Bruce Boudreau was blindsided Friday when he was fired as head coach of the Minnesota Wild.
"I'll tell you what, I'm pretty sharp when it comes to these things," Boudreau told The Athletic's Michael Russo. "I may not be sharp in a lot of things, but with firings, I usually know. This one I didn't see coming."
The Wild were 7-3-1 in their last 11 games and inching closer to a playoff spot when they dismissed Boudreau. The head coach, who was in the last year of his contract, believed he'd hold the role until the end of the season.
"It was funny because (general manager Bill Guerin) came in and he shut the door, and as soon as he shut the door, I knew," Boudreau said. "You just know, right? And he says, 'I'm going to make a change,' and I instantly said, 'Are you firing me?' - just like that.
"And he goes, 'Yes.' I said, 'Are you f------ kidding me?'"
Guerin is in his first season as the Wild's GM after he replaced Paul Fenton - who lasted just one season - during the summer. Chuck Fletcher hired Boudreau in 2016.
"All GMs want their own coach," Boudreau said. "And I understood that."
Boudreau had a reputation as an offensive-minded coach prior to his time in Minnesota, but he built the Wild into an elite defensive team. They allowed just 1.91 expected goals per 60 minutes at five-on-five under his command this season, which was the best mark in the league, according to Natural Stat Trick. However, an .897 save percentage - seventh-worst in the NHL - was the club's Achilles' heel.