Bears name Boudreau head coach

The Hershey Bears announced today that Bruce Boudreau has been named the club’s 21st head coach in franchise history. The announcement was made at a press conference by Washington Capitals Vice President/GM George McPhee and Bears President/GM Doug Yingst.

Boudreau comes to Chocolatetown with a career record of 237-198-45 as an AHL head coach with Lowell (1999-2001) and Manchester (2001-05). He led the Monarchs to a 169-100-33-18 record over the last four seasons, including the top record in the Eastern Conference in 2004-05. The 237 wins are the second most by any AHL coach since 1999.

Boudreau also coached the PlanetUSA team to victory at the 2005 AHL All-Star Game in Manchester.

Before coaching in the AHL, Boudreau was the head coach and director of hockey operations for the Mississippi Sea Wolves (ECHL), where he won the 1999 Kelly Cup championship.

“After an extensive search for a quality individual and coach, we’re happy to announce that we’ve found our man,” said McPhee. “Bruce Boudreau’s record, reputation and extensive hockey background make him a natural fit for us.”

“We’re very pleased to welcome Bruce Boudreau to Hershey, and into the Bears family”, said Yingst. “With a long history of winning at the American League level, we look forward to a bright future with Bruce behind the bench.”

Boudreau played professionally for 17 seasons prior to joining the coaching ranks, including parts of 11 seasons in the AHL with New Brunswick, St. Catharines, Baltimore, Nova Scotia, Springfield, Newmarket and Adirondack. He ranks among the league’s all-time leaders with 316 goals (13th), 483 assists (11th) and 799 points (11th) in 634 carer AHL games.

Boudreau had three different 100-point seasons in the AHL, tied for the most in league history. He set career highs with 50 goals and 122 points with St. Catharines in 1982-83, and in 1987-88 with Springfield he won the John B. Sollenberger Trophy as the AHL’s scoring champion with 116 points, as well as the Fred T. Hunt Award for sportsmanship, determination and dedication to hockey.

Boudreau finished his playing career in 1992 as a member of the Calder Cup champion Adirondack Red Wings.