Marc Crawford’s return to the NHL is just about complete.
Per TSN, Crawford is expected to be named Guy Boucher’s associate coach today in Ottawa. The hire would come just one day after Sens GM Pierre Dorion gave Boucher the club’s head coaching gig, returning Boucher to the NHL after a multi-year stint in Switzerland.
And in that regard, Boucher and Crawford have a lot in common.
Crawford, too, is coming off the heels of a stint with Zurich in the Swiss League, during which he won the league title in 2014 and mentored top draft prospect Auston Matthews.
In looking for his head coach, Dorion stressed he wanted a veteran guy with experience at the NHL level.
Based on the Crawford hire, it seems Ottawa wanted the same out of its associate. The 55-year-old has a truckload of experience — 15 years in the NHL, to be exact — won a Cup with the Avs, and his 549 wins put him 18th all time.
If there’s any disappointment from Crawford, it’s probably that he was unable return to head coaching. He’s interviewed for a number of jobs over the last few years — including the Minnesota gig, filled over the weekend by Bruce Boudreau — but will now have to settle for a right-hand man’s job.
To be fair, Crawford did say he would be more than willing to take an assistant coaching position, so long as it got him back into the NHL.
That led to earlier rumblings of Crawford potentially landing in Detroit, where GM Ken Holland is looking to add experience to Jeff Blashill’s staff.