Guy Boucher is on his way to Switzerland.
Boucher, the former Tampa Bay coach that took the Lightning to within one win of the 2011 Stanley Cup Final, has been hired by SC Bern of the Swiss National “A” League. He replaces ex-Ottawa forward Antti Törmänen as Bern’s bench boss.
The 42-year-old Boucher quickly rose through the coaching ranks to land the gig in Tampa, going from QMJHL Drummondville to AHL Hamilton to the Lightning in a three-year span between 2008-10. His first season with the Bolts was a huge success, as the team won 46 games (up from 34 the year prior) before defeating Pittsburgh and Washington en route to a Eastern Conference Final showdown with eventual Cup champs Boston.
The Bolts pushed the Bruins to the brink before eventually losing in 1-0 in Game 7.
Boucher failed to find similar success in following years, however. The Lightning missed the playoffs in 2011-12 and were 13-17-1 before he was fired midway through the lockout-shortened ’13 campaign.
Here’s more on that, from the Tampa Bay Times:
By the end, Boucher had lost some of the confidence of the players and had what was described as “philosophical differences” with general manager Steve Yzerman.
Those differences were never explained, though it was believed some of it concerned the use of Steven Stamkos in late-game situations.
Boucher finished his time in Tampa with a 97-79-20 regular-season mark (.546 winning percentage) and and 11-7 postseason record.