He may not be behind an NHL bench right now, but there is no doubt that former head coach Bruce Boudreau is someone that all of us true hockey fans should admire.
For starters, his love of hockey is legendary. After coaching a game behind the bench, this is someone who would come home and turn on the TV to watch other hockey games being played.
When it comes to his love for our favorite sport, it has been said that he thinks about the game 24/7, is a hockey addict, is someone that lives and breathes the sport, and when it comes down to it, is a guy that IS hockey. What is not to like?
Secondly, we should all admire his ability to coach. This is someone who has 617 career NHL wins, has won eight division titles, has been to the Stanley Cup playoffs ten times, and won a Jack Adams Award as the NHL’s best coach in 2008 with the Washington Capitals.
Boudreau is a coach who knows how to turn teams around very quickly. He did it with the Capitals, Anaheim Ducks, and the Vancouver Canucks, even though the Canucks did not make the playoffs.
Boudreau was also an outstanding hockey player. He is in the American Hockey League (AHL) Hall of Fame as he is currently the 16th leading all-time goal scorer with 316 goals, 13th in assists with 483 assists, and 12th in points with 799 points.
In the minor leagues as a whole, Boudreau is eighth all-time with 1,368 points and 13th in both goals and assists with 548 and 820, respectively. Yes, he could not produce those kinds of numbers in the NHL, but there is no doubt that he could play the sport at a very high level.
Lastly, he is just a great human being through and through. He gives back to the game, players love playing for him, and he is very well respected throughout the sport.
While it is great seeing him on the NHL Network, I am hoping that sometime within the next two years that he gets back behind an NHL bench. That is where he belongs, and it is clear that that is what he loves doing the most.
It is at this time that I would like to share a short poem I wrote for Bruce:
When it comes to hockey, the man they call the “Gabby,” Bruce Boudreau, has done it all
From the minor leagues to the pros, Boudreau has always been there to answer the call.
He has coached everyone from the Canucks to the Hershey Bears
When it comes to the game of hockey, you can tell that he really cares.
Bruce is made up of the best parts of our game.
He’s got an inordinate amount of talent, grace, pizzazz, and knowledge that cannot be tamed.
He is a hockey guy through and through
This I know, will always be true.
The game of hockey needs to do the right and give him what he rightfully deserves.
Because for the longest time, Bruce has been underserved.
No one has been in the game longer, loves the sport more, or seen and heard as much about our favorite game than Bruce, the man
When it comes to being all about hockey, no one can do it better than he can.
Bruce, you may love hockey more than anyone in this world
Please know that the game loves you back, perhaps even more.