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#1 22-08-2017 08:19:02

billtao
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Date d'inscription: 05-04-2017
Messages: 1066

Why Minnesota Wild coach Bruce Boudreau bought his own 'friggin' hocke

Bruce Boudreau is ubiquitous in hockey Adidas Authentic Bobby Baun Youth Jersey  circles. He was an extra in "Slap Shot." In fact, he even taught Paul Newman how to take one. Wayne Gretzky once cited Boudreau -- who averaged more than 100 points a season for the Toronto Marlboros of the Ontario Hockey Association -- one his favorite players as kid. Over four-plus decades, Boudreau has played for or coached 27 teams, including 763 career games http://www.authentictorontomapleleafs.c … aun-jersey behind the bench for the Washington Capitals, Anaheim Ducks and Minnesota Wild. In April, the Associated Press published an article analyzing "The Sixteen Degrees of Bruce Boudreau," connecting the 62-year-old to each of the 16 2017 Stanley Cup playoff teams. Boudreau often tells friends he was put on Earth to promote hockey. This summer, he backed that up. "I kind of just said, 'What the heck,' " Boudreau said. "And I bought a friggin' hockey team." One year after taking over the reins of the Wild, Boudreau and his wife, Crystal, have become minority owners in a junior hockey team: the Blue Ox, an United States Premier Hockey League expansion team in Coon Rapids, Minnesota. If it sounds like a whim purchase, well, only sort of. If it feels like an uncommon extracurricular activity for a current NHL bench boss, that's definitely true. More than anything, though, it's a story of hockey vagabonds Authentic Dominik Hasek Youth Jersey  finally finding a home -- and yes, of Boudreau promoting the sport with which he's already so entrenched. Boudreau brought the idea to Crystal. "We asked: Is it financially viable? Yes. Can we have control? Yes," Crystal says. "And that was important because it's our reputation on the line." They closed the deal to buy the team by the end of May. With 61 teams, including nine in Minnesota, the USPHL is the largest amateur league in the country. It is for 16- to 20-year-olds pursuing the next level of hockey, in some ways equivalent to the junior leagues in Canada, the primary source of players for the NHL. "We do have some NHL placements," commissioner Richard Gallant said. "But our No. 1 goal is college placements." Brady Boudreau will be one of of the Blue Ox goaltenders this season. "At first [Brady] didn't want to play for them. He said, 'They're just going to think I made the team because of you,'" Crystal said. "Finally, he said, 'You know what, people are going to think that no matter what. I want to play for you.' And now he gets to live at home, which he hasn't done for two years." After last season, more than 300 USPHL players advanced to play in college -- either Division I, II, III or http://www.officialbuffalosabres.com/Ad … ane-Jersey club hockey. "There's a void sometimes between high school hockey and college hockey," Boudreau said. "What happens to the guys who don't go right to D-I? This league is great, because we can keep kids playing as long as possible." Said Witta: "It's funny, when you think of Bruce, you think of the gruff NHL coach. But you should see him anytime he's around kids. He loves helping them out. At the hockey school he runs with his family, there are kids flocking around him like he's the Pied Piper." Recently, the USPHL has been expanding by five to 10 teams. "Quite frankly," Gallant said, "we're often approached by existing NHL players or big names [who] want to lend their name and start a team, but it's not their passion. With Bruce's group, they laid out Authentic Sergei Bobrovsky Womens Jersey a very serious plan. That was the difference in allowing them to go forward." Witta, who has owned a marketing company for 20 years, included an 18-page outline of a business plan in the pitch. Twenty-seven years ago, when Bruce Boudreau was playing for the ECHL's Fort Wayne Komets, as he was leaving the arena one day he bumped into a woman who worked in the souvenir shop. He stared at her and asked her how old she was. "Twenty-one," she responded. He then asked her on a date. Bruce and Crystal Boudreau have now been married 22 years. "He told me he wouldn't have asked me out if I was younger than that," recalled Crystal, a Fort Wayne native. "I told him it was a good thing he didn't meet me a week earlier than that." Before meeting her future husband, Crystal didn't know who Wayne Gretzky was. "And now I've had dinner with him," she says. (The Marlboros, Boudreau's http://www.officialcolumbusbluejackets. … sky-Jersey junior team, played half of their games in Gretzky's hometown of Brantford, Ontario, one season -- leading the Great One to call him "as good as any junior hockey player I'd ever seen" -- and later request that dinner himself.) "I never thought it would be this way, but hockey is now my life, too," Crystal said. The couple has moved 12 times, every time because of hockey. They've built three houses. "We've learned our lesson, trust me," Crystal said. "No more building. We'll only buy new homes." For years, Crystal worked in accounting, then became a teller manager at a bank but gave that up when she gave birth to Brady. When Boudreau coached the Mississippi Sea Wolves of the ECHL, Crystal worked for the team in immigration -- helping secure players' visas.

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