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Leafs fans disturbed by Guy Boucher’s work this season
Credit: Photo by Bruce Kluckhohn/NHLI via Getty Images
With Sheldon Keefe gone, the Leafs are looking for a new head coach.

Who will have the tough task of taking this team to the second round for at least two consecutive seasons? For the past few days, Joel Quenneville’s name has been making quite a bit of noise in the NHL, but especially in Toronto.

As Jeff Marek reported on the 32 Thoughts podcast, Quenneville shared his preferences with Andy Strickland during an interview, and the former Blackhawks coach said he wanted to pilot a big Atlantic team.

That narrows it down to four clubs: the Panthers, Bruins, Lightning and Leafs.

The first three teams have head coaches who are here to stay, but that’s not the case for Toronto. Having coached Chicago for several years, Quenneville isn’t afraid of the pressure.

He could be the man for the job in the Queen City, but he hasn’t yet got the green light from the NHL, having been involved in the Blackhawks scandal a few years ago.

Also on the Elliotte and Jeff podcast episode, Friedman mentioned that there’s a possibility of him returning to the NHL, but not as a head coach directly. He feels he’ll be an advisor for a few years (maybe even a few months) and then make the jump behind the bench.

Another candidate who could be of interest is Guy Boucher. The Quebecer was hired at the start of the season as assistant coach, and now he’s got the all-clear. We know he has an excellent relationship with Brendan Shanahan. For those who weren’t aware, back in 2015, the president of hockey operations was convinced that Mike Babcock was headed to Buffalo. So Boucher had been hired (not officially) and the final contract negotiations were taking place.

That’s before Babcock came around and took the job.

But now, Boucher is in Toronto and I don’t know if there’s a better person than him to take over. After all, he has an electroshock effect and that’s exactly what the Leafs need. In his first year as coach of the Lightning, he reached the association finals. And in his first year in Ottawa, he did the same. His stays don’t necessarily last long, but the city of Toronto needs hope.

The problem: fans are obsessed (in a bad way), disturbed by Boucher’s work. That’s what Marc Antoine Godin told the Tellement Hockey podcast.

Boucher was the Leafs’ Alexandre Burrows on the power play. By the end of the season, the five-man attack wasn’t functional, and in the playoffs, it finished with one goal in 21 attempts. That’s far too little for a team that relies on Mitchell Marner, Auston Matthews, William Nylander and John Tavares on the number-one wave…

In short, Boucher is much appreciated by management and is an excellent mentor. But if he were to be promoted, I’m not sure the fans would appreciate it…

In gossip

– It doesn’t look good for the future.

– Bad news.

– Nice read on the hopefuls.

– Obviously.

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