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Emotional Boudreau: 'I'd be a fool to say' I don't know about job uncertainty

Jeff Vinnick / National Hockey League / Getty

Bruce Boudreau acknowledged the widespread speculation that the clock is winding down on his tenure as Vancouver Canucks head coach in an emotional media availability Friday.

"I mean, I'd be a fool to say that I don't know what's going on," the veteran bench boss said. "Like I said before, you come to work and you realize how great the game is."

A choked-up Boudreau said he'd "talk later" when asked what it means to him to be a head coach in the NHL and politely ended his scrum.

The Canucks take on the Colorado Avalanche on Friday and the Edmonton Oilers on Saturday. Both contests will take place at home.

Former NHL head coach and current TNT analyst Rick Tocchet has been linked to the Canucks as Boudreau's successor. During a wide-ranging press conference Monday, president of hockey operations Jim Rutherford confirmed that he had spoken to external coaching candidates but said the job still belonged to Boudreau.

"It's tough not to feel (the pressure)," Boudreau said. "Look, if you love it, you want to go do it. That's the way I shut it out, basically just realizing how much you care about the game and the players."

The 68-year-old raised some eyebrows across the league - and within his own household - when he wasn't on the ice for Friday's morning skate.

"I mean, I've got my wife phoning me, saying, 'You're not on the ice, is everything OK?' So (reporters) are getting it out all over the country."

He added, "I said (to my wife), 'I'm still here! I just don't go on the ice all the time.'"

Boudreau won 617 of his 1,085 games as a coach, tying Jacques Lemaire for the 20th most in NHL history. He's three victories short of catching up to Bryan Murray in 19th.

The Canucks are currently in sixth place of the Pacific Division with a record of 18-23-3.

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