It's been a while since we've heard much of anything about former Lightning head coach Guy Boucher, who was dismissed from the Bolts in March of 2013 as the team struggled to hold leads, play puck possession hockey and be physical on defense. All of the Bolts shortcomings under Boucher aside, he had shown he has the mettle to coach in the NHL and had great success in his first season with the Lightning, taking them to the 2011 NHL Eastern Conference Finals before being ousted by the Bruins in 7 games. His three-season record was 97-78-20 in 195 games coached with Tampa.
There hasn't been much about Boucher since his dismissal, really... His goodbye press conference was in April and then mostly silence. Rumors here and there about his candidacy to take over other NHL teams would pop up here and there, but nothing serious enough to suggest that he was Candidate One to take over any given job.
Yet the cerebral Boucher staying idle this long has been uncharacteristic of him; he likes a challenge, he likes to push himself. So, waiting for an NHL coaching gig wasn't going to work long term.
Damian Cristodero tweeted out the news this morning that Boucher has indeed found his next challenge:
HC Bern in Switzerland announced that former Lightning coach Guy Boucher is it's new head coach.— Damian Cristodero (@LightningTimes) January 27, 2014
Before anyone writes off or dismisses this as Boucher conceding his future as an NHL coach, you have got to realize that the Swiss-A league (and Swiss hockey in general) has become quite competitive in recent years. It's nothing to shake a stick at or to simply dismiss as a Euro league lesser than the NHL in some ways. A lot of NHL players have made their way to the Swiss league for both taking jobs and the quality of life.
I'm glad to see the process of becoming has begun anew for Boucher, and I wish him well. This time, sir, make sure you close the book on your terms, and with a championship.