Tampa Bay Lightning 11 AM press conference open thread

WHERE: Icons Restaurant, St. Pete Times Forum, Tampa, Florida
MEDIA: Bright House Sports Network (Cable), TampabayLightning.com (online streaming)

Expected to be the introduction of Guy Boucher (pronounced Gee Boo-shay) as the Tampa Bay Lightning's eighth head coach in team history. Boucher was previously head coach of the Hamilton Bulldogs of the AHL (affiliated with the Montreal Canadiens) and Drummondville of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League.

Previous Lightning head coaches include:  Terry Crisp (1992-97), Rick Paterson (1997), Jacques Demers (1997-99), Steve Ludzik (1999-2001), John Tortorella (2001-2008), Barry Melrose (2008) and Rick Tocchet (2008-2010).

Official press release added below the jump


Innovator Leaves Hamilton Bulldogs to Be Youngest Coach in the NHL

TAMPA BAY – The Tampa Bay Lightning have agreed to terms with Guy Boucher (pronounced GEE boo-SHAY) today to become the seventh head coach in the organization's history, Vice President and General Manager Steve Yzerman announced today. Boucher joins the Lightning after coaching the Hamilton Bulldogs of the American Hockey League to 52 wins and 115 points in the 2009-10 regular season.

"We are thrilled that Guy has elected to further his coaching career with the Tampa Bay Lightning," Yzerman said in making the announcement. "He is one of the best young coaches in the game today and I believe he is the perfect selection for our team as we look to create a winning environment and re-establish the Lightning in the National Hockey League."

Boucher, 38, becomes the youngest coach in the NHL after quickly building a track record of success in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League (QMJHL) and the AHL. In addition to winning the AHL’s North Division Championship for 2009-10, Boucher’s Bulldogs team allowed just 182 goals during the 80-game regular season, the lowest total in the league. Its 271 goals scored marked the league’s third highest total. He was honored with the AHL’s Louis A. R. Pieri Award as its Coach of the Year.

"I am flattered to have the opportunity to coach in the National Hockey League, especially for the Lightning," Boucher said upon accepting the position with the Lightning. "Steve Yzerman and the new ownership are turning things around in Tampa Bay and I am pleased they chose me to be a part of the process."

Boucher was named head coach of the Bulldogs for the 2009-10 season after leading the Drummondville Voltigeurs for three seasons. Boucher led Drummondville to QMJHL regular season and playoff championships and a berth in the Memorial Cup in 2008-09. That Voltigeurs team set franchise records with 54 wins and 112 points. He was also awarded the Paul Dumont Trophy as the QMJHL’s Personality of the Year for 2008-09.

Boucher also has extensive experience working for Hockey Canada, most recently serving as an assistant coach under Pat Quinn on the Gold Medal-winning team for the 2009 International Ice Hockey Federation’s World Junior Championship. He was an assistant coach with Canada’s National Men’s Under-18 Team program three times, also helping that team to the Gold Medal in 2008.

A native of Notre-Dame-du-Lac in Quebec, Canada, Boucher is graduate of Montreal’s McGill University where he starred with the Redmen from 1991-95. Boucher also has a unique resume for an NHL coach, with educational studies in four different fields – sports psychology, biosystems engineering, environmental biology and history.

Guy Boucher’s Head Coaching Record

Season Team League GP W L OTL PCT Result

2006-07 Drummondville QMJHL 70 37 26 7 .579 Quarter-Finals

2007-08 Drummondville QMJHL 70 14 51 5 .236 Out of Playoffs

2008-09 Drummondville QMJHL 68 54 10 4 .824 Won President Cup

2009-10 Hamilton AHL 80 52 17 11 .719 Western Conference Finals