Bruce Boudreau and Bob Woods won’t have to FaceTime anymore if they want to chat face to face.
Now, all the former Mississippi Sea Wolves coaches will have to do is look down the bench at one another after the Minnesota Wild announced Saturday that Woods has been added to Boudreau’s NHL staff.
He’ll lead the Wild’s defense and penalty kill.
The move marks the fifth time Woods and Boudreau have joined forces.
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Woods, 49, first served as Boudreau’s player assistant on the Coast before taking over the operations when the current Wild head coach left for the Lowell Lock Monsters.
The two have practically been inseparable ever since, with Woods serving as an assistant on Boudreau’s staff with the AHL’s Hershey Bears and later with the NHL’s Washington Capitals and Anaheim Ducks. And now the band is back together in Minnesota.
“He’ll push me, and I’ll push him,” Boudreau told the Star Tribune’s Michael Russo. “He knows how to coach and mold young kids, and he knows the game well enough and he’s old enough that I think he’ll be a great communicator with the Suts’ (Ryan Suter) and the older guys that we have on our team.”
Boudreau told Russo his long-time relationship with Woods should boost the Wild’s bench, where he’ll also join John Anderson and Darby Hendrickson.
“I thought long and hard about it and I think we’ll work really good as a group,” Boudreau said. “He’s very supportive of me and we’ve won everywhere. And he knows me. He knows when I’m going off the edges and stuff like that, he knows when to pull me in.
“It’s like an old girlfriend that you’ve been around for a long time. They know you after awhile. And he does. He knows me and he gets me.”
After leaving the Sea Wolves following the 2004-05 season, Woods was with Hershey (2005-2009), Washington (2009-2012), Anaheim (2012-2014), the Saskatoon Blades of the WHL (2014-2016) and the Buffalo Sabres (2016-2017).
“We’ve been together for a lot of years, we’ve known each other for a lot of years and always had a great working relationship,” Woods told NHL.com. “He’s a guy that’s helped mold my career and I owe a lot to. To be back with him, in the State of Hockey, I’m pretty excited about the opportunity.”
He replaces Scott Stevens on Boudreau’s staff.