It’s hard to come up with the right words after that game.
The final shot of Bruce Boudreau on the broadcast will be viewed by many for a long time.
“It’s just bizarre the way this has unfolded,” said former Canuck Kevin Bieksa post game, who added he’s never seen anything like this.
Yes, it’s hard to believe we’ve gotten to this point, but here we are. Waiting for what is now known to be the inevitable — the firing of Bruce Boudreau and two of his assistants, and the hiring of Rick Tocchet, Sergei Gonchar, and Adam Foote.
And unfortunately, that inevitable was made public, and Canucks management’s desire to get Boudreau out of the organization has been made public for even longer. And yes, it sucks to watch all of this unfold, and it was even worse to watch Boudreau stand on the bench in one last losing effort, hearing the Rogers Arena faithful chant his name one last time.
It’s hard to remember a worse chapter in Canucks history than the one we’re currently experiencing.
Bruce Boudreau made the Canucks players believe in themselves when nobody else did and when their confidence was at a low point after the firing of Travis Green. Boudreau brought plenty of positivity to the table and was “huge” for Elias Pettersson in regaining his form.
Here’s what Luke Schenn had to say when asked to reflect on what his head coach just went through.
“He was still so upbeat today,” said Schenn. “Hats off to everyone in the building for giving him a big send off… We feel like we let him down.” Right up until the end, Bruce brought the same positive energy on his last day with the Canucks that he did on his first.
And on a night that will go down as one of the darkest this franchise has ever seen, Canucks fans came through for the coaching legend. To some extent, they came through because they’re embarrassed by the organization that they root for. But no matter the reason why, they came through for Bruce, and left the 68-year-old Boudreau with the best sendoff they possibly could, given the circumstances.
If there’s one thing we want to get out there, it’s that Boudreau absolutely deserves another shot at coaching an NHL team. He was well aware that tonight may be his last, but this absolutely should not be the end of the line for Boudreau. Not like this. Not under these circumstances.
Boudreau took a team that nobody — not even themselves — believed in and had them play at a 100+ point pace to close out last season. He made the players confident in themselves, and for a number of reasons, the team could not find their footing this year. And if you want to fire a coach for an underperforming team? Then be it.
But to treat him like this? When this fanbase is so well-aware that the majority of this team’s problems aren’t a result of coaching? The Canucks have made Boudreau a martyr, and the rest of the league has taken notice of the Canucks’ dysfunctionality.
The Canucks could not have handled this Bruce Boudreau stuff any worse, that organization is an absolute mess and it’s not on him.
— Dustin Nielson (@nielsonTSN1260) January 22, 2023
I can honestly say that, in my 15 years covering the NHL, I have never seen anything like this Bruce Boudreau fiasco. I have no clue how any organization—even one as apparently as dysfunctional as the Canucks—could operate this way. The cruelty of it aside, it’s just so ridiculous.
— Eric Engels (@EricEngels) January 22, 2023
And Boudreau’s final message to you, the fans:
“Thank you. I don’t know what I did to deserve it. Last year, the “there it is” chant, I was worried about it, but it sure felt good yesterday and today. I just wish we’d won one for them.”
Scene: Bruce Boudreau said his goodbyes to the players postgame, thanked them for working hard for him and wished them luck.
Boudreau and his staff enjoying a cold beverage in the office, players came in one-by-one to shake his hand.
Yet, he hasn’t been officially fired by #Canucks.
— Frank Seravalli (@frank_seravalli) January 22, 2023