WASHINGTON – If every laid off worker in this country could get back to work as quickly as Bruce Boudreau has this week, politicians would be dancing in the streets. Less than 72 hours after he was fired by the Capitals, Boudreau has been hired to replace Randy Carlyle as head coach of the Anaheim Ducks.
Ducks general manager Bob Murray made the announcement early Thursday morning on the east coast, about 40 minutes after Anaheim’s 4-1 win over the Montreal Canadiens. It was only the Ducks’ third win in their last 19 games as they remain in last place in the Pacific Division.
“We simply felt a new voice was needed,” Murray said in a statement. “Bruce is a proven winner with a great track record, and we are optimistic we can turn this season around under his leadership.”
Boudreau will make his Anaheim coaching debut Friday against the Philadelphia Flyers, coincidentally the same team he faced in his Capitals debut Nov. 23, 2007. The former Caps bench boss becomes the eighth coach in Ducks history replacing a man that Boudreau knows quite well.
“I played with my nonbiological twin, Randy Carlyle, in Toronto and Dallas,” Boudreau wrote in his 2009 autobiography “Gabby: Confessions of a Hockey Lifer.”
“A lot of people thought we were brothers then and we could pass for brothers now,” Boudreau says of his follicly challenge former teammate. “Randy is one of the most underrated players ever. Not too many people win the Norris Trophy. I don’t think he’s gotten his due as a great player.”
Boudreau and Carlyle were teammates from 1976 to 1978 with the NHL’s Toronto Maple Leafs and CHL’s Dallas Black Hawks and Boudreau notes in his book that Carlyle had the primary assist on his first career NHL goal.
“My goal was the first one of the game in a 6-0 Toronto win at Maple Leaf Gardens,” Boudreau wrote of his first of 28 career NHL tallies.
“I don’t know if I was floating or not,” he says. “I came back near our blue line, and Randy Carlyle collected the puck behind our goal and fed me a pass that set up a breakaway