Canucks' Boudreau to return as head coach next season

Jeff Vinnick / National Hockey League / Getty

Bruce, there it is.

Head coach Bruce Boudreau will return behind the bench for the Vancouver Canucks next season, the team announced Friday.

After taking over in December for former head coach Travis Green, Boudreau won the first seven games of his Vancouver tenure. The Canucks, who started 8-15-2, finished the season 32-15-10 under Boudreau's direction, narrowly missing the playoffs.

The 67-year-old also won over the Vancouver crowd, which regularly serenaded him with chants of "Bruce, there it is."

"My desire has always been to come back to coach this team," Boudreau said. "I love the organization, city, fans, and the players. I'm also grateful for the opportunity provided to me by Jim (Rutherford) and Patrik (Allvin) to continue building what we started."

Rutherford, the Canucks' president of hockey operations, said earlier this month that he wasn't ready to commit to Boudreau beyond this upcoming 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 (an extension)."

Boudreau is one win shy of 600 victories. He'll now have the chance next season to become the 22nd coach in league history to reach the milestone.

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Canucks' Boudreau to return as head coach next season
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