PITTSBURGH, PA - FILE: Head coach Bruce Boudreau of the Washington Capitals watches from the bench during the NHL game against the Pittsburgh Penguins at Consol Energy Center on February 21, 2011 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. It was reported that Bruce Boudreau was fired as coach of the Washington Capitals and replaced by Dale Hunter November 28, 2011. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Bruce Boudreau wasn't unemployed long. The former coach of the Washington Capitals has been hired by the Anaheim Ducks, replacing Randy Carlyle, who had been there since 2005.
Ducks general manager Bob Murray called the move an "extremely difficult decision," while also saying that he believes his team can "turn this season around" under the leadership of Boudreau. The Ducks had lost seven straight games before Wednesday night, when Carlyle and the Ducks defeated the Montreal Canadiens.
That makes this move all the more awkward. Almost certainly, Murray and his staff had made this decision before Wednesday night's home game against Montreal. Elliotte Friedman reports that Boudreau is already in Anaheim and that he'll run practice on Thursday morning, which essentially means that Carlyle was a lame duck all evening behind the bench at Honda Center. Pierre LeBrun of ESPN reported that Carlyle was informed 40 minutes after the win.
It also means that Boudreau put on a hell of a poker face during an afternoon interview with CSN Washington's Jill Sorenson back in D.C. on Wednesday.
What's this mean for the Ducks immediately? Well, it completely changes the complexion of the Bobby Ryan trade rumors that have circled over the last several days. After a change behind the bench, it would be extremely curious for Murray to also pull off a blockbuster trade in the same week.
Boudreau is also completely different from Carlyle. While the ex-coach of the Ducks is known as a bit of a tough guy, Boudreau is the quintessential players' coach. Perhaps Murray feels that's what his team needs. Carlyle had also been behind the bench for 492 games, which made him the fourth-longest tenured coach in the NHL. He had been in Anaheim since 2005, and he won a Stanley Cup there in 2007.
Boudreau's first game behind the Ducks bench will come on Friday night when his team faces a foe that's familiar to their new coach: the Philadelphia Flyers. Boudreau's first game as Capitals head coach in 2007 also came against Philadelphia.
For more on the sudden change at the helm in Anaheim, check in with Ducks blog Anaheim Calling.