Rumor/report: Martin Raymond prime candidate to fill a QMJHL head coaching vacancy

Former Lightnign assistant coach Martin Raymond is a prime candidate to take over a head coaching vacancy in the QMJHL. - Marianne Helm

He's currently helping behind the bench in Syracuse during the Calder Cup Finals, but Marty Raymond may be moving back to the head coaching position if rumors out of Quebec are true.

Martin Raymond and Dan Lacroix both joined the Tampa Bay Lightning in the summer of 2010, joining Guy Boucher in his move from the AHL Hamilton Bulldogs after his hiring as the Bolts new head coach. As you know, Boucher was relieved of his coaching duties in late March, replaced by Jon Cooper. This has created a season of change regarding the Lightning's assistant coaching situation.

Dan Lacroix, who stayed with the team during Cooper's beginnings as head coach, will not return to his assistant gig with the club. Raymond moved from his job behind the Lightning bench to Syracuse, where he's worked with the Crunch and their current head coach, Rob Zettler. Raymond's future with the organization wasn't going to be ironed out until after the Syracuse Crunch season ended.

Yet rumors surfaced on Quebec's RDS sports network last Friday that Raymond is a candidate for the head coaching job with the QMJHL's Drummondville Voltigeurs. Drummondville is looking for a replacement head coach after Mario Duhamel left the franchise for an assistant coaching job under Patrick Roy with the Colorado Avalanche.

On M0onday, Martin Leclerc of Radio Canada reinforced the Raymond-to-Drummondville rumor, via Twitter. Seeing the original Tweet is in French, we'll post the translation (via Twitter) below:

Martin Raymond would be the number one candidate to lead the Drummondville Voltigeurs next season. 1/2 #LHJMQ

It's worth noting that Duhamel, the former Drummondville coach, was hired by the Volts in 2009 to replace departed head coach Guy Boucher, who had left the club to take the Hamilton coaching job.

Raymond's contract expires imminently. While Steve Yzerman has stated in the past that he was interested in keeping all coaches with expiring contracts in the organization, you shouldn't expect him to try to stop Raymond from taking the Drummondville job.

As for Steve Thomas and Frantz Jean, their situations should not be clarified until a later time.

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