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Boucher closes book on his tenure with the Lightning

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Former Tampa Bay Lightning head coach Guy Boucher spoke publicly for the first time since being replaced, expressing thanks and wishing farewell to Lightning staff, players and fans.

Jason O. Watson USA TODAY Sports Images

Former Tampa Bay Lightning head coach Guy Boucher spoke to the media today, his first public remarks since being replaced on March 24th.

In front of gathered Tampa Bay-area writers and television reporters at the Ice Sports Forum in Brandon, annual site of the team's training camps, Boucher read briefly from some prepared remarks and then took questions.

On the timing of making this address, he said "I waited all this time to talk for a few reasons. Mainly, I wanted to let my thoughts and my emotions settle down. And two, I didn't want to be a distraction for the players that I certainly still respect and for the new staff."

"A lot of people have asked me my story and my story is very simple; I'm very grateful. I'm grateful for getting the chance to coach in the NHL. I'm grateful for having taken part in such a terrific organization where I was surrounded by quality people at all levels. My family and I couldn't imagine being better treated, welcomed and supported by the organization, by the fans and by the community."

"I'll miss a lot of things but what I'm probably going to miss the most is after every home game, those few seconds where the players get to the middle of the ice and raise their sticks to the crowd to thank them. I think those few seconds, that connection with everybody, was something extremely special and I'm going to miss that a lot."