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.
Following his stunning 41-game suspension, it looks like Raffi Torres has at least one former teammate in his corner.
We haven’t yet seen how the San Jose Sharks or the NHLPA are reacting to the league’s hammer-dropping decision to punish Torres for his Torres-like hit on Jakob Silfverberg, but Jason Demers decided to put in a good word for Torres tonight.
It was a simple message: “#FreeTorres.”
Demers, now of the Dallas Stars, was once with Torres and the Sharks. (In case this post’s main image didn’t make that clear enough already.)
Perhaps this will become “a thing” at some point.
So far, it seems like it’s instead “a thing (that people are making fun of).”
… You get the idea.
The bottom line is that there are some who either a) blindly support Torres because they’re Sharks fans or b) simply think that the punishment was excessive.
The most important statement came from the Department of Player Safety, though.
Those who feel as though the Boston Bruins may rebound – John Tortorella, maybe? – likely rest some of their optimism on the back of a healthy Zdeno Chara.
It’s possible that he’s merely limping into what may otherwise be a healthy 2015-16 season, but it’s definitely looking like a slow start thanks to a lower-body injury.
The latest sign of a bumpy beginning came on Monday, as several onlookers (including CSNNE.com’s Joe Haggerty) pointed out that Chara was listed on injured reserve.
As Haggerty notes, that move is retroactive to Sept. 24, so his status really just opens up options for the Bruins.
Still … it’s a little unsettling, isn’t it?
The Bruins likely realize that they need to transition away from their generational behemoth, but last season provided a stark suggestion that may not be ready yet. Trading Dougie Hamilton and losing Dennis Seidenberg to injury only make them more dependent on the towering 38-year-old.
This isn’t really something to panic about, yet it might leave a few extra seats open on the Bruins’ bandwagon.