Bruce Boudreau 100% deserves a contract extension with the Canucks

SUNRISE, FL - JANUARY 11: Head Coach Bruce Boudreau of the Vancouver Canucks directs the players during a time out in the second period against the Florida Panthers at the FLA Live Arena on January 11, 2022 in Sunrise, Florida. (Photo by Joel Auerbach/Getty Images)
SUNRISE, FL - JANUARY 11: Head Coach Bruce Boudreau of the Vancouver Canucks directs the players during a time out in the second period against the Florida Panthers at the FLA Live Arena on January 11, 2022 in Sunrise, Florida. (Photo by Joel Auerbach/Getty Images) /

Bruce Boudreau brought new life into the Vancouver Canucks.

After going 8-15-2 under Travis Green, Boudreau came in and brought in an offensive heavy-forechecking system. The Canucks looked more exciting. Boudreau then took the Canucks on a seven-game winning streak and went eight games without losing in regulation before it ended with a loss in Sunrise to the Florida Panthers.

*Disclaimer: This article was written before the Thursday night game against the Arizona Coyotes.

Under Boudreau, the Canucks have gone 25-13-8 for 13th in the NHL during that timespan. Under Green, the Canucks were 27th in goals for and have moved up to 21st. The Canucks have given up the sixth-most goals in the NHL under Green and since Boudreau was hired, they have given up the third-fewest. Vancouver’s power play was 22nd at 17.4% under Green and is at 7th with 25.6% ever since Boudreau’s arrival. The penalty kill has been the worst in the NHL under both Green and Boudreau. However, there has been an improvement on the PK under Boudreau as it sits 16th in the NHL at 79.3% even though it is pretty much in the cellar of the NHL. Under Green, the kill was 64.6%.

Even though Boudreau managed to help the Canucks bounce back from a tough start, improve numerous statistical categories and get them over .500, it isn’t enough for them to make the playoffs.

It looked like Boudreau signed a two-year contract when he got hired by the Canucks. However, Sportsnet insider Elliotte Friedman said on last week’s 32 Thoughts Podcast, that Boudreau is actually signed to a one-year deal with an option for a second year.

Friedman even said that it is uncertain whether or not Boudreau is coming back next season since he has an option to not return.

“The Canucks have an option to keep him or not, but if they don’t, there’s a payment that has to go to Boudreau,” said Friedman on the 32 Thoughts segment during last Saturday’s Hockey Night in Canada broadcast. “ Also, Boudreau has an option not to return, and if that was to happen, I don’t think he gets a payout, but it would put him on the open market at the end of the year.”

So that means, if Boudreau decides to not come back to Vancouver next season, the Canucks don’t have to pay him. If the Canucks decided to not bring back Boudreau, they have to show him the money. How much? That is unknown.

On Thursday morning’s edition of Donnie and Dhali: The Team, Sportsnet’s John Shannon said both Boudreau and the organization are looking at their options.

TSN insider Darren Dreger said on Wednesday’s Sekeres and Price show that there hasn’t been any meaningful discussions between the two sides.

It is a no-brainer that Boudreau should be back next season and he has deserved a contract extension. He has made the Canucks a more enjoyable team to watch and the players seem to like having him around.

“Bruce’s track record speaks for itself and he has created a winning environment everywhere he goes,” said J.T. Miler per Ben Kuzma of The Province. “A real personable guy, he asks about your family or how your off day went and if you enjoyed your time off. He expects a lot from our group, He pushes it to be better and has a standard and he lets us know if we’re not following it.

Of course, we can’t forget that he has become a fan favourite with his personality and have been serenading him with the “Bruce, There it is” chants. (Those chants were heard as the Canucks were winning in Vegas on Wednesday night.)

Boudreau is also very honest in his press conferences and there were times when openly criticized a player’s performance. While he can be a fun guy, Boudreau can be brutally honest with his players because he wants them to succeed whether they are a younger guy or a veteran.

Keep in mind, Boudreau arrived before Jim Rutherford and Patrik Allvin so he was brought in by Francesco Aquilini. It will be up to Rutherford and Allvin to decide if Boudreau is part of their long-term vision.

It wouldn’t look good if they decide that the coach who has turned around the team isn’t in the plans going forward. It’s no accident that Boudreau gave the Canucks a chance at a playoff spot. Boudreau has a track record of turning teams around and he seems like a fit with this team which has multiple players under 25. While they were mainly veteran rosters, Boudreau turned around the Washington Capitals, Anaheim Ducks and Minnesota Wild after poor starts and forgettable seasons. It looks like that trend is continuing in Vancouver and why can’t he stay next season and try to improve the Canucks even more in a full campaign?

A decision should be made on Boudreau as soon as possible. If he is willing to stay long-term, then give him his extension. Sure, he hasn’t really coached a team through a retooling stage before but he seems like the guy for the job.

With changes to the roster coming in the summer, one thing that shouldn’t change is the man behind the bench who has done well with the team just four months in. Boudreau has been a breath of fresh air for the Canucks and he should help Elias Pettersson and Quinn Hughes take the next step.

Next. Three reasons why the Canucks will miss the playoffs. dark

If he is part of the long-term plans, then give him a contract extension. It should be a no-brainer.