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Guy Boucher’s departure: he wanted to become head coach in Toronto
Credit: Photo by Bruce Kluckhohn/NHLI via Getty Images
Following their elimination in the first round of the playoffs, the Toronto Maple Leafs have made a number of changes, including their head coach.

Craig Berube has taken over from Sheldon Keefe, who is now head coach of the New Jersey Devils.

This change can only help the Maple Leafs, who have been suffering from playoff failure for far too long.

Interestingly, the last time the Maple Leafs won three series in a single playoff run was in 1931-32. When they won their last Stanley Cup in 1967, there were only four teams in the playoffs, so only two series to win.

Berube’s arrival could change things, but yesterday we learned that it was over between the club’s assistant coach, Guy Boucher, and the Leafs.

Well, now we know more about Boucher’s decision not to return to the Leafs, according to Elliotte Friedman in the latest episode of the “32 Thoughts Podcast”.

“I think Boucher mentioned that if there was a coaching change, that he would have liked that to be a candidate. I don’t know how serious Toronto was with that request or even if he was a candidate.” – Elliotte Friedman

When Berube was named head coach of the Leafs, some people would have told Friedman to take a good, hard look at how Boucher and the organization would react.

The rest is history.

Still according to Friedman, it’s no big surprise, but one wonders if Boucher was even a candidate in the head coaching search.

If Boucher wasn’t even considered for the job, it’s easy to understand the decision not to return to Toronto as a powerplay instructor.

Boucher would love to get back behind a team’s bench, but not as an assistant.

Even so, he has six years’ experience at the helm of an NHL team (Tampa Bay Lightning from 2010-11 to 2012-13 and Ottawa Senators from 2016-17 to 2018-19).

The Notre-Dame-du-Lac native also coached SC Berne in Switzerland and won the President’s Cup with the Drummondville Voltigeurs in 2009.

The 52-year-old could help a club looking for a new head coach, but will he be able to find himself a job leading a team before the season starts?


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