Hamilton Bulldogs head coach Guy Boucher missed the first part of the Canadiens development camp to take care of “personal business”. That business was apparently meeting with Columbus Blue Jackets majority owner John P. McConnell, president Mike Priest and general manager Scott Howson. to discuss his candidacy for the team’s head coaching position.
Must have been a good meeting. Today in Columbus it’s being reported that the Blue Jackets have offered him the job. Now it’s up to Boucher to decide whether he’s ready to make the jump to the NHL. If he does, Boucher would, at 38, become the youngest coach in the league.
Should Boucher opt for the position, he would be the seventh coach in the ten year history of the club. He would be taking over a team that has made the playoffs once in a decade; a team that had the fourth worst record in the league; one notoriously underfinanced who’s last season payroll was 13 million dollars below the salary cap. If that sounds like a short path to a career dead end, it’s a thought that has probably crossed Boucher’s mind too, as he ponders his decision.
No contract has been extended by the Blue Jackets, The Dispatch has been told, but the Blue Jackets offered the position to Boucher late this week. If he accepts, a contract will be negotiated.
The Blue Jackets now face a nervous couple of days. Not only would Boucher turning down the job be an embarrassment to the organization, but it could sting the other finalists for the job — Manitoba Moose coach Scott Arniel, Portland Pirates coach Kevin Dineen and Blue Jackets interim coach Claude Noel.