Nix the Kevin Dineen discussion. Put Gerard Gallant on hold, and Mike Haviland can look elsewhere after the 'Hawks season is complete.
A news report out this evening suggests that Guy Boucher, former QMJHL coach and current AHL Hamilton Bulldogs coach, will be hired as Tampa Bay's new head coach. Reports suggest that he will be signed a four year deal, with terms finalized in the morning.
Now, before believing what we're reading -- lets throw some water on the rumor. I don't mean to doubt a news source but some of the most wild speculation is renown to come from the Quebec-based media.
But as I write this, TSN's Bob MacKenzie confirms that Boucher is the guy in Tampa.
[Note by John Fontana, 06/07/10 11:45 PM EDT ] As the quote suggests, Boucher had turned down the Columbus Blue Jacket earlier in the day. This had been after reports surfaced that Boucher had been offered the job on Friday (6-05). There had been speculation -- wild at that on Twitter -- that Steve Yzerman had grabbed his ear.
And the most common thread of thought that is being pointed out right now (via Twitter chatter) is looking at team captain Vincent Lecavalier and wondering if Boucher can light his fire?
[Note by John Fontana, 06/07/10 11:54 PM EDT ] Boucher's head coaching experience:
two seasons at two different levels:
[Note by John Fontana, 06/08/10 1:12 PM EDT ] The above stats do not reflect the entirety of Boucher's coaching experience -- either as a head coach or an assistant. In fact, besides two assistant tenures, the above were the only statistics include at HockeyDB.com for Boucher.
We have more info by way of Wikipedia:
Boucher became assistant-coach with the Rouyn-Noranda Huskies of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League (1997–2000) and then with the Rimouski Oceanic from 2003 to 2006 with whom he won the Jean-Rougeau trophy (regular season champions) and President Cup. He also participated in the Memorial Cup tournament...He returned to the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League as the Drummondville Voltigeurs head-coach in 2006. in 2008-09, he took the team to their best season in history, with a total of 54 wins and 112 points, captured the President Cup on his way to the Memorial Cup tournament once again. Later that year, he won the Paul-Dumont Trophy, awarded to QMJHL's personality of the year.
On June 29, 2009, He was named Head-coach of the Montreal Canadiens's affiliate Hamilton Bulldogs of the AHL becoming the eighth Head-coach in Bulldogs franchise history. He led the team to an impressive 52-17-11 record for 115 points despite having many of his best players being called by the Montreal Canadiens. At the end of the season, he won the Louis A. R. Pieri Memorial Award for coach-of-the-year.. After an impressive season in Hamilton, he was offered the vacant head-coaching position for the Columbus Blue Jackets but turned it down  to accept the head coaching position for the Tampa Bay Lightning for a four years contract.
So three seasons in Drummondville before leaving for the Bulldogs. He was 105-87-3 (.538 win percentage) in those three seasons.
[Note by John Fontana, 06/08/10 3:47 PM EDT ] ESPN's Pierre LeBrun reports negotiations are still ongoing with Boucher. Things are not finalized yet...