Guy Boucher Chooses Tampa Lightning

UNIONDALE, NY - FEBRUARY 13: Victor Hedman #77 of the Tampa Bay Lightning skates against the New York Islanders on February 13, 2010 at Nassau Coliseum in Uniondale, New York. The Isles defeated the Lightning 5-4. (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)

A lot of NHL teams are making the most of the Stanley Cup intermission.

The Blue Jackets hired Scott Arniel after getting turned down by Guy Boucher.

Arniel is an AHL coach who was in the mix for the Oilers coaching job before it went to Pat Quinn.

Boucher reportedly turned down the Columbus job to take a job as head coach of the Tampa Lightning, which just goes to show you that Andy Warhol was right, when he said that in the future, everyone will coach the Tampa Lightning for 15 minutes.

Boucher is a better fit for Tampa then he was for Columbus. Defenseman Mattias Ohlund definitely has the puck-carrying skills required by Boucher’s system and playing under Boucher will do great things for the young Victor Hedman.

But I think Tampa GM Steve Yzerman really liked Boucher’s psychology background, what with one of the Lightning coach’s big responsibilities being motivating Vinnie Lecavalier. In fact, if I were the GM of the Lightning, I might hire a team coach and a personal coach for Lecavalier.

Boucher is a young guy with no NHL experience and he’s already had two job offers in the span of a few hours. You have to wonder if the pressure of it all will catch up with him at some point. Especially given that he’ll be learning the coaching ropes in the historically dysfunctional Tampa organization.

Meanwhile, out in New Jersey, the coach search seems down to Michel Therrien and Devils hero/perennial coaching candidate John MacLean.

Both are strong candidates but it’s interesting to see the different comfort levels in franchises. The Devils are all about NHL-proven ability, which is why they’ve been so reluctant to pull the trigger on MacLean, a beloved Devil with lots of assistant coaching experience, but no time as an NHL head coach. I can’t see GM Lou Lamoriello ever taking a chance on a guy like Boucher, with no NHL experience.

Of course, you have to wonder why anyone wants to coach in the NHL. Not when they have to participate in exchanges like this:

Q. Peter, are you sticking with Michael in goal?
Peter Laviolette: I don’t comment on line-ups.

Of course. Why would anyone want a coach to comment on his line-up? During the Stanley Cup finals. In a potential elimination situation. What a silly question.

Yzerman is hoping Boucher has the same chance to be just as ridiculous some day.