Bruce Boudreau got a call late last week gauging his interest in coaching the Vancouver Canucks.
“Absolutely,” said Boudreau, who as much as he has enjoyed being the affable, humorous character and analyst on NHL Network has been craving the opportunity to get back to what he loves to do — coaching hockey.
And we’re not talking as an assistant in the Spengler Cup.
Sunday morning, a few days after that initial phone conversation with the Canucks, Boudreau received another call asking how soon he could be ready to board a bird for Vancouver.
“Right away,” Boudreau replied.
Hours before, the Canucks had their latest in a string of horrible losses this season to the Pittsburgh Penguins.
Disgruntled fans chanted loudly, “Fire (Jim) Benning!” They threw Bo Horvat jerseys onto the ice. A despondent-looking Travis Green flashed what had become of late his trademark thousand-mile stare. And players looked, well, lifeless and hopeless.
With Boudreau’s speedy affirmative answer that he’d gladly coach the team for the balance of this season with only one further year of job security at a modest price of $2 million and $2.5 million, respectively, according to The Athletic’s Pierre LeBrun, Green was mercifully put out of his misery in the morning and an organizational house-cleaning was kept under wraps until Boudreau and his wife, Crystal, landed in Vancouver on owner Francesco Aquilini’s plane at 8:30 p.m. PT.