Was Guy Boucher Ottawa’s first choice? ‘No doubt, number one,’ says GM Dorion

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After the Ottawa Senators announced that they’d hired Guy Boucher on Sunday, many thought the club had settled for their second choice. Ottawa had a lengthy interview with former Ducks coach Bruce Boudreau on Saturday afternoon, but the two sides parted ways without a deal being done.

On Saturday evening, the Minnesota Wild announced that Boudreau would become their next head coach. Boudreau got a four-year deal worth $2.75 million from the Wild and according to the Ottawa Sun, the Senators made him a three-year offer for with a similar salary.

Keeping all that in mind, it sounds like Boucher wasn’t Ottawa’s top choice, but General Manager Pierre Dorion says otherwise. Dorion and Boucher appeared on TSN 1200 radio in Ottawa on Monday morning, and the Sens GM cleared up the situation.

“No doubt, number one from the get-go,” Dorion said of where Boucher was on the pecking order. “He was the first interview I did. Every other interview that I did felt like it didn’t come to the level of Guy.”

“Saturday afternoon, I talked to Randy Lee, one of the assistant GMs. We both talked about it. I asked him who his first choice was and then I knew who my first choice was. There was no doubt for both of us, it was Guy.”

Even if Boucher wasn’t really Ottawa’s first choice, they sure met with him for quite a while.  The Sens new bench boss confirmed that the first interview between the two sides lasted over four hours, while the second interview was a shade under eight hours.

It’ll be interesting to see if Boucher can bring some stability behind the Senators bench. Ottawa’s had a bit of a quick trigger with their coaches in the last few years. Since 2007, the Sens have had seven different coaches (John Paddock, Bryan Murray, Craig Hartsburg, Cory Clouston, Paul MacLean, Dave Cameron and now Boucher).

It also looks like Boucher will add a pretty big name to his coaching staff, as Marc Crawford is reportedly joining the staff as an associate coach.