Bruce Boudreau to return as Ducks coach; assistant Brad Lauer fired

Bruce Boudreau will return next season as the Ducks' coach after his team reached the Western Conference finals.

Bruce Boudreau will return next season as the Ducks’ coach after his team reached the Western Conference finals.

(Victor Decolongon / Getty Images)

As expected, Bruce Boudreau will return for a fourth season as coach of the Ducks, but a member of his staff was fired Tuesday as General Manager Bob Murray concluded player and staff evaluations.

Brad Lauer, an assistant coach responsible for forwards and the power play, was fired after Anaheim finished a surprising 28th in the NHL in power-play success (15.3%) during the regular season.

Murray explained that his decision was partially made to help reshape the assistant coach’s role.

“We’ve spent the last week evaluating everything from top to bottom, including all player and staff performance,” Murray said in a statement emailed to reporters.


“This process is something I believe is essential each and every year, no matter the results of the season. We’ve decided to refocus and change the responsibilities of one of the assistant coach positions. We want to thank Brad Lauer for his hard work and dedication, and we wish him the best of luck in the future.”

Murray spent part of Tuesday informing other NHL teams of Lauer’s availability to help assist him in landing another coaching job. Lauer, after four seasons with the Ducks, had time remaining on his contract, but the team declined to reveal how much.

Lauer played in 323 NHL games.

Boudreau, with two seasons remaining on his contract, was not believed to be in danger of losing his job after the Ducks won a third straight Pacific Division title and advanced one playoff round further again, taking the Chicago Blackhawks to Game 7 of the Western Conference Finals — the first time Boudreau has reached a conference final.

Boudreau will have a voice in the new assistant’s role, a team official said, and that coach may focus exclusively on special teams, including penalty killing, while assistant Trent Yawney returns to coordinate the defense.

Follow Lance Pugmire on Twitter @latimespugmire