Bruce Boudreau’s turnaround from fired coach to hired coach didn’t take long – 65 hours between the official announcement he was out with the Washington Capitals until he was in with the Anaheim Ducks.
Bob Woods‘ turnaround was even shorter. The assistant fired by the Caps after Tuesday night’s game learned late Wednesday he’d be joining Boudreau as one of his coaches on the Ducks’ staff, multiple sources confirmed to The Washington Times on Thursday afternoon.
Woods had to scramble to pack for California and fly out Thursday. Boudreau was already in Anaheim on Wednesday night and was prepared to run Thursday’s practice. Both will behind the bench, along with assistant Brad Lauer, hired from the Ducks’ American Hockey League affiliate in Syracuse.
On Thursday morning, still-Caps assistant Dean Evason made reference to Woods joining Boudreau with the Ducks.
“You feel for the people that do, for Bruce and Bob. They’re probably pretty happy today where they’re going,” Evason said. “But at the end of the day hopefully you believe that good people will get another opportunity. And certainly they did.”
Woods spoke Wednesday afternoon about losing his job with the Caps and talked about still having to get organized and talk to his family about a next move.
“It’s just kind of letting everything settle here, talk with the family, see if there’s any options out there,” Woods said. “When something comes up, you can kind of make a decision with what you want to do.”
Getting a chance to be right back in an NHL job, at least on the surface, seems like a no-brainer for Woods, who won a Calder Cup with the Hershey Bears in 2009 before jumping up to Boudreau’s staff in Washington.
Boudreau understood Dale Hunter wanting his own guy in place in the form of Jim Johnson. But when the 56-year-old got a chance to hire an assistant in Anaheim, it was no surprise Woods got the call.
“Bob’s a great, loyal guy that knows his hockey. He’ll bounce back,” Boudreau said Wednesday morning. “He was really good for the Washington Capitals. You can ask all the defensemen and all the people that worked around him appreciate how big an effort he put in. I was really proud to have him as my assistant coach.”
Woods’ former players were confident he wouldn’t be out of a job long.
“You try to do what you do the best, and hopefully show some respect and some team’s going to like you,” defenseman Roman Hamrlik said. “If you can coach, you can coach. He knows the game and I wish him all the best and I’m sure he’s going to coach one day somewhere.”
That one day somewhere came for Woods on Thursday with Anaheim. He and Boudreau will make their Ducks debuts Friday night at home against the Philadelphia Flyers.
“I’m really excited for them,” defenseman Karl Alzner said Thursday. “It’s well deserved. I think they’re going to do a good job.”