Many assumed that Bruce Boudreau wouldn’t be out of work for long after the Capitals fired him Monday and named Dale Hunter head coach. Turns out, it took less than three days for Boudreau to find himself back behind an NHL bench.
The Anaheim Ducks announced Wednesday night that Boudreau will be the new head coach, replacing Randy Carlyle, as the team searches for a spark after winning just three of its last 19 games.
“At this time, we simply felt a new voice was needed,” Ducks General Manager Bob Murray said. “Bruce is a proven winner with a great track record, and we are optimistic we can turn this season around under his leadership.”
Boudreau, who took over in 2007 after Washington fired Glen Hanlon on Thanksgiving Day, won the Jack Adams Award as the NHL’s coach of the year in 2008 after turning the last-place Capitals into the Southeast Division champions. He also directed the team to a pair of regular season Eastern Conference titles and reached 200 victories faster than any coach in league history. But the Capitals’ recent poor play, which included eight losses in 11 games, forced General Manager George McPhee’s hand.
Just Wednesday morning, Boudreau spoke with The Post’s Tarik El-Bashir and told him that he was disappointed about the way his time in Washington had ended.
“I told George this on Monday: I tried every trick that I knew in 18 years and nothing was working,” he said. “I told him, ‘You’re doing what you have to do.’ I’m sure it was tough for George and [owner] Ted [Leonsis] and [team President Dick Patrick] and the whole organization because we had done something for four years that was really special.
“I thought I was going to be here forever, but this was something I thought that had to be done.”
Boudreau had the rest of the season and next year remaining on his contract with the Capitals. He is already in Anaheim, according to CBC’s Elliotte Friedman, and will run Thursday’s practice. The Ducks next play Friday when they host the Flyers at Honda Center.
More on Boudreau firing/Hunter hiring:
Poll: Was it the right move?
D.C. Sports Bog: Top 10 Boudreau moments
Box Seats: Caps say “Goodnight Bruce”
Photos: Boudreau fired