The Tampa Bay Lightning are taking no chances this fall, as they announce Daniel Lacroix and Martin Raymond as Assistant Coaches for the 2010-11 season.
Daniel Lacroix brings a level of NHL success to the table. As was mentioned in the press release, Lacroix spent several years in the NHL switching between the Edmonton Oilers, New York Rangers, and Boston Bruins, Philadelphia Flyers and New York Islanders. In the NHL, Lacroix built a reputation as a solid fourth line defensive grinder.
But that's old news. In recent years, Lacroix has worked his was through the league, working first in the QMJHL with the Moncton Wildcats, where he led the team to the finals twice, and appeared at the 2006 Memorial Cup Tournament. He then spent three years with the New York Islanders, where he helped lead the team to the Stanley Cup playoffs in 2006-07.
Martin Raymond's experience comes primarily from his 14 seasons as Head Coach at McGill University. His accolades include a record of 293-192-35 record and bringing the home the Queen's cup league championship in 2008.
But why are we excited? Read more after the jump.
We're excited because Guy Boucher is excited.
When the two were hired last year to work with Guy Boucher to work with the Hamilton Bulldogs, Boucher said:
"With Daniel (Lacroix) and Martin (Raymond) our coaching staff brings a brand new dimension that comes from the mixture of our backgrounds which are different but, at the same time, complement each other. I believe such diversity will be favorable to the development of our players and beneficial to the success of our team." (via Montreal Canadiens)
Their different backgrounds certainly did complement each other, as the Hamilton Bulldogs finished the season 52-17-11, despite coaching an AHL team, whose premiere players are constantly being shuffled to and from the NHL.
When Boucher was hired earlier this summer to work with the Lightning, he said:
"Daniel and Raymond are two very smart and hard-working coaches. They are an excellent complement to me and are outstanding one-on-one coaches. I have total confidence in them and they know how I work, what I do, my philosophy and my values. Because they know me and the way I work we already have a head start in terms of chemistry." (via NHL)
They're a young trio, Boucher, 38, Lacroix, 41, and Raymond, 43, but their diversity in experience and working chemistry is sure to add stability to Tampa Bay's coaching staff.
On another note, staffing Boucher with his right hand men will only boost his chances of having success this year. It seems that Steve Yzerman is taking every measure to shorten the adjustment period for Boucher--the organization, the city, and the team will be new, but the working relationship with Raymond and Lacroix will add a healthy degree of familiarity to the mix.
And after taking away more of the guessing game, the only thing left to do is get excited.