Inside The Box: Bruce Boudreau would be a solid hire for the Seattle Kraken

Head coach Bruce Boudreau of the Minnesota Wild. (Photo by Frederick Breedon/Getty Images)
Head coach Bruce Boudreau of the Minnesota Wild. (Photo by Frederick Breedon/Getty Images) /

Inside The Box is Puck Prose’s daily news bulletin, covering all the latest news and providing unique analysis and insight, while highlighting the NHL content you need in your lives.

Bruce Boudreau has thrown his hat into the ring for the Seattle Kraken Head Coach job, and on today’s edition of Inside The Box, we’re going to delve right in and map out why the veteran bench boss could be a good fit for the NHL’s 32nd franchise.

We’re approaching that time where we will start to hear a lot more news out of Seattle given that they are edging closer and closer to their inaugural season in the National Hockey League. They have a hell of a lot to do with the 2021 NHL Expansion Draft coming up as well as the 2021 NHL Entry Draft, and we should get to the point soon when the Kraken will become a fixture in the daily conversation when it comes to the NHL.

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That is now starting to become the case with General Manager Ron Francis no doubting narrowing down his shortlist for potential candidates to become the first Head Coach in franchise history for the Seattle Kraken, and he might be interested in having a discussion with Bruce Boudreau, who has made clear his interest.

Boudreau hasn’t been behind the bench for an NHL franchise since being fired by the Minnesota Wild during the 2019-20 season, but his resume and track record is impressive and he could tick a lot of boxes for Seattle who will need to get this huge hire right if they want to enjoy success similar to that of the Vegas Golden Knights when they entered the league in 2017-18.

Speaking exclusively to Ryan S. Clark of The Athletic, Boudreau made it abundantly clear that he would be more than interested in becoming the first Head Coach of the Seattle Kraken, and he revealed his excitement at being able to build something from the ground floor up with a new team and having a blank canvas to work with.

Bruce Boudreau
Minnesota Wild head coach Bruce Boudreau. Mandatory Credit: David Berding-USA TODAY Sports /

Veteran Head Coach Bruce Boudreau could be a good fit for the Seattle Kraken

Boudreau has moved back to Hersey, Pa., with his wife Crystal and they have recently purchased a junior team that will play in the United States Premiere Hockey League during the 2020-21 season, while they also own the Minnesota Blue Ox. And Boudreau also revealed to Clark that he had the opportunity to work for the Toronto Maple Leafs as an Assistant Coach, but decided to pass on it.

The 66-year-old, who also works as an analyst for both NBC Washington and the NHL Network, should be on the list of potential candidates for Francis and the rest of the Kraken front office, and there’s a few reasons as to why Boudreau would be a decent hire for Seattle.

For starters, he already has a relationship with a few members of that Kraken front office, including David Baseggio, the team’s Director of Professional Scouting, Alexandra Mandrycky, Seattle’s Director of Hockey Administration, and Boudreau was the coach of the LA Kings’ AHL affiliate when Tim Leiweke, who is part of the ownership group of the Kraken, was president of the Kings.

However, more important is Boudreau’s impressive body of work given that he has earned his due having worked his way up through the minor leagues, putting the work in and learning his craft before being given a chance in the NHL with the Washington Capitals during the 2007-08 season.

Boudreau, who has a regular-season record of 567-302-115, led the Caps to four straight postseason appearances, he then went on to take the Anaheim Ducks to the Stanley Cup Playoffs and also took the Minnesota Wild to the postseason in his first two years with the franchise. Granted, he hasn’t got a cup and his teams are 43-47 in the postseason.

However, the Kraken are going to have a very good team and, because of the flat cap in the NHL right now, there will be some very, very good players there for the taking for Seattle in the 2021 NHL Expansion Draft, and it also wouldn’t surprise me if some teams send high picks over to the Kraken in order to get rid of some big contracts, giving the first-year franchise yet more draft capital with which to build a winner.

Bruce Boudreau
Head coach Bruce Boudreau of the Minnesota Wild. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images) /

Therefore, and like the Golden Knights, the Kraken should be competitive from the first drop of the puck in 2021-22, and having a veteran coach behind the bench who knows what it takes to win on a nightly basis and knows what it takes to get to the postseason would be a huge, huge plus for Seattle.

Of course, another important factor at play here is the fact that the Kraken will probably need a wise old head that has the experience and the knowledge to be able to bring together a completely new group of players quickly, while putting in place a culture and an infrastructure that can ultimately lead to success.

That is why many view Gerard Gallant as the perfect man for the job given that he did exactly the same with the Vegas Golden Knights, taking them to the Stanley Cup Final in his first year and to the Playoffs again in his second year, but Bruce Boudreau has worked with some of the best in the NHL, he’s been around a long time, he’s respected and he could be a good fit for a first-year expansion team that will be coming into the NHL with high expectations given the new blueprint set for expansion franchises by the Golden Knights.

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