Timing of Boudreau firing comes as surprise for Wild fans

Updated: February 14, 2020 08:10 PM

Minnesota Wild players laced up their skates and hit the ice at the TRIA Rink in downtown St. Paul Friday morning after learning their head coach Bruce Boudreau had been relieved of his duties by general manager Bill Guerin.

It came as the team had an open practice for fans to watch, including Carlton Willems’s family, who showed up to catch the Wild.


"About an hour before practice, I pulled out my phone. I'm like, ‘Oh, Bruce Boudreau was fired — I hope they're going to have practice,'" Willems said. "It was quite the timing."Boudreau joined the club in 2016. Willems said he's disappointed by the firing.

“He's an excellent coach. It's a shame," Willems said.

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The phone lines were flooded on SKOR North radio after the news broke, and hockey fans began sounding off.

"I expected Bruce to be let go later. I would have expected it if they went into a losing streak now he'd be let go,” said Lou Nanne, former Minnesota North Stars general manager, who called into the show. “But when they are playing better now and close to a playoff position — that's why I’m caught by surprise."

Wild fan Shari Debraal grew up in St. Paul before moving away to Milwaukee but returned to watch the team at Friday’s practice.

"I think it will bring the team back together make them stronger, win more games and try to push them back into the pennant race here," Debraal said. “We just have to keep winning and keep being strong. There's always that shakeup in the office that makes team do miracles."

Minnesota is just 3 points out of the wild card race in the Western Conference after a Thursday night's shootout loss to the New York Rangers.

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Eric Chaloux

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