The Journal Gazette
Friday, February 14, 2020 8:51 pm

Bruce Boudreau reflects on being fired by Komets

JUSTIN A. COHN | The Journal Gazette

Bruce Boudreau, the father of Komets coach Ben Boudreau, was fired today by the NHL’s Minnesota Wild.

As you may recall, Bruce had played for the Komets and coached them before he was fired midway through his second season behind the bench, 1994-95, when he was 15-21-3.

I asked Bruce last fall about being fired by the Komets and he said it was a learning experience. Not that his situation with the Wild was his fault, since the team was low on talent, maybe his words are relevant today.

“You always learn from failure, if you’re smart,” he said. “It was weird because the year before, we (the Komets) went to the finals. The year before that, we won (the championship). I won the Coach of the Year and then you just don’t start off as well. Things happen.

"It’s like any team that doesn’t go through adversity doesn’t learn to be successful. I think it’s the same individually as a coach. If you don’t go through a little bit of adversity, you don’t learn. You must learn from your mistakes. It’s been said everywhere, and all the time, and I think I did.”

Bruce has gone on to a successful career coaching in the NHL with Washington, Anaheim and Minnesota. He was the NHL’s Coach of the Year in 2007-08.

Obviously, Bruce remained close with the Franke family that owns the Komets and he told me that being fired doesn’t necessarily mean you sever all ties with an organization.

“You’re always upset when you get fired for awhile,” he said. “But me (and the Frankes) stayed pretty close and it wasn’t a firing where it was, ‘Let’s get rid of this guy. He’s a bad person.’ They just needed a change. We weren’t doing very well and this was the change.

“I’ve had it with a couple GMs and been let go, or with ownership, and I’ve stayed close with them because I knew it was a business decision. It all works out in the end if you work hard enough and want it to work out.”

I believe Bruce will land another job soon. But don’t be shocked if he gets chased by “Hockey Night in Canada.”

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