OTTAWA – Bruce Boudreau smiled when he heard the question. He had been expecting it.
So about that decision you made last spring …
Boudreau was fired by the Anaheim Ducks on April 29. There was immediate interest. The Wild interviewed him. Days later Boudreau interviewed in Ottawa, where his daughter lives, then boarded a plane back to California.
By the time he landed, his four-year deal with the Wild was done. With Boudreau back in Ottawa as a head coach for the first time since he made that decision, naturally people wanted to know what went into his decision.
“Listen, I’d never had two teams interested in me in my life,’’ he said. “It’s always been one. So I didn’t know what to do. And I guess my agent made the decision.’’
Of course it wasn’t that simple. Boudreau had his say in it. As he put it: “I said, ‘If they do this, do that,’ you know?’’ he said. “And they did, so we did.’’
“I thought both teams were going to be really good,” Boudreau said. “I didn’t know which team was going to be deeper, over the long term. But, quite frankly, I never got a formal money offer from Ottawa.’’
The Wild did make one, signing Boudreau to a four-year deal worth just under $3 million a year.
“For a guy who was in the minors for such a long time, and it was pretty good, so I said OK,” Boudreau said. “So I apologized to my daughter and took the job. … It was the toughest decision I ever had to make. I would have loved it here. It’s a great city.’’
The Senators then hired Guy Boucher as coach. “They have a great coach,” Boudreau said. “They’re doing really well. I don’t think they miss me at all.’’
Eriksson Ek still at 9
Joel Eriksson Ek’s chin, which took some stitches after getting hit by a puck Saturday, is OK. But he still didn’t play Sunday.
Eriksson Ek has played nine games. Playing in a 10th would mean the first year of his three-year deal would kick in. With Zach Parise close to his return, the Wild could decide to return Eriksson Ek to his team in Sweden or to the Wild’s minor league club in Iowa.
“He’s good to go,” Boudreau said. “But I don’t know if he’s going to play, though. It’s his 10th game. We haven’t made our mind up on that.’’
Scratching Eriksson Ek would give the team more time to decide. “I’m hoping before the week is out,’’ Boudreau said when asked when a final decision would be made. “If he doesn’t play tonight it gives us another 24 hours to think about what we want to do. He’s done really well. But again, in the long term, it’s what’s best for him that we’re thinking of.’’
• Matt Dumba on the Wild winning in 3-on-3 overtime: “Looking back at our past it hasn’t been the greatest. But it’s a new season, new coaching staff, some new players.’’