Canucks not ready to commit to Boudreau beyond next season
Bruce, there it isn't?
The Vancouver Canucks aren't currently willing to commit to head coach Bruce Boudreau beyond next season, president of hockey operations Jim Rutherford said Tuesday.
"We would be willing to have him back under the contract that he agreed to when he came here," Rutherford told reporters during his year-end availability. "And that's certainly not to say at the end of next year we wouldn't want him back."
Rutherford added that there's a possibility the organization would be ready to talk about an extension for Boudreau partway through next season.
"I just feel that, as good a job as he's done, it wasn't a full season," Rutherford said. "I feel that giving him a chance to take the team from training camp all the way through next season - I guess we could get to a point where, partway through the season, we may decide to talk about that."
Boudreau signed a two-year deal with the club when he was hired in December 2021, but his contract reportedly contains multiple options for next season.
"In our agreement, both sides have until June 1, so he can take whatever time he wants," Rutherford said.
He added: "Our talks with him have been very positive. He's well aware we appreciate and respect the job he's done. (We) explained to him why we're doing it the way we're doing it and why we want him back."
The Canucks went 32-15-10 under Boudreau. They came within five points of making the playoffs after an 8-15-2 start under previous head coach Travis Green. Boudreau became a fan favorite, as home crowds regularly chanted "Bruce, there it is" after a big goal.
Rutherford further explained his rationale for not extending Boudreau.
"In our business, you have to be cautious with your decisions, and you have to do them for the right reasons," the veteran executive said. "If you don't, you're gonna get yourself in a position someday where you're paying three (or) four coaches in the same year."
While Boudreau has nearly a month to mull over his future, he said he told management that he wants to return next year.
"We're just talking right now. Hopefully, things get done," Boudreau told reporters Tuesday. "I think they want me back, and I know I want to be back. So, I think it should work out."