The Vancouver Canucks have officially announced that Bruce Boudreau and some of his staff have been relieved of their coaching duties and that Rick Touchette has been hired as the team’s next head coach. The organization posted a statement stating, “Canucks general manager Patrick Alvin announced today that the club has made several changes to its coaching staff. Head coach Bruce Boudreau and assistant coach Trent Call have been relieved of their duties.” They added, “Rick Tocchet has been hired as the 21st head coach in franchise history. Adam Foote has been hired as assistant coach and Sergey Gonchar as defensive development coach.”
It’s not a surprising move for anyone who has followed Boudreau out. Over the past few weeks, especially the last few games, the focus has been on an emotional Boudreau knowing he’s being released and fans showing their appreciation for him as the inevitable announcement looms. The Canucks received a lot of criticism for the way it was handled, and many decided that any struggles the team might have had as it moved in a new direction under Tocchett.
Boudreau, meanwhile, has given himself plenty of leverage in the way he handled his termination with the class, and some insiders have suggested a job at another organization awaits him if he wants to return to coaching.
Alvin said, “We would like to extend our sincere thanks to Bruce and Trent for their contributions to this organization. He added, “We appreciate their dedication and wish them nothing but the best moving forward. It was not an easy decision to make, but one we felt was necessary for this franchise.”
Tocchet, 58, joined the Canucks after working as an analyst at TNT. His previous coaching experience was four seasons as head coach of the Arizona Coyotes from 2017/18 to 2020/21. He spent three seasons as an assistant coach with the Pittsburgh Penguins. It was there that he developed a strong relationship with current Canucks president Jim Rutherford.
“If the reported TNT clause in Tocchet’s contract requiring him to give 4 weeks’ notice before leaving the network for a coaching job is true, the Canucks likely made it official before Christmas,” writes Sean Shapiro.