Bruce Boudreau was formally announced as the fourth coach of the Minnesota Wild during a press conference at Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul, Minn., on Tuesday.
Boudreau was hired to replace John Torchetti, who served as the Wild's interim coach the final 10 weeks of the season after Mike Yeo was fired Feb. 13.
"The Wild has always been a good, tough team to play against; they play an in-your-face type of game," Boudreau said. "Everything pointed to this direction and the finishing touch was after sitting down with [GM Chuck Fletcher] and then going home to my wife. I told her these are the kinds of players I want to work for.
"I thought it would be a good relationship."
"Once Bruce became available, it mostly became about can we get him signed," Fletcher said. "His teams play fast. They win and they are entertaining."
Fletcher said Torchetti, who came up from Iowa of the American Hockey League and led Minnesota to a 15-11-1 record and the second wild card into the Stanley Cup Playoffs from the Western Conference, was "disappointed" he didn't get a chance to coach the Wild next season. The Wild lost in the Western Conference First Round to the Dallas Stars in six games.
"The conversation with [Torchetti] was hard. He was disappointed; he wanted to be the head coach [of the Wild] and that's what drives him but he's assessing his options," Fletcher said. "If he wants to remain with the organization, I'd love to have him. He did a great job and bailed us out of a tough situation [in 2015-16], and did a great job of pushing and pulling the players into the playoffs and got them to buy in and play hard but when [someone] like [Boudreau] becomes available, it's tough to [ignore]."
Boudreau was fired by the Anaheim Ducks on April 29 after failing to win a Game 7 at home in the playoffs for the fourth straight season. He led Anaheim to the Pacific Division title each of those seasons. Anaheim was eliminated by the Nashville Predators in the first round.
He was asked about his failure in Game 7 matches.
"I've been in the business a long time and we're in a winning business, so you have to win," Boudreau said. "Game 7's are sometimes a crap shoot and I had an idea what would happen if we didn't win Game 7. Those things happen but I believe good things happen to people that work hard. One door closed [in Anaheim] and another one has opened, and I'm looking forward to it."
In five seasons with the Ducks, Boudreau was 208-104-40. He also coached the Washington Capitals from 2007-12 and won the Jack Adams Award in 2008. He is 409-192-80 in nine NHL seasons.
After Boudreau was fired by the Capitals on Nov. 28, 2011, he was hired by the Ducks two days later. Boudreau was hired by the Wild eight days after being fired by the Ducks.
"My job is to find the Achilles heel of every player and push that button to make them play better," Boudreau said.
Fletcher said he and Boudreau will sit down over the next few weeks to discuss the assistant coaches.