Bruce Boudreau is gone, Rick Tocchet arrives to a chorus of boos. On the latest episode of Zone Time, Sam Chang describes the fallout in Vancouver as the bleakest and most depressing episode in Canucks franchise history.
OMAR: Go on.
JULIAN McKENZIE: It's time. All right, every-- oh, you know what? Sam, just-- do you want to start? Do you want to-- do you have anything you want to say?
SAM CHANG: Yes, go to twitter.com. Go to @SamantaCP_, and just read my tweets from the last week.
They have nothing-- I like-- this is absurd. This is--
JULIAN McKENZIE: Have you-- have you exhausted every possible talking point?
SAM CHANG: This is a franchise that has had 3-- 2, 2 Stanley Cup riots, 2 Stanley Cup losing riots. Traded away Trevor Linden, beloved captain, because they made Mark Messier a captain after his New York Rangers defeated them.
JULIAN McKENZIE: Leader of Denmark, Messier.
SAM CHANG: You know-- there-- there has been the franchise where Todd Bertuzzi ended Steve Moore's career.
JULIAN McKENZIE: Yeah, that was a really bad day.
SAM CHANG: A lot of-- a lot of embarrassing moments in franchise history. This is by far, I think, the bleakest and most depressing episode in this franchise's history is the way in which they treated Bruce Boudreau, and the fact that despite all of that, the takeaway from the franchise was this was-- this was not their fault.
It was the way they treated Boudreau was not their fault. The reason this is all-- this is all coming out this way is because of media speculation. And by the way, speculation, that all turned out to be just reporting on literal facts. So not speculation, reporting.
OMAR: And the main takeaway is that Jeremy Rutherford should stop talking.
SAM CHANG: Yeah. He was like, oh. I was just too honest, and so I'm just going to zip it and stop talking. How about you just stop being an asshole? I don't know. Think about that.
AVRY LEWIS-McDOUGALL: I do want to add that Omar just called him Jerry. It was actually Jim Rutherford.
OMAR: Oh, crap. I keep-- I keep calling him Jerry. Sorry.
JULIAN McKENZIE: Jeremy Rutherford, respected colleague of mine at the athletic covers of the St. Louis Blues, very nice man. And to be clear--
OMAR: That's so funny.
JULIAN McKENZIE: --Sam met the other JR, and not Jeremy Rutherford, who again, is a reporter who covers the St. Louis Blues.
OMAR: I keep freaking calling him Jerry Rutherford.
SAM CHANG: I was just shocked that Jim Rutherford started that press conference by saying-- like, he started that comment by saying, like, he felt bad because Bruce Boudreau is his friend. Like, sort of, that's how you treat your friends?
JULIAN McKENZIE: That's how you treat your friend?
OMAR: That's how you treat your friends?
JULIAN McKENZIE: No.
SAM CHANG: Bro, what is going on?
JULIAN McKENZIE: Couldn't be my friend. Couldn't be my friend. Couldn't be my friend at all. Could you imagine if I did that to any of y'all? Hell, no. Hell, no. No way, that is not friendship. I get it's a business. That's not friendship.
OMAR: Man, but even as a business, like, yes. This is professional sports, but these are so people. They're human beings, man, and-- and I have never seen this before. I have never seen a coach-- active, knowing that he's going to be fired-- knowing what the replace with the replacement is, and is still expected to do his daily duties? Why?
AVRY LEWIS-McDOUGALL: There have been fans who have chanted for coaches to be fired, fans that have brought in signs protesting the coach's employment. You never see fans bringing signs to a game in support of a Head Coach. Now they're chanting Bruce-- now they're chanting, Bruce, there it is.
The fanbase was very against the idea of letting go of Bruce Boudreau. He had total support of fans, and everybody else who watched Canucks hockey. And the way that went down, it's easily-- you mentioned-- it's easily one of the most embarrassing coaching firings in at least the past 40 years of hockey.
OMAR: It's embarrassing.
JULIAN McKENZIE: He deserved better, man. He just-- though those final days, and watching him just, like, on the verge of tears, like, multiple times on the bench is just like, he deserves so much better. No one deserves that shit. Like, no-- like, oh, my God.
JULIAN McKENZIE: Yeah, I think the thing that's been, like, really atrocious about this is the people who are, like, well, you know. It's just-- this is business as usual. A, it's not business as usual. You have-- sorry, when you have national writers, you have Michael Russo, you've got writers in other markets writing about how atrocious this is, that is not business as usual. That is not a mob mentality. These are, like, people who are not invested in this market pointing out how bad this is.
You have Forbes writing about how embarrassing this is. It's not business as usual. People who say, well, you know, he's an NHL Coach. There's very few people who can do that. It comes with the job. He makes millions of dollars. Same thing with Johnny Gaudreau, he makes millions of dollars. It doesn't mean that you can treat them however you want to. Like, paying someone a lot of money doesn't mean that you own them. It doesn't mean that you can mistreat them.
Like, that's-- that's not part of the deal. It's just showing a basic level of respect to someone. Like frankly, I don't care if he was fired. They're having an abysmal season. Like, you want to fire him? Go ahead and fire him. But don't draw it out the way they did. He had to come out and say, you know, I thought I was done in November because Jim Rutherford went on a hockey night in Canada, and was flat-out questioning him.
At every turn throughout this season, Rutherford publicly questioned Boudreau's systems as a coach, notwithstanding that you look at this team, and it is not a good roster. Like we've said before, you could put Scotty Bowman behind the bench. You could put Barry Trotz behind that bench, and there is only so much this blue line could do. It is on a good blue line. So to me, they made him the scapegoat. And not only that, they then drew it out for as long as possible in as disrespectful a way as possible, and frankly, they're lucky that Bruce Boudreau is such a good guy that he refused to say anything negative about them--
OMAR: I was literally just about to say that.
JULIAN McKENZIE: And he spun it as, you know, like it's an honor. Like, there are very few people who do what I do, and so you have to be able to embrace the negativity and the bad things with the good, and that's why I loved coaching in a Canadian market. Like, how many coaches would be treated the way he was, and come out and say that afterwards?
OMAR: No shot. He had every opportunity to bury them, to bury them, and says, I don't want to talk about that in public.
SAM CHANG: Yeah, and I think the worst thing about it is-- there are a lot of bad things about it-- I think the very worst thing is that it is likely his last head coaching job, and this is what they did to him to end his NHL career. I think that's-- I think that's reprehensible.