Boudreau will be back, but can Wild return to playoffs?

Published 8:14 am Wednesday, April 10, 2019

ST. PAUL — The subject of Bruce Boudreau’s future with the Minnesota Wild, the coach said, had not been broached with general manager Paul Fenton until a reporter quizzed the boss about it while they sat next to each other at the podium for their season-ending news conference.

“Well, it’s nice to know you’re working That’s a good sign,” Boudreau said afterward. “I was very thankful she asked that question, because I was pretty interested in knowing myself.”

With another year remaining on his contract, Boudreau could have assumed the status quo, but given the fact that Fenton didn’t hire him and the Wild missed the playoffs this spring for the first time since 2012, well, his return was hardly guaranteed.

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“I come in every day, and I work as hard as I can, and when they don’t want me to work anymore,” Boudreau said Tuesday, “they will tell me.”

Fenton stopped short of a commitment to keeping Boudreau on the bench beyond the 2019-20 season, but he said he’s “sure” he will speak with Boudreau eventually about extending his current deal.

“I have total confidence in him,” Fenton said, later adding: “Right now, Bruce is my coach, and he’s going to be the guy that is going to lead this team back to where we want to go.”

Boudreau, who missed the playoffs for only the second time in his 12-year career as an NHL head coach, will need help, of course. The Wild scored only 210 goals, the fifth-fewest in the league , and went just 16-18-7 at Xcel Energy Center for the worst home record in 18 seasons as a franchise. Still, Boudreau pointed to the 101 points they posted in 2017-18, a total that would’ve won the Central Division this time.