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Rutherford apologizes for Boudreau saga, calls criticism of team 'overplayed'

Jeff Vinnick / National Hockey League / Getty

Vancouver Canucks president of hockey operations Jim Rutherford was apologetic to Bruce Boudreau during Sunday's press conference introducing Rick Tocchet as head coach but insisted criticism for the team's handling of the situation has been "overplayed."

"I will apologize to Bruce for this: Probably, in my interviews over the course of the season, when people ask me a question, I'm probably too direct and too honest. ... Sometimes that affects certain people. And in this case, it probably did affect him," Rutherford told the media, including Sportsnet.

"I'm sorry I did that, and I've learned from it. So I've decided that I need to zip it. I'm not going to talk about the team; I'm going to let Patrik (Allvin, Vancouver's GM) and Rick Tocchet talk about the team."

There was significant speculation over Boudreau's future leading up to Sunday's firing. Colorado Avalanche forward Andrew Cogliano criticized the Canucks' treatment of Boudreau, while Vancouver defenseman Tyler Myers admitted the conjecture was impacting the team.

After apologizing, Rutherford maintained the Canucks' search for a new coach was typical.

"It's not any different than most situations in professional sports, where a team is not winning as much as people would like, and there's speculation that there's gonna be changes," Rutherford said. "If you go back to the last time there was a coaching change here, there was speculation about it. And the owner was talking to Bruce about coming here before there was a change made. So, there's not a whole lot different other than what I've apologized for."

Rutherford added, "I have had several calls - and I know a lot more than you do - from people that feel that this was really overplayed by everybody."

Tocchet will debut as Vancouver's head coach when the Canucks face the Chicago Blackhawks on Tuesday.

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