Hamilton coach Guy Boucher is going to be head coach of the Tampa Bay Lightning next season according to Martin Leclair of ruefrontenac.com, the website manned by striking members of the Journal de Montreal. New Tampa general manager Steve Yzerman will make it official at a news conference tomorrow.
Leclerc, who has confirmed the appointment through three separate sources, writes that Boucher has his submitted his resignation to the Canadiens.
Boucher’s hiring was something of a sleeper. In Tampa, the rumour mill centred around Kevin Dineen and Scott Arniel as main candidates for the job. Boucher’s name seldom surfaced. When Boucher turned down the Columbus job, the Blue Jackets hired Arniel.
It was reported that one of the Coluymbus deal breakers was Boucher’s desire to bring his two Hamilton assistants, Martin Raymond and Daniel Lacroix to the NHL with him. Although not confirmed, Raymond and Lacroix are expected to join Boucher with the Lightning.
Boucher replaces Rick Tocchet who was fired along with Tampa general manager Brian Lawton at the end of the season.
Boucher will be the second McGill alumnus to enter the NHL’s head coaching ranks, joining Detroit’s Mike Babcock. Raymond also came through McGill.
The Canadiens are now in search of an entire coaching staff for their Hamilton affiliate.