The Ducks have extended the contract of Head Coach Bruce Boudreau for two additional seasons. Boudreau, who had one year remaining on his contract, is now signed through the 2016-17 NHL season.
“Bruce has done a very good job over the last several years, and deserves the opportunity to take this team deep into the playoffs,” said Ducks Executive Vice President/General Manager Bob Murray. “We’re happy to have this contract complete before training camp, so our complete focus can be on winning hockey games.”
Boudreau has the top winning (points) percentage in the NHL among all active coaches (min. 100 games; 312-143-62, .663%). He led Anaheim to the best record in the Western Conference for the first time in club history last year (54-20-8), including a second straight division title and club-record 116 standings points. He became the fastest coach in NHL history to reach 300 wins on Feb. 28, 2014 vs. St. Louis, accomplishing the feat in 496 career games. On Mar. 2, 2014 vs. Carolina, Boudreau became the fastest Ducks coach to 100 victories (169 career games).
“I couldn’t be more excited and would like to thank the Samuelis, Michael Schulman and Bob Murray for extending my contract,” said Boudreau. “I’m determined not only to win, but to do it here, for this organization that has treated me so well. I can’t wait for training camp to get started.”
Since joining the Ducks as the eighth head coach in club history on Nov. 30, 2011, Boudreau has posted a record of 111-55-22. In his first full season in Anaheim (2012-13), he led the team to the best winning (points) percentage in club history (30-12-6, .688%), a mark the club surpassed last year.
Boudreau is a two-time finalist for the Jack Adams Award (NHL Coach of the Year) and won the award in 2007-08 with Washington (also a 2012-13 finalist with Anaheim). As head coach of the Washington Capitals (2007-11), Boudreau led his club to the 2009-10 Presidents’ Trophy as the NHL’s top club in the regular season. He compiled a record of 201-88-40 (.672 winning percentage) with the Capitals and won the Southeast Division four times. He became the fastest coach in modern day NHL history to win 200 games (Nov. 21, 2011 vs. Phoenix) and recorded more wins (184) in his first 300 NHL games than any NHL coach all-time.
Before joining the Capitals, Boudreau spent nine seasons as an AHL head coach, winning a Calder Cup championship with the Hershey Bears in 2006. He spent four years with Manchester (Los Angeles affiliate) and two with Lowell (also Los Angeles affiliate) before joining Hershey (Washington). A member of the AHL Hall of Fame (inducted in 2009), Boudreau compiled a 103-45-27 record with the Bears, including an AHL-best 51-17-12 in 2006-07.
Boudreau began his coaching career in the Colonial Hockey League with Muskegon in 1992-93 and was named the International Hockey League Coach of the Year in 1993-94 with Fort Wayne. He also served as head coach and director of hockey operations for Mississippi (ECHL), where he won the 1999 Kelly Cup championship.
Below are quotes from Boudreau's conference call with the media
“Good morning, everybody. Before we start, I’d like to congratulate Saku Koivu on a tremendous career. He was a great attribute to us. I just heard that he retired, so I just wanted to say that. He’s a great human being, and everything he did was well-deserved. On behalf of the Ducks, and being the first one to be able to report on this, I want to congratulate him and thank him for the years.”
On what this contract extension means to him
“It certainly means a lot. It means that the Ducks organization has faith in me leading this team. That’s important going forward. That’s what it really means to me. As for family, I love the California area, so it was really nice to be able to get this done rather than have to worry all year. It’s good on many levels.”
On how long contract talks were going on with Bob Murray
“We first started talking by the end of May. We both had a lot of things going on this summer, so there were a lot of breaks in between. It started picking up again last week. For both Bob and myself, it was important to get it done before training camp started so there was nothing hanging over us. We could just focus on the season. I wouldn’t have wanted to talk about it during the season because it would’ve been a distraction. We didn’t want that.”
On the upgrades to the team
“I think we were close last year. I think the experience from our young guys having that one year is going to make us better. Plus, the additions like Kesler and Nate Thompson, to name the two main ones up front, are really big. In the past, all the prognosticators said we’d be fighting for the playoffs. We’re still going to have to fight, because the West is very tough. People are expecting more from us, and we expect more from ourselves. It’s going to be an interesting preseason going right through the whole season.”
On what Ryan Kesler brings to the team that it didn’t have previously
“He’s a big, strong centerman. As much as I loved all of the players on our team last year, Saku wasn’t very big, Nick Bonino isn’t very big and Mathieu Perreault isn’t very big. Now we have that big centerman who can play against every other team’s top line, and allow Ryan Getzlaf’s line not to have to play against them, especially at home.
“It makes it easier to match lines with those two. We firmly believe that Nate Thompson played that role a little bit in Tampa Bay, and we believe Rickard Rakell or William Karlsson is ready. We’ll soon see. In the summer, things look a lot better. Kesler and Getzlaf give us a one-two punch compared to most teams in the league. That’s going to be where our strength will lie. He also wins faceoffs and also kills penalties, so he’s a pretty rounded player. That’s why he was so sought after by everybody.”
On his confidence level
“I’m always worried and I don’t want to get over confident because any time you do that, bad things happen to you. But if everybody stays healthy, I think we’re a pretty good hockey club. The one thing I do know is that it’s a good group of men. I’ve spent some time watching them skate in the last couple of weeks, and talking to the Keslers, Thompsons and [Clayton] Stoners. They’re all really good guys. I think the group is really going to get along well with each other. That’s a big part of the battle. They’re all excited about training camp. We’ve got some young guys who are now really vying for more playing time. That’s going to be an interesting dynamic come training camp.”
On the improved Western Conference
“You all want to win the Cup, and you’re comparing yourself to the LA Kings and where their depth and strength is. You have to continue to try to get better. They’re at the top of the mountain. Everybody is trying to catch them. If you stay the status quo, usually the same status quo results will occur.
"We think we’ve improved our club, and hopefully we have another chance to have another great series against them.”