Boudreau the common thread in latest coaching change

The NHL coaching carousel, which took another spin Friday when the Toronto Maple Leafs fired Ron Wilson and replaced him with Randy Carlyle, can be summed up as Six Degrees of Separation from Bruce Boudreau.

Boudreau, currently the Ducks’ coach, took over in Anaheim from Carlyle, who had won the Stanley Cup with the Ducks in 2007. Wilson was the Ducks’ first-ever coach and lasted through the 1996-97 season but before that he was a teammate of Boudreau and Carlyle on the 1977-78 Maple Leafs.

“You knew he’d jump back on his feet really quickly,” Boudreau said of Carlyle, who made his Toronto coaching debut on Saturday.

“It just seems like they’re all my teammates, ex-teammates that are getting fired and hired. We all played on same team, Randy, Ronnie and myself.

“I am the oldest. But I never played anywhere near the games he did.”

Here’s one more link in the coaching chain: Boudreau was a teammate of Kings Coach Darryl Sutter in the 1979-80 season with New Brunswick of the American Hockey League.

“And seven games in Chicago,” Boudreau said, laughing. “That was my big Chicago career. Seven games.”

–Helene Elliott