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Boudreau fired as Ducks coach

Lost four straight Game 7s at home; no timetable for replacement

by Abbey Mastracco / Correspondent

ANAHEIM -- Bruce Boudreau was fired as coach of the Anaheim Ducks on Friday, two days after losing a fourth straight Stanley Cup Playoff Game 7 at home.

"Bruce was a good coach. Won a lot of hockey games, won four division titles, and he's a very passionate hockey guy," Anaheim general manager Bob Murray said at Honda Center. "But the bottom line for me was that I did not feel that going forward and making the playoffs again, it would not be a good situation."

Under Boudreau, the Ducks won the Pacific Division four times but were eliminated in a Game 7 each season, including 2-1 by the Nashville Predators in the Western Conference First Round on Wednesday.

Boudreau, 61, was hired by the Ducks to replace Randy Carlyle on Nov. 30, 2011, two days after being fired by the Washington Capitals. Boudreau had similar-regular season success in Washington, coaching the Capitals to a 201-88-40 record and four straight division titles. But they never reached the Eastern Conference Final and advanced once in four postseason appearances.

Boudreau is 1-7 in Game 7 in the NHL.

Known as a talkative players' coach, Boudreau earned the respect of his locker room with an open-door policy. The turnaround in Anaheim was swift: The Ducks went from fifth place in the Pacific Division to first in 2012-13. But the Ducks were eliminated by the Detroit Red Wings in seven games in the first round. They had made it one round further each year, reaching Game 7 of the 2015 Western Conference Final.

"The last four years, the way they ended were very similar," Murray said. "Regular season success is OK. I've told you all many times that making the playoffs is the most important thing, and I really think that. So this wasn't going to work moving forward."

Boudreau was 208-104-40 with Anaheim, for an NHL record of 409-192-80.

"When you have success with somebody, it's never easy," Murray said. "But ultimately, my job is to look for what's best for the group. And that's why it's uncomfortable, because there was some success. But I want playoff success."

Murray said he has not set a timetable for hiring Boudreau's replacement. The Ducks employ three former NHL coaches: Boudreau assistants Paul MacLean and Trent Yawney, and Dallas Eakins, who coaches their American Hockey League team in San Diego.

Murray has not ruled out hiring one of them but would not say any is a candidate. A decision on Boudreau's coaching staff also has not been reached.

"It's a wide-open book, We have a list and we'll get busy on that list this weekend," Murray said. "We haven't made any decisions yet at all. We're going to take our time here and meet with the players. Starting on Saturday, we'll meet with them all, get their thoughts, and we'll determine what happens with the rest of the coaching staff."

Murray met with Boudreau and his family Thursday before going to San Diego to be with the Gulls, who are in a Calder Cup Playoff series with the Texas Stars. Murray returned to Anaheim on Friday morning to deliver the news. He said Boudreau took it well, knowing it was a hockey decision and nothing more.

"This was just about, I couldn't see us moving forward this way," Murray said. "So we'll handle that first. I'm in no rush whatsoever. I'll meet with the players and then take a deep breath."

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