Unless a better choice becomes available, extend Bruce Boudreau.
Bruce Boudreau is a good coach. Coached during the young, prime years of Ovechkin, Backstrom, John Carlson, and Semyon Varlamov in Washington. In Anaheim, he had success with Corey Perry, Ryan Kesler, Ryan Getzlaf in the second half of his twenties, Cam Fowler, Pat Maroon, Rickard Rakell, John Gibson, Hampus Lindholm, Nick Ritchie, Jakob Silfverberg, and Sami Vatanen.
Bruce Boudreau has the knack for getting teams into the playoffs. Not just scraping by either, he gets his teams into the top three of the division, earning their spot in the postseason.
So keep Bruce Boudreau around as Coach. His first two years in Minnesota they finished second and third in the division. His first year as the skip, he got the team to a position where Vegas Sports Books labeled them as the favorite to win the Cup at the All-Star Break (till Chuck Fletcher tried to fix a problem that wasn’t broken in acquiring Martin Hanzal and Ryan White from Arizona.) Before that, the Wild had only finished in the top three of the division and got in the playoffs four times (Jacques Lemaire did it three times and Mike Yeo did it once. Todd Richards got the team to the top three, but not in the playoffs.). I believe he can facilitate the proper development of our prospects while still being a strategic stalwart.
Here’s the concern. Sometimes, the players can only take so much of a coach. Sometimes they can only learn so much from his system. An unnamed player has already come forward and stated his dissatisfaction with Bruce as HC, as reported by Brandon Mileski on KFAN Radio.
The other concern: Bruce Boudreau might not want to stick around for a rebuild. He has a grand resume of success. A team with an elite roster might need a change at the helm. Boudreau knows this first hand, he was fired after an extended losing streak in Washington. This season, that might be the Toronto Maple Leafs- A team that Bruce Boudreau has openly been a fan of.
What other choices might be available?
Jon Cooper could be on the hot seat. The Lightning were swept out of the first round of the playoffs after a historic season. Since his first season in 2013, the Lightning have been to the Stanley Cup Final once (2014-2015 losing to the Blackhawks), Conference Finals twice (2015-2016 and 2017-2018), and eliminated in the First Round twice (2018-2019 and 2013-2014). Completely missed the playoffs in the 2016-2017 season.
Kyle McKenna on the NHL FanSided page listed Five Coaches on the Hot Seat:
Bruce Boudreau (Pretty Funny)
I personally wouldn’t be against Paul Marice or Claude Julien. They’ve gone through the rebuilding process and especially Paul Marice has dealt with extremely difficult situations. Coaching in Winnipeg is never easy and last season there were reports of a frustrated and fractured locker room.
There’s always the NHL assistant coaches/AHL coaches looking to make the jump to the head coaching seat.
Tim Army in Iowa has gotten off to an unbelievable start this season, but more on the baby Wild later.
On to Step Two