Vancouver Canucks coach Bruce Boudreau admitted he'd "be a fool" not to acknowledge speculation that the club will be making an imminent change behind the bench.
The longtime NHL coach -- now in his second season with the Canucks -- became emotional in his media availability after Vancouver's morning skate Friday when asked how he'll approach the club's weekend back-to-back against Colorado and Edmonton -- what could potentially be the last two games he spends with the organization.
"I don't know yet," Boudreau said. "I'd be a fool to say I don't know what's going on. But like I've said before, you come to work, and you realize how great the game is..."
Boudreau paused then to collect himself, and he abruptly ended the media session when asked what it means to him just being an NHL coach.
"I'll talk later," Boudreau said, walking away.
It was a vulnerable display by the veteran bench boss. Boudreau wasn't on the ice for Vancouver's skate, prompting a flurry of guesses that he'd already been let go, but Boudreau came out afterward with a jovial, "[I] fooled you, eh?" before the day's tone became more serious.
Even Boudreau's wife had texted him to check in when he was absent from the team session.
"I told her I'm still here," Boudreau said.
That might not be the case for long. The Canucks have struggled this season, losing seven straight games to start the year and currently sitting 12 points out of a playoff spot with an 18-23-2 record. Rumors that Boudreau will be replaced have swirled for months, and they only intensified earlier this week when Canucks president Jim Rutherford spoke about Boudreau's status.
"All I can say is that Bruce is our coach right now," Rutherford said. "But with that [said], I'm calling and talking, but don't know that we're making a change and don't [know that we] want to make a change."
TSN's Hockey Insider Darren Dreger reported on Friday, though, that, "It's believed the Boudreau watch is about to come to a head," indicating the Canucks are possibly on the brink of a switch.
Friday will mark Boudreau's 1,086th game as an NHL head coach, with previous stops in Washington, Anaheim and Minnesota. He holds a .628 career winning percentage, and his 617 wins is tied for 20th in league history with Jacques Lemaire.