When the LA Kings skate out for puck drop in Vancouver tonight, an old friend will be standing over on the Canucks bench. Bruce Bourdreau was hired by LA’s division rival late Sunday night and joined the Canucks in time for a pregame skate on Monday.
Morning skate with Bruce 👋 pic.twitter.com/guwfXtY1rH
— Vancouver #Canucks (@Canucks) December 6, 2021
Boudreau is perhaps best known as a former coach of the Anaheim Ducks, Washington Capitals, and Minnesota Wild. Oddly enough, he spent roughly 325 games at each stop and is currently just 16 games away from coaching his 1,000 NHL game.
However, his previous ties have strong connection to the LA Kings.
Gabby — as he’s affectionally known throughout hockey circles — was first hired by the Kings in 1999 to be head coach of their AHL team in Lowell, before eventually moving to Manchester when that franchise began with the 2001-02 season. Over the next four years, Boudreau’s Monarchs won the division each year, yet fell in the first round of the AHL playoffs every time.
In 2005 he was terminated by the Kings after posting a 169-100-33-18 regular season record during his time in Manchester. And his final year as the Monarchs bench boss saw them finish with 51 wins and as the Eastern Conference’s top team. Still, though, it was a fifth straight first round exit (four in Manchester and one in Lowell) that did him in.
Richard Seeley, now GM of the Ontario Reign, was a player under Boudreau in Manchester — as was Dustin Brown for his only AHL season (2004-05). A plethora of former Kings players were also on those teams, including: Mike Cammalleri, Derek Armstrong, and George Parros.
Boudreau also just missed out on the events of 9/11. He had been dining with Kings scouts Ace Bailey and Mark Bavis (along with a few other members of the Kings management staff) the night before. All were scheduled to fly to Los Angeles for the opening of training camp a few days later. Bailey and Bavis had moved their flights up to arrive earlier, leaving Boston on 9/11. At dinner, they tried to convince Boudreau to change his flight and join them on the earlier plane ride. He ultimately opted not too, allegedly because he didn’t want to pay the change fee. In the end, it changed the course of his life.
As for tonight, the Kings are not expected to make any lineup changes coming off their win vs. the Oilers… other than swapping out goaltenders.
LA KINGS PROJECTED LINEUP vs. VANCOUVER CANUCKS on 12/6
Kempe – Kopitar – Brown
Iafallo – Danault – Arvidsson
Andersson – Kupari – Moore
Grundstrom – Tynan – Kaliyev
Other options: JAD
Protocol: Athanasiou and Lizotte
Serving a 5-Game Suspension: Lemieux
Anderson – Doughty
Edler – Roy
Björnfot – Durzi
Other options: Maatta
A FEW RELATED NOTES:
Byfield has officially been assigned to Ontario and is scheduled to suit up this week.
Did some checking with several of our sources this afternoon and there's optimism that Turcotte will only be sidelined for a short time.
As for Byfield, indications now are he'll probably play Tuesday (assuming everything goes well tomorrow at practice). https://t.co/3IMvlolpHG
— The Mayor (@mayorNHL) December 5, 2021
Despite being without their three top centers on Saturday (Turcotte, Tyanan, JAD), the Reign did get a nice shot in the arm when Akil Thomas and Christian Wolanin returned to the lineup. Vilardi scored in the shootout to give Ontario a nice victory in a game they had dominated for the first 45+ minutes.
Warmies live in Bako…
First look at Akil Thomas back in an @ontarioreign jersey
— The Mayor | John Hoven (@mayorNHL) December 5, 2021
On the Canucks side of things:
— Daily Faceoff – Fantasy (@DFOFantasy) December 6, 2021
KINGS MILESTONES WITHIN REACH
Anze Kopitar – needs 46 points to pass Dave Taylor for third on the Kings all-time scoring list
Dustin Brown — 9 goals away from passing Bernie Nicholls for fifth place in Kings franchise history
Drew Doughty — 18 games away from playing in his 1,000th NHL regular season game
Puck drop is scheduled for 7:00 pm PST tonight and the game will be on Bally Sports Network.
Oh… and if you were thinking the ‘Gabby’ used in today’s headline was in reference to a different guy, he was in the news too… we’re just not buying that story.
Gaborik to fight in a boxing match?
Not a chance. https://t.co/Yl4tSz8lzf
— The Mayor (@mayorNHL) December 5, 2021
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