Wild Coach Bruce Boudreau Had Ticket for 9/11 Flight, Switched at Last Minute

September 09, 2018 10:45 PM

Minnesota Wild head coach Bruce Boudreau told 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS he considers himself "lucky to be alive."

Boudreau said he had a ticket on United Airlines Flight 175 for Sept. 11, 2001.

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That's the day terrorists hijacked three jetliners and crashed two of them into New York's Twin Towers.

Boudreau said he was in Boston and the head coach of the Los Angeles Kings called him, and several other coaches and scouts, inviting them to a dinner in L.A. on Sept. 10.

Boudreau switched flights and headed to L.A. on Sept. 10.  A change, he said, which forever changed his life.


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"It really does put things into perspective," Boudreau said.  "It has made me realize how lucky, just how fortunate I am."

Boudreau said one of the toughest things was imagining his children's anguish thinking he was on Flight 175 as they watched it unfold on television at school.

"It's the image of your children being so upset and running all the way home to get to a phone," Boudreau said.

Boudreau said his wife tried reassuring his three children he had switched flights and was safe in L.A. and not on the ill-fated plane.

"So, I talked to the kids that night on the phone and they were crying and I was crying," Boudreau said.

But, Boudreau's pain and sorrow were not over.  His close friend, Kings' scout Ace Bailey, had not changed his flight and died in the terrorist attacks.

"I don't know. I cannot explain it. Obviously, I am very grateful that it happened," Boudreau said. "But, who can explain these acts and why it happened the way it did?"

Every year now Boudreau hosts a coaches dinner near the anniversary of the 9/11 attacks to honor his friend who died on Sept. 11, 2001.

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Jay Kolls

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