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Rutherford Responds To Canucks’ Handling Of Boudreau Situation: ‘It Wasn’t Us’

Vancouver Canucks president Jim Rutherford spoke on the handling of the Bruce Boudreau situation and said that speculation blew things out of proportion.



After relieving head coach Bruce Boudreau of his duties and hiring Rick Tocchet as the new bench boss, the Vancouver Canucks held a press conference to introduce their new coach and discuss the situation. And president Jim Rutherford had a bit to clear up about Boudreau, and at the end of the day, believes that speculation and chatter was what blew the situation out of proportion.

Rutherford spoke on the entire process and explained that a month ago, he, Boudreau and general manager Patrik Allvin met to discuss the direction of the team and the concern with not everyone being on board and the team struggling and that at that point, the Canucks wanted to finish the year with Boudreau behind the bench. However, two weeks later at a follow-up meeting, Rutherford said that "there wasn't any improvement in the areas that we were looking for," which led to the decision to make a chance.

While he said that speculation made the situation seem worse than it was, he said his bluntness and candor led to a snowball effect that blew things out of proportion.

"Part of this process and I will apologize to Bruce [for this] is probably in my interviews over the course of the season, when people ask me a question, I’m probably too direct and too honest. So that goes back to my comment about team playing with structure, more structure things like that. I’ve done that my whole career," Rutherford said. "I’ve tried to be honest, I’ve tried to answer the best I can and sometimes that affects certain people. And in that case, it probably did affect him. I’m sorry I did that, and I’ve learned from it so I’ve decided that I need to zip it. I’m not gonna talk about the team, I'm gonna let Patrik and Rick talk about the team and stay away from things."

He added that "no one takes pride in this," and that it was difficult for the team to move on from a good friend in Boudreau.

When asked why the team didn't hire an interim coach, Rutherford said there were no plans to do that with Boudreau under contract until June 30.

"Speculation drove this, it wasn't us," he added.

With regard to how everything played out, Rutherford said that was "out of our control," and that it's not uncommon for teams to open negotiations with new coaching candidates while the head coach is still behind the bench.

"We can only do our business as we see fit. we can’t change our business based on speculation. there’s all kinds of speculation out there… there’s not a whole lot different other than what i apologized for maybe being too direct," Rutherford said, adding, "I know a lot more than you do from people that feel that this was really overplayed by everybody and by agents.

"This took on a life of its own with all the speculation, and that’s why people are upset about it.”

Taking over for Boudreau, Tocchet said that his goal is to form a relationship with the players and get Vancouver back to where it needs to be. He knows it'll be a tall task and lengthy process, but also said that he is excited about the opportunity as a longtime fan of the city and someone who has a lot of respect for the franchise.

"Regardless of how it went down [with Boudreau], you have to have those relationships. that’s a big part of what I wanna do," Tocchet said. "I’m a relationship guy, you know."

He added that he feels for Boudreau but at the same time, his objective is to focus on the team's success and foundation.

"What a great guy… I feel bad for that part. For the team in general, the PK is at [32nd], the goals against [are second-worst in th eleague], that's something that we have to tackle. You can’t win this game if you’re going to be at the bottom of those categories. With that there is structure, there are hard rules to keep the puck out of the net."

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