Before I get into it, allow me to state for the record that it is certainly possible that the Calgary Flames could land the much coveted head coach Bruce Boudreau. There is not a whole lot that is actually preventing him from becoming the new pilot light in the Flames organization. You have to go no further than a simple Google search to see countless articles out there right now speculating on Boudreau's landing spot.
Yet, something is missing from each and every one of those articles. Something very important seems to have been forgotten among the mass of bits being tossed around the digital stratosphere making the case for Boudreau finding a new home in Calgary. It really doesn't take a genius to figure it out either, I'm actually quite surprised nobody has brought it up. One very simple word that holds the key to making all these Calgary dreams one step closer to reality.
In case the point is lost on anyone, let me remind you that despite Boudreau being fired from the Anaheim Ducks, he is still under contract with the organization through next season. We don't need to go far to see a home grown example of this fact. Former bench boss for the Minnesota Wild, Mike Yeo signed a 3-year contract extension in May of 2014. This means he is technically still under contract with the Wild through next season. This is why the Ottawa Senators had to seek permission from the Wild to even speak with Mike Yeo about their head coaching vacancy.
Of course the Wild granted the Senators permission to speak with Yeo. In my humble opinion, he was a good coach, and a good man. Yet it came as no surprise that the Wild would allow the Senators to interview their former bench boss. What harm could it possibly cause? It's not like the Senators are even in the same conference, let alone the same division as the Wild.
And there's the rub folks. Logic dictates that you want to make your team stronger while eliminating any chances of strengthening your opposition. There is a hierarchy in that as well. With how the NHL currently schedules games, non-conference teams hold little sway in your decisions. We've seen the Wild go to the Buffalo Sabres, who are more than willing trade partners because (among other reasons) the Wild are not a huge threat to the Sabres hopes of making the playoffs. If it's a deal that makes sense, you can rest easy knowing there are only 2 games in a season where that decision could potentially bite you in the backside.
The Ducks still hold the rights to Boudreau, and thus have control over where he could potentially land. As of now, they have granted just 2 teams (as far as I know) permission to interview with their former bench boss. So why on Earth would the Ducks be willing to allow the Calgary Flames, a division rival, to negotiate with their much- sought-after former head coach? There are many, many reasons I'm not a GM in the NHL, but here's one decision I would get right every time. Even if I don't want Boudreau's services any longer, he is a great coach, and not somebody I would want to face up to 5 times in a season.
You want to make your team stronger, and limit the chances of your opposition. Perhaps Boudreau wants to go to Calgary. Maybe that is his first choice of any team with an available coaching job. That might be true, it might not be, but I do know the Ducks organization owe him absolutely nothing. Could they be nice and grant permission for him to interview with Calgary? Sure, and they well might at some point. I'm not in their meetings discussing these things, so I can't speak to how they might be leaning on the subject.
Here's what we know: Boudreau can talk to Ottawa and Minnesota, but nobody else (as of this publication) has been granted permission to speak with him. Calgary is a division rival, and although they may not be as big of a threat as the Los Angeles Kings or San Jose Sharks, they are a team that can drastically effect the outcome of the Ducks season. Not in just the 4 or 5 games where they meet in a season, but also in the other 24 or 25 games they play against the rest of the Pacific Division.
It actually makes a lot of sense for the Ducks to pass on giving the Flames permission to talk to Boudreau. So don't get all excited up in Calgary just yet. And you Wild fans, you can exhale for the time being. Until we see that magic word, "permission", any talk of the Flames grabbing Brucie from under our noses is as futile as me trying to keep my huskies from jumping the fence.