It's not official, but numerous outlets are reporting that the Tampa Bay Lightning are about to name AHL Coach of the Year, Guy Boucher, head coach.
After 12 seasons in Quebec Major Junior, Boucher took over the Hamilton Bulldogs of the AHL, a Montreal Canadiens affiliate. He led the team to an impressive 52-17-11 record for 115 points, and won the Louis A. R. Pieri Memorial Award for Coach of the Year.
When he was hired, Yzerman made it clear he wouldn't be married to the typical retread coaches that seem to bop from team to team.
"What I'm looking for is a strong leader, someone who will make decisions," Yzerman said. "I know some young potential coaches that may be available."
It was believed that Kevin Dineen, head coach of AHL's Portland Pirates, was the leading candidate to get the Lightning job.
Others mentioned included Scott Arniel, who took the Columbus Blue Jackets job, former Lightning Player Gerard Gallant, who coaches Canadian Junior Hockey's St. John, and former Red Wing teammate of Yzerman, Brad McCrimmon.
The Montreal web site Rue Frontenac reported late Monday night Boucher was headed for Tampa Bay. There was no confirmation from the Lightning even though Yzerman had a previously scheduled noon media gathering today, later cancelled.
The Lightning has not confirmed Boucher is the coach, and it is unclear if any official announcement is coming.
ESPN's Pierre LeBrun reports the team is still in negotiations, trying to finalize the deal.
It was hoped a deal could be reached later Tuesday or Wednesday.
If the Lightning do hire the rising star in coaching ranks, Boucher will be the youngest coach in the NHL at age 38.
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