I will miss Bruce Boudreau, and not just in the plethora of commercials he starred in while coaching the Washington Capitals. Boudreau had a dry wit and did not suffer fools, at least among the media contingent at Kettler and Verizon Center. He was never dull, and for a columnist, that’s great.
But coaches don’t have to please columnists; they have to please general managers, and owners, and fans. Increasingly, Boudreau was failing to do that. And he certainly wasn’t pleasing his players, at least some of them. It’s no great secret in sports that coaches are hired to be fired. It’s no great secret that when a coach clashes with a player making $9 million a year, a player who used to be regarded as the best in hockey — and a player who probably still regards himself as the best in hockey — that coach is the one who’s going to be hitting the bricks, not the player.