Tampa Bay Lightning GM Steve Yzerman has announced the firing of head coach Guy Boucher after three years of heading the bench. The breaking point was when Boucher’s team allowed four goals in the first period of a 5-3 loss to the Ottawa Senators.
As a quick fix, the assistant coaches Martin Raymond and Dan Lacroix ran the team Sunday night in Winnipeg in the Lightning’s 3-2 loss to the Winnipeg Jets.
Steve Yzerman makes it very clear why he chose to remove Boucher and look to the future. “Guy has poured his heart and soul into the Lightning organization for these past three years and we appreciate all the work he has done,” Steve Yzerman said in a statement. “But ultimately I am not satisfied with the direction we are heading and I believe making a change today is in the best interest of our franchise.”
Boucher’s hiring was Yzerman’s first major move as GM. Boucher had only one year of professional coaching experience, none in the NHL. Yzerman was not deterred from making him the league’s youngest coach, saying Boucher had adapted to the players, personalities and level of play he encountered at every stage of his career.
The Tampa Bay Lightning currently sit in 14th place in the Eastern Conference, just three points ahead of the struggling Florida Panthers. They also hold on to a three game losing streak following the loss to the Jets. The Lightning are 13-18-1 on the season.
This could be a good move, since the best the Lightning have done with Boucher was in his first year when they reached the Eastern Conference Finals. It’s time for the Lightning to pick a new head coach. I read a Tweet from someone who said they think Yzerman should hire Patrick Roy to be the new head coach. No one has been specified as who will be the new coach, but who would be best fit?