Bruce Boudreau has had no trouble endearing himself to the Vancouver Canucks’ fanbase. But this weekend at the NHL Draft, he had his own sudden chance to be a sports fan.
During an appearance on the NHL Network’s coverage of Rounds 2-7, Boudreau was talking to hosts Jackie Redmond and EJ Hradek when the Canucks head coach’s favourite WWE star, Kevin Owens, showed up on the draft floor to surprise him.
Needless to say, it was a fantastic moment of television.
Boudreau has discussed his love for wrestling at length this year and even made it a part of the Vancouver locker room when he introduced the Canucks Championship Belt last season. Boudreau has listed Owens as his favourite active wrestler, and was completely starstruck to meet the Marieville, Quebec native.
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Owens was already in attendance at the draft as he recovers from an injury, and Redmond used her own connection as a WWE host to surprise Boudreau on the show.
“I’m like a kid in a candy store, I don’t know what to say!” Boudreau said.
The pair then discussed the reality show aspects of wrestling, and Boudreau compared it to a moment during the first round of the draft; Shane Wright’s drop from consensus first overall pick to fourth.
“When he walked on stage he was looking at the Montreal table. There was a little bit of a staredown, and it was caught everywhere,” Boudreau said, referring to the moment Wright was noticed glaring in the direction of the Canadiens’ draft table, who selected Juraj Slafkovsky first overall instead.
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Boudreau spent the rest of the time gushing over Owens’ career and recent match at WrestleMania against ‘Stone Cold’ Steve Austin, showing a diehard sports fan side rarely seen from NHL coaches.
“Everybody knew that ‘Stone Cold’ in Texas had to win, but I mean you let him win! He’s got nothing on you! His finishing move is nothing,” Boudreau said to Owens.
Owens fully agreed. “I mastered it. I showed it to him, that’s the part people don’t know,” Owens said.
Boudreau called Owens “the most entertaining guy on television” and the wrestler returned the favour, calling Boudreau “the most entertaining coach in the NHL”.
“For most teams anyway,” Boudreau said with a laugh.
After the interview the pair got a picture to mark the occasion. We will follow up to see when this ends up framed in Boudreau’s office at Rogers Arena.
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