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Guy Boucher: an ideal opportunity with Toronto’s talented players
In recent weeks, several Quebec coaches have returned to the NHL (or pro field hockey) fold after a spell on the sidelines.

For example? Dominique Ducharme is an assistant in Vegas, Joël Bouchard is the pilot of the Lightning’s training club (Syracuse) and Guy Boucher is an assistant to Sheldon Keefe in Toronto.

The only thing missing is Patrick Roy, who just won the Memorial Cup in Quebec City, but the right opportunity hasn’t presented itself. He’s not an assistant or an AHL guy, after all.

All this to say that yesterday, it was Guy Boucher who ended a long absence from the NHL to make his comeback. We know that experienced guys often get many chances to shine (for better or for worse), and that the relatively closed circle of NHL coaches takes its toll.

But in Boucher’s case, I truly believe that seeing him in Toronto is for the best.

Why is that? Because he’s not in his sixth NHL position like Peter Laviolette (New York) or out of date like Mike Babcock (Columbus), for example. In my opinion, anyone with a field hockey head is not a “recycled” coach.

The Babcock connection is ironic because it’s well known: in 2015, Boucher was well positioned to get the coaching job in Toronto, but this same Babcock changed his mind and took the job instead of going to Buffalo.

But clearly, Brendan Shanahan hadn’t forgotten his interviews with Boucher and hired him eight years later, this time in an assistant role.

What’s interesting is that Boucher had been in talks to return to the NHL in recent years (as an assistant or a pilot), but now his family timing is finally right.

But the fact remains that he will have to adapt to the assistant role, which he hasn’t held since 2005-2006 with the Rimouski Océanic.

However, I think he’ll fit in well in Toronto this year, as he’s good at making an immediate impact on his team. And since he’ll be in charge of a unit (the power play) that’s already running smoothly, he could make a splash.

In 2022-2023, Toronto had the second-best power play in the NHL behind the mighty Oilers.

In particular, several speakers emphasized how good it is to see Boucher taking command of the Toronto club’s five-man attack. Of the lot? Martin Biron and David Desharnais, on BPM Sports.

If he does a good job with a good club (which he probably will), maybe the phone could ring to become an NHL head coach again – in Toronto or elsewhere.

In short

– Too bad.

– Not drafting Matvei Michkov in Montreal = learning from mistakes. [BPM Sports]

– Will you see the film?

– Nate Thompson likes where the CH is headed. [TSN 690]

– The issue continues to be the talk of the town.

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