ARLINGTON, Va. – The Washington Capitals have named Bruce Boudreau the team’s head coach, removing “interim” from his title, vice president and general manager George McPhee announced today. The Capitals are 7-5-3 since Boudreau was named interim head coach on Nov. 22.
Boudreau, 52, has coached championship teams in the American Hockey League (AHL) and the ECHL and has coached more than 1,000 games in the minor leagues. He led the Hershey Bears, Washington’s AHL affiliate, to the Eastern Conference championship and the Calder Cup finals in each of his first two years in Hershey, winning the Calder Cup in 2006. Boudreau compiled a 103-45-11-16 record with the Bears (a .666 winning percentage), including an AHL-best 51-17-6-6 record (.713) last season.
Washington’s seven wins and 17 points under Boudreau exceed the team’s total from prior to his appointment (6-14-1). Offensively the Capitals have averaged nearly a goal per game more under Boudreau (3.0 to 2.2) and have seen significant improvements on both the power play and penalty kill.
Boudreau compiled a 340-216-56-43 record in nine seasons as an AHL head coach. He spent four years with the Manchester Monarchs and two years with the Lowell Lock Monsters before joining the Bears. Before ascending to the AHL, he was the head coach and director of hockey operations for the Mississippi Sea Wolves (ECHL), where he won the 1999 Kelly Cup championship.
After making his head-coaching debut in the Colonial Hockey League with the Muskegon Fury in 1992-93, Boudreau took over the Fort Wayne Komets of the International Hockey League (IHL) in 1993-94. The Komets advanced to the Turner Cup finals his first season at the controls, and Boudreau was named the 1993-94 IHL coach of the year.
Boudreau played parts of eight seasons with the Toronto Maple Leafs and Chicago Blackhawks, recording 70 points in 141 NHL games. A third-round pick of the Leafs in the 1975 NHL draft, Boudreau enjoyed one of the best seasons ever by a Canadian junior player during 1974-75. He picked up 165 points for the Toronto Marlboros, a Canadian Hockey League record until Wayne Gretzky surpassed the mark during the 1977-78 season.
An outstanding AHL player, Boudreau ranks 11th all-time in scoring in league history with 316 goals and 799 points. No AHL player in the 1980s notched more points than Boudreau, as he played for the New Brunswick Hawks, Baltimore Skipjacks, Nova Scotia Oilers, Springfield Indians and Newmarket Saints during that time. He won the 1987-88 John B. Sollenberger Trophy for leading the league in scoring and was also a member of the 1992 Calder Cup champion Adirondack Red Wings.