How Bruce Boudreau, Anaheim Ducks Head Coach, Can Suddenly Help The Capitals Again

WINNIPEG, CANADA - FILE: Washington Capitals head coach Bruce Boudreau speaks with the media, including The Hockey News' writer Ken Campbell (centre) after the team was defeated by the Winnipeg Jets 4-1 at the MTS Centre on November 17, 2011 in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. It was reported that Bruce Boudreau was fired as coach of the Washington Capitals and replaced by Dale Hunter November 28, 2011. (Photo by Marianne Helm/Getty Images)

Bruce Boudreau can still help his old team, the Washington Capitals, even though he's now more than 3,000 miles away in Anaheim. Also, the Detroit Red Wings are predictably about to host a Winter Classic. You knew that was coming.

Oh, sweet hockey irony. How I love thee.

Think about this: Back on July 1, the Colorado Avalanche acquired goaltender Seymon Varlamov from the Washington Capitals in exchange for an impressive pair of draft picks, the Avs' first round pick in 2012 and a conditional second round pick. The reaction from just about everybody?


The response from the Avalanche was rather predictable. We think we'll be a good team and that it'll be worth losing that pick. And no, it won't be a lottery pick. We're going to be a good team, and Varlamov is part of that.

Yeah, well Varlamov might be part of the solution somewhere down the line for the Avalanche, but right now, he's not playing on a great team. Sure, Colorado had a nice little surprising start to their season, but since they've predictably fallen back a bit, and they now sit in 12th place in the West and 24th place in the NHL.

With each and every loss, it seems that the Washington Capitals get closer to drafting Nail Yakupov -- or at the very least, somewhere near the very top of the 2012 NHL Draft. A Capitals team that's probably playoff bound, despite the fact that they fired head coach Bruce Boudreau on Monday morning. 

That brings us right back to Boudreau, who went through just 66 hours of unemployment before being hired by the Anaheim Ducks late Wednesday evening or early Thursday morning, depending on the side of the country on which you live.

The Ducks are languishing even lower than the Avalanche right now, all the way down in 29th place in the NHL, but they're only five points behind the Avs with a game in hand in the standings. The two teams play each other four times the rest of the season.

In a very direct way, Bruce Bourdreau is going to have an impact -- one way or the other -- on the draft pick that winds up in the hands of his old buddies back in Washington this coming June. 


The Detroit Red Wings are apparently begging for a Winter Classic, not that they really have to beg at all.

It's no secret that as the NHL tries to pretend they're actually spreading around the Winter Classic wealth, they'll give it to the Western Conference again next year just so they can keep up the charade. Even if the team they give it to has already played in one. Like the Red Wings. Via has learned the Red Wings expect to host the annual Winter Classic either next season or in 2013-14.

The Red Wings would prefer to have the game at Comerica Park, home of the Tigers, also owned by Mike Ilitch. But it might take place at Michigan Stadium in Ann Arbor due to its huge capacity. 

The stadium hosted the "Big Chill at the Big House" on Dec. 11, 2010, attracting a world record announced crowd of 113,411 in the game between Michigan and Michigan State.

Detroit and New York are in line for the next two NHL outdoor games in the U.S.    

Should Detroit get the game, they'd be the third team in six years to have played in two Winter Classics, joining Pittsburgh (2008, 2011) and Philadelphia (2010, 2012).

If the report is true and both Detroit and New York are in line to host the next two games -- we're assuming the Rangers because people actually watch their games, unlike the Islanders -- then the Blueshirts will also join that list of teams to play in two Winter Classics. We'll have to assume the Rangers won't get the 2013 game, instead the 2014 game, simply because they're playing Philadelphia this year. 

Ah, spreading the wealth. You didn't think the Minnesota Wild would ever get to host one, did you


Morning Skate is a daily NHL column. It runs Monday through Friday. Check the archives.

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