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Leafs coach search: Guy Boucher

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Guy Boucher, current coach of SC Bern in Switzerland, has been approached by "various" NHL teams expressing their interest, including the Toronto Maple Leafs.

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According to Sean Leahy of Puck Daddy, Guy Boucher, current head coach of SC Bern in Switzerland, has been approached by "various" NHL teams expressing their interest in making him a head coach again. Boucher's contract with SC Bern runs through the end of next season, but he has an out-clause that kicks in shortly.

Puck Daddy quotes him as saying:

"I’ve never hid the fact that I definitely do want to go back. I have another year on my contract here. Family’s happy, had a terrific year, saw a lot of good things, learned and grew. I’ve got no problem staying here. Last year I couldn’t accept it because I didn’t have an out-clause. This year I do have an out-clause.

"But it would certainly be in the right situation, with the right people. And if I fit, it would certainly interest me, but like I said, it has to be in the right situation because I have a very good situation right now. I’ve been approached, so it’s a possibility. We’ll see what happens."

Which of the "various" teams contacted him? Well, um...

So. There is the possibility of Guy Boucher in Toronto.

As y'all know, Steve Yzerman relieved Guy Boucher of his position in Tampa in March of 2013. Jon Cooper became head coach not long after. What was "wrong" with Boucher to make Yzerman fire him?

In the opinion of many Tampa fans, nothing. That's right, there was not a thing wrong with Boucher's coaching, except that he didn't have much of a team to work with, and he was unable to win the room over to his "unconventional" system, especially after losing Yzerman's confidence in an embarrassing loss to the Flyers.

Unconventional for 2011 is run-of-the-mill now, and Cooper actually continued this system successfully, partly because of better D and much better goaltending depth (Boucher had Mathieu Garon and Anders Lindback in goal). In the words of Raw Charge writer Cassie McClellan:

From the start, Boucher had an unconventional system. But, also from the start, about half of the veterans didn't buy into it. A big reason why there were so many odd-man rushes against the Lightning were because at any given time, you had some veterans playing the game the way they've always played it, instead of playing it Boucher's way.

Now, you can blame coaching for that, if you'd like, but the fact of the matter is that the younger guys did what they were told and some of the older guys did not. I think it's more about not wanting to (or, perhaps, being able to) change their game than coaching. But, perhaps that's just me.

The fact that the Norfolk Admirals (at the time) under head coach Jon Cooper were running that same system successfully points it to being a player issue, not a coaching issue.

How's the Bolts' former coach doing in SC Bern? He's doing great, apparently. His system works just fine in Switzerland, bringing a 70-point team up to 96 points.

Should the Leafs move quickly if they want him? Probably. Our friends at Broad Street Hockey have been sniffing around him for several weeks, now. They have a great look at his semi-trap-but-not-really system here in this article.

Can the Leafs handle a coach like Boucher? In the words of Broad Street Hockey:

[The] kind of personnel are key to getting the most out of Boucher's coaching style .... are forward depth to log tough minutes, and mobile defensemen to take care of any defensive lapses.

What do y'all think?