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Give Bruce a call

January 31, 2024, 7:57 PM ET [65 Comments]
Ryan Wilson
Pittsburgh Penguins Blogger • RSSArchiveCONTACT
The conversation surrounding the Penguins power play woes has been beaten to death. Unfortunately, the problem remains and it is one that cannot be ignored. Given the fact the Penguins don’t have a lot of roster flexibility they should be open to alternative ways to fix the issue.

One way is a coaching change. I’ve said this before, but I am going to say it again, I think Todd Reirden should be given his walking papers. It is one thing to make a suggestion like this and it is another to have an actionable plan for doing so. My actionable plan is very specific and it would potentially kill two birds with one stone. It is a suggestion I’ve made in the past. I would hire Bruce Boudreau.

I can’t claim to know what his interest would be in an assistant coaching position. As of right now he is a senior advisor in the OHL for the Niagara Ice Dogs and apparently still has an interest in coaching in the NHL

The Team Canada job is Boudreau’s first since he was left languishing as a lame duck head coach before being let go by the Canucks in January 2023. Boudreau has been steadfast in his desire to coach again after he departed Vancouver.

If he was willing I would hire him with a specific focus on the power play. Years ago (2008) I attended the Roger Nielsen coaching clinic in Winsor, Ontario. During the Saturday session none other than Bruce Boudreau gave a presentation about power plays. The night prior he was in Toronto at the NHL awards ceremony collecting a Jack Adams Trophy. What stood out in his presentation is how he explained what he did to get Alex Ovechkin the puck despite everybody in the arena knowing what they were trying to do. It was a really great presentation and he’s a guy who understands creating 2v1’s and using space. It is why I feel confident about his ability to come and at the very least make the Penguins power play functional.

The other factor in making this hire is it would put a veteran head coach caliber person on the staff (not named Todd Reirden) if there ever was a need to make a move at the head coaching position. I would not move on from Mike Sullivan at this time. I do want somebody who could step in and successfully navigate a locker room full of talented veteran players. I think Boudreau is a great fit for that role. He’s a players coach with a history of success in many different stops. I think he would be a great supporting (and different) voice for this team.

This team needs a shakeup and sometimes that shakeup can come in a different form than changing players. Something has to give. Give Bruce a call.

Thanks for reading!
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