Bruce Boudreau is a lot of things: a Memorial Cup Champion, an NHL second rounder, an AHL scoring champion, and a former Toronto Maple Leaf. He is also a Jack Adams Award winner (voted best coach in the NHL), with 14 seasons as an NHL head coach under his belt, and one of the highest winning percentages in NHL history. Bruce is also a great guy.
When The Coaches Site reached out to me and asked if I would be a part of their Virtual Coaches Summit this year I was excited and honored. They wanted me to interview an NHL head boss, and I knew exactly who I wanted to reach out to. I played for Bruce with the Lowell Lock Monsters, way back in the 1999-2000 season. He was a rookie coach in the AHL, and I was his leading scorer that year and I thought it would be great to catch up with him. And in typical Bruce Boudreau fashion, he agreed to make the time to talk with me.
That’s Bruce – he has time for people. He has time for his players. He cares about the people around him. And in my opinion, that is what makes him a great coach.
We cover a lot in this conversation. From his playing days and the lessons he learned as a player, to his start in coaching and his journey to the NHL.
The Coaches Site called this interview, “Lessons Learned During a Lifetime of Hockey”, and it is a perfectly accurate title. But I chose to call it, “The Coach You Wished You Played For”, because from a player’s perspective, that’s exactly who he was. He was honest, and straight forward. He was passionate, and he cared. He wasn’t perfect and he was the first to admit it. He was a real person doing the best he could, and that made him respectable and likeable and he earned our trust.
Bruce still coaches the same way. Like any high performer with longevity, he has evolved and grown and become better at his craft, but he is still Bruce. He is still the man that is friendly, warm and honest, and someone you would want to invite over for dinner. He just also happens to have 567 wins in the NHL.
I hope you enjoy my conversation with Bruce Boudreau.