Q&A: Ex-Wild coach Bruce Boudreau’s harrowing 9/11 connection

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Former Wild coach Bruce Boudreau knows how fortunate he is to be alive. He was supposed to be on United Airlines Flight 175 on September 11, 2001, the one that crashed into the South Tower of the World Trade Center.

We spoke with Boudreau about the 20-year remembrance of 9/11 and why he changed his flight to a day earlier to Los Angeles. At the time, Boudreau was the coach of the Los Angeles Kings’ American Hockey League affiliate in Manchester, New Hampshire. Boston’s airport was about an hour from Boudreau, so flying out of there was common.

***Click the video box above to watch our conversation with Boudreau***

The Kings’ coach at the time of 9/11 was Andy Murray. Boudreau was summoned to L.A. one day earlier for a dinner with other coaches. Staff meetings were to begin later in the week.

This time of the year, especially, is a roller coaster for Boudreau. He knows he was supposed to be on that Boston to L.A. flight, that 20-years later he’s thankful regularly that Murray wanted him in L.A. a day earlier. However, Boudreau’s good friend, Kings scout Ace Bailey, was on that 9/11 flight. Boudreau has a photo of Bailey in his Pennsylvania home, a constant reminder of the day.

Boudreau, 66, will work again this season as an analyst for NHL Network and he owns a junior team in Hershey, Pennsylvania. He would like to coach in the NHL again, and was in the mix this summer for the Seattle Kraken job.

Boudreau was Wild coach from May 2016 to February 2020.