Lightning strikes: Guy Boucher to be named new Tampa head coach
It’s not often you get a roller coaster of a day like this when it comes to head coaching moves. The day started off with Hamilton Bulldogs coach Guy Boucher turning down an offer to coach the Columbus Blue Jackets. The Blue Jackets then, very professionally, moved to the next man on their list and tapped Manitoba Moose head man Scott Arniel to be their next head coach. Now it appears we know why Boucher shot down the Blue Jackets as a report out of Quebec suggests he’s headed to Tampa Bay to coach the Lightning.
According to Quebec website Rue Frontenac (link in French) and later confirmed by TSN’s Bob McKenzie, via Twitter, Guy Boucher will be named the new bench boss of the Lightning this week. Julian Sanchez of Pension Plan Puppets was kind enough to give a translation of Rue Frontenac’s piece for us to share with you here.
According to three sources, the hiring will be announced at a press conference in Tampa on Wednesday.
The most coveted coach in America has tendered his resignation to the Canadiens and Bulldogs organisations and is headed to Florida in the company of two of his assitants Martin Raymond and Daniel Lacroix.
The departure of his assistants is still uncertain according to our sources. However, it does seem strongly possible that they will rejoin Boucher behind the bench in Tampa.
Lacroix has already been an assistant with the New York Islanders.
Sources say Boucher deal will be finalized in morning. Believed to be for 4 years. Rue Frontenac reporting his Hamilton staff joining him.
As for Tampa Bay, general manager Steve Yzerman gets his man, albeit with a fair amount of drama surrounding the selection now. Boucher gets to coach a team that is headlined by Steven Stamkos, Vincent Lecavalier, Martin St. Louis and Victor Hedman. Those aren’t bad starting blocks for any coach to work with and for Boucher, his choice of going to Tampa over Columbus is one to likely sting Blue Jackets fans as much as it will jilted Montreal fans. After all, it appears that Boucher is opting for the wealth of talent in Tampa over Rick Nash, Derick Brassard and Steve Mason in a much tougher Central Division and Western Conference.