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Lightning fires coach Guy Boucher



The Lightning Sunday morning announced it has fired coach Guy Boucher. The final straw, obviously, was Saturday's 5-3 loss at Ottawa in which the team, facing a crucial weekend, showed little urgency in allowing four first-period goals.

Assistants Dan Lacroix and Marty Raymond are scheduled to work behind the bench tonight at Winnipeg.

Speculation will immediately begin that former Sabres coach Lindy Ruff, who has ties to GM Steve Yzerman through Team Canada, will get the gig. AHL Syracuse coach Jon Cooper also could be a consideration, though it might be a stretch to believe Yzerman would go with another coach untested in the NHL.

Boucher, who led the Lightning to the Eastern Conference final in 2010-11, his first season, is 84-62-19 in two-plus seasons behind the bench. Tampa Bay, which seems as if it will miss the playoffs for a second straight season, is on a 7-16-1 skid this season after a 6-1-0 start.

Here is the announcement from the team:

The Tampa Bay Lightning have released Guy Boucher from his head coaching commitment, effective immediately, vice president and general manager Steve Yzerman announced this morning. Yzerman also announced that Martin Raymond and Dan Lacroix will share coaching responsibilities for the game tonight against the Winnipeg Jets.

"Guy has poured his heart and soul into the Lightning organization for these past three years and we appreciate all the work he has done," said Yzerman upon making the announcement. "But ultimately I am not satisfied with the direction we are heading and I believe making a change today is in the best interest of our franchise.”

[Last modified: Sunday, March 24, 2013 11:12am]


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