Photo by Ross Hollebon

Washington Capitals Head Coach Bruce Boudreau’s height is listed between 5-9 and 5-10 on multiple Websites.

According to Flyers TV analyst Bill Clement, Boudreau needs to stand taller, figuratively, in order guide his Capitals to a Stanley Cup Championship.

“Bruce Boudreau is going to have to lead that team to a Stanley Cup and not just coach that team to a Stanley Cup,” said Clement.

Clement was a guest on NHL Live Thursday evening, shortly after Capitals forward Jason Chimera joined hosts EJ Hradek and Deb Placey, over the phone, to discuss his contract extension with Washington (The Capitals signed Chimera to a two-year extension worth $3.5 million with an annual salary cap hit of $1.75 million per season – Capitals Insider).

During the segment with Clement, Placey asked him, “Are you a Bruce Boudreau fan? What do you think about the Capitals this year?”

His immediate response caught my undivided attention and changed today’s blog focus from retaining Chimera to how Boudreau is being looked at by the media outside of Washington, D.C.

Boudreau working with F Cody Eakin (Photo by Ross Hollebon)

Clement began his answer with, “Yeah, that’s an interesting question,” and elaborated from there, also including leadership questions about Boudreau’s captain.

“I like Bruce in a lot of ways,” said Clement. “I think though, with the Caps, the thing I’ve always said about them in the last few years is that they lack maturity. And it will be a matter of whether Alex Ovechkin matures to the point where he can be a leader.”

Capitals General Manager George McPhee has appeared to address many leadership and toughness questions on the ice with the offseason additions of forwards Joel Ward, Troy Brouwer and Jeff Halpern as well as Roman Hamrlik on the blue-line. But Clement brings about the question, does Boudreau need to improve his leadership as well?

“I will say this about Bruce,” Clement added, “He is a great guy and I think he is a good coach, but his greatest challenge in that organization is being a leader of men and not a hockey coach…especially because their most talented players are, I think very often, their least mature players.”

Boudreau diagramming for F Marcus Johansson (Photo by Ross Hollebon)

Does Boudreau need to change his approach in dealing with players, or will stronger, veteran personalities in the locker room bridge any gaps? I am a big fan of Boudreau and look forward to seeing how the roster adjustments will impact the team in the regular season and more importantly the playoffs.

I also appreciate Clement and his take on many issues in the NHL, which probably made his interview more difficult to swallow, and also think his final statement on the issue rings true, at least in part, for the 2011-2012 Washington Capitals.

“So it falls on the shoulders of the coach to be a real unifier and real leader or real disciplinarian when he has to be  – all of those good things that leaders do.”