Former Vancouver Canucks head coach Bruce Boudreau appeared as an analyst on NHL Network on Friday night and decided to drop a nugget that was both extremely intriguing and hilarious. According to Boudreau, the Canucks wanted to make captain Quinn Hughes play center. What?
"I gotta say this for the first time on TV, and I mean I'm not going to say who," Boudreau cautiously started. "But somebody in that Vancouver organization tried to make me make Quinn Hughes a center last year, and I refused to do it. I said 'I'm not making him a center, I'm not making him a center' and they kept trying to put me to put Quinn at center, and I am so happy I didn't."
"First of all, he probably would not have taken it very well," Boudreau said of the Canucks captain. "And secondly, the year he's having - a Norris Trophy kind of year - boy, it's quite a difference from playing center on that team."
Fellow analysts Jackie Redmond and Kevin Weekes were absolutely floored after hearing the former Canucks coach's comments, and justifiably so. Jack Hughes is a center for the New Jersey Devils, and he and Quinn aren't too far apart in age. I think if Quinn wanted to play center, he could. If the Canucks do need a top-six center that badly, I don't think that's a bad option. I'm sure Ian Cole, Nikita Zadorov, and Carson Soucy can hold down the fort for the Canucks in the interim.
We can't say for sure whether or not the Canucks asked current head coach and Boudreau replacement Rick Tocchet for the same favor, but I think the answer is a resounding 'no'. The good news is that Hughes is likely headed for his first Norris Trophy this year; the Art Ross will have to wait for another time.