The Toronto Maple Leafs have a hole to fill on their bench and it’s not due to them firing anybody.
On Friday, the Seattle Kraken announced that Dave Hakstol will be their first head coach in franchise history, taking charge of the expansion team when it hits the ice next season. Before earning his second NHL head coaching job, Hakstol was an assistant coach in Toronto, primarily focused on the defense and penalty kill.
With this coaching vacancy, Leafs fans had only one name on their mind to fill Hakstol's void: Bruce Boudreau.
Before last season, Boudreau was a head coach in the NHL for 13 consecutive campaigns for three different franchises. It didn’t matter if it was the Washington Capitals, Anaheim Ducks, or the Minnesota Wild, most of the time he got his team to the playoffs if he was still employed at the end of the regular season.
A former Maple Leafs depth player, Boudreau has been vocal in the past about being a fan of his hometown team, giving Leafs Nation extra fuel for its dreams of seeing him on Sheldon Keefe's bench.
Boudreau has never been an assistant in the NHL, and the last time he held such a title was in the now-defunct International Hockey League during the 1995-96 season for the San Francisco Spiders. The man has been the one giving the orders, not taking them.
There have been no concrete rumours for who Hakstol’s replacement will be, but seemingly every fan in Toronto has already made up their mind.
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