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'I can hold my head high,' Bruce Boudreau says of his Wild tenure

Sarah Mclellan, Star Tribune (Minneapolis) on

Published in Hockey

MINNEAPOLIS -- Bruce Boudreau is out and about.

After an hourlong visit with friend and KFAN personality Paul Allen on Monday, he spent another hour or so at a Chick-fil-A in Eagan. He stopped there before driving home to Woodbury, fiddling with a straw wrapper as he refueled with a lemonade.

Initially, Boudreau wanted to avoid the public eye because he didn't want sympathy -- a "pity party," as he called it -- which is exactly what happened when he stepped out Sunday.

"The first place we went a guy came up to me and said, 'I just wrote a letter to the Tribune,'?" Boudreau said.

But he isn't in hiding. He has no reason to be.

"I can hold my head high," Boudreau said. "I gave it my best shot. It didn't turn out."

 

Boudreau on Friday was abruptly fired as head coach of the Wild -- a decision by first-year General Manager Bill Guerin that surprised Boudreau and caught the rest of the NHL off guard.

Not only was the team enjoying one of its most successful runs of the season, going 7-3-1 over its previous 11 games, but the Wild was also knocking on the doorstep of a playoff spot with games in hand.

Since then, the team was shut out in interim coach Dean Evason's debut and has fallen seven points back of a berth.

The aftermath has upended Boudreau's rhythm, now that he's doing laps around the coffee table instead of leading practices. But he's still putting himself out there, opening up to the media about his dismissal and taking calls from the countless hockey people who have reached out.

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