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Tampa Bay Lightning officially announce Guy Boucher as head coach

Guy Boucher had the chance to coach the Columbus Blue Jackets, yet turned them down. Some thought that perhaps the Montreal Canadiens had coaxed him to stay within the organization. Turns out, he had a chance to go to another beleaguered team except this one was being managed by Steve Yzerman.

Today, the Tampa Bay Lightning formally announced Boucher as their new head coach. An ownership change, a new general manager and a new young, innovative coach and suddenly things are looking much brighter down in Florida.

From Brian Landman:

“I’m certainly looking forward to building a culture as Steve says,” Boucher said. “We’ve got a lot of building blocks.”

Yzerman introduced Boucher as “a very confident and very strong leader.”

“I’m very confident he is the right leader to build a strong environment for our organization,” Yzerman said.

Here is where the most important part of the press conference was to me, when Boucher started talking about his system and his coaching philosophy. Many people were wringing their hands about Boucher’s system and if it would fit in Columbus with the players they had there. Same thing with Tampa Bay; would Boucher’s innovative system work with these players.

Turns out he’s not thinking about his system:

“I’m not coaching systems. I’m coaching players, managing individuals,” he said. “My system is different every year.”

I wish more coaches were like this. Stop trying to force players to fit into the system you want to have and mold your system to fit the players that are in place.

Over time, build the team how you want but don’t go forcing anything in your first season with the players.

I’m looking at you, Marc Crawford.