Bolts introduce new head coach

June 11th, 2010 by

TAMPA – The Tampa Bay Lightning have made it official: Guy Boucher is the team’s new head coach.

General Manager Steve Yzerman, hired just two weeks ago, made the announcement at the St. Pete Times Forum Thursday morning.

“Guy is an extremely intelligent, educated, and knowledgable hockey person,” Yzerman said. “He’s been part of successful programs at every level he’s coached at, both as a head coach and assistant coach. He’s had a tremendous positive impact on every organization he’s been involved with.”

Boucher said he was eager to get started.

“It’s a tremendous opportunity that’s been given to me and my family,” said Boucher, who is now the youngest active NHL coach. “It’s a great organization and I’m extremely proud to be part of it. I think we’ve got some great building blocks and a lot we can work with.”

Boucher reportedly turned down an offer to coach the Columbus Blue Jackets last week in favor of the job in Tampa. Tuesday, Canadian website said he had stepped down from his head coaching job with the Hamilton Bulldogs, the American Hockey League affiliate of the Montreal Canadiens.

Yzerman and Boucher talked about building a winning culture with the team that has failed to make the playoffs for the last three seasons. Boucher said he was impressed by the Lightning from the beginning and took them up on the opportunity to coach because he felt everybody was on the same page.

“From my first minute with Steve it felt that it was right in line with my values,” Boucher said. “I think that behind that legend of a hockey player there’s a lot more and I think that you can’t find anybody in this world right now that could say something negative about Mr. Yzerman.”

“Yes you could,” Yzerman chimed in, getting a big laugh from his new head coach.

In his first season leading a team in the professional ranks, Boucher was named AHL coach of the year.

“He’s a very confident, very strong leader, and I am very confident that he’s the right person to lead our team on the ice and off the ice,” Yzerman said of Boucher. “He will create a culture, a winning environment much like he’s done at every stop of his coaching career.”

Boucher told FOX 13 after the press conference that he thinks the Lightning’s new owner and GM will have a “great impact” on Tampa Bay and that he was looking forward to working with them and adapting to the NHL.

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