Guy Boucher (Andy Marlin/Getty Images)
Former Tampa Bay Lighting coach Guy Boucher announced he is coaching his final season with Switzerland’s SC Bern, and will return to North America after the season. Boucher was reportedly in the running for the vacant Maple Leafs position before Toronto signed Mike Babcock.
When the Toronto Maple Leafs had a coaching vacancy this off-season, one name mentioned often was Guy Boucher.
Boucher, 44, spent three seasons as coach of the Tampa Bay Lightning before being let go late in the lockout-shortened 2012-13 season. Boucher landed on his feet by the next campaign, as he was hired on by SC Bern in Switzerland’s National League A near the end of their campaign.
Boucher told TSN’s David Naylor in the off-season that he would consider a return to an NHL coaching gig if he found the “right situation.”
“I have a very good situation right now,” Boucher told Naylor. “But I’ve been approached, so it’s a possibility. We’ll see what happens.”
Well, Boucher may be closer to an NHL return that expected. He announced Wednesday that he won’t be returning to SC Bern next season due to family reasons due to family reasons.
"The decision to return to North America at the end of the season is a big relief for me," Boucher said in the release, via SwissHockeyNews.ch. "It has been a process within my family over a couple of months. The decision has nothing to do with (SC Bern), where I feel very comfortable, nor with other professional perspectives.”
Even though Boucher may not have any job prospects quite yet, he’ll likely be at front of mind for any job openings that come up. In 75 games behind the bench with SC Bern, Boucher’s club has a 44-26-5, and he is coming off coaching Canada to a semi-final finish at the 2014 Spengler Cup. Bern has 31 games remaining in the regular season, and the NLA post-season generally wraps up by mid-April.