tell from the way he coaches that he knows how to get the best out of his offensive talent.
Additionally, Boudreau has been well-liked everywhere he has been as a head coach, as he has an honest, direct, and caring approach with the way he treats his players. It is evident that he also makes a great first impression, and as mentioned he is great at getting teams to rally around him even when their seasons are down.
This emotional tribute to Boudreau at the end of what was known to be his last game just shows you how much he cares for the players on his team, and vice versa.
Now, there are some red flags flags regarding Boudreau that cannot go unnoticed. One of them is that he has failed to get the job done in the playoffs, as he has only gotten past the second round once and has a very bad 1-7 record in Game 7’s.
Secondly, him having been fired four times makes you have to think twice, as a coach with that track record is not normally fired that often. But honestly, I do believe that he has been wrongly fired a few times, and at least in the regular season, he does a very good job getting the most out of the talent he has at his disposal.
And even with how many times Boudreau has come up short in the playoffs, plenty of coaches and all-time greats in hockey and other sports have eventually reached the top after so many years of devastating losses.
The Stanley Cup is insanely hard to win anyways, so anyone including him could win it if they have proven to be consistently among the best at their craft.
Every head coach comes with some element of risk, and with Boudreau at the helm, the Predators could confidently say that they have a guy who gives them a real shot at winning it all, and that is about all you can ask for.
What other teams could be in the mix for Boudreau?
When thinking about what other teams could hire Boudreau at some point in the future, the team that Predators fans immediately think of is the St. Louis Blues. They have greatly underachieved with a roster that is very much top three in their division, and the Predators would hate to potentially miss on a candidate like Boudreau if their division rival hires him before they are looking for a new bench boss.
Other teams that could be looking for a new head coach are the Florida Panthers, Ottawa Senators, Columbus Blue Jackets, Calgary Flames, and Anaheim Ducks.
The Ducks are an interesting one because they previously fired Boudreau, but they did a reunion with Randy Carlyle years ago after they fired him — which did not go so well — so never say never.
Ultimately, much of this is going to depend on when or even if the Predators decide to fire Hynes. The team is streaky and suddenly rallying once again to only being four points out of third place after a thrilling win over the Kings on Saturday.
They have two more games before they have nearly two weeks off, and the only scenario in which I see Hynes getting fired before the offseason is if they drop both. Otherwise, I think they are going to ride this thing out for the rest of the year and hope for the best.
But as previously stated, if the Nashville Predators miss on Boudreau because they delayed the inevitable with Hynes and another team has already hired Boudreau, it will go down as yet another awful mistake for a front office that has had plenty of those for the past half-decade.
And this is not to hope that Hynes does not get things figured out, but the writing is very clearly on the wall, and the evidence we have tells us that Boudreau would be a better head coach.
Hopefully the Nashville Predators’ lack of proactivity does not come back to bite them by missing out on Boudreau if he does indeed want to coach again in the NHL.