After telling the Ottawa Senators fan base that he would take the next few weeks to ponder on the future of his head coach, general manager Pierre Dorion changed his mind and revealed on Ottawa's TSN Radio 1200 on Tuesday that Guy Boucher and the rest of the coaching staff will return for the 2018-19 season.
The 2017-18 season was a rough one for the Senators. It was also Boucher's second season coaching in Ottawa, and the Senators managed to post a 28-43-11 record to finish second last in the Atlantic Division.
Many expected Boucher to be fired in the offseason as Dorion had refused to give him his vote of confidence in his end of the season postmortem conference back at the beginning of April.
Some roles will however change. In his interview with TSN 1200, Dorion added that Boucher will handle the power play in the coming season.
The 46-year-old head coach was hired by the Senators in May of 2016 after a coaching stint with SC Bern in the Swiss hockey league. The Senators played well under the fiery coach in his first year, finishing second in the Atlantic with a 44-28-10 record and heading to the postseason. They ended up making a shocking run in the playoffs with upsets of the Boston Bruins and New York Rangers in the first two rounds.
The fairy tale came to an end when they lost to the eventual Stanley Cup champion Pittsburgh Penguins in double overtime of Game 7 in the Eastern Conference Final.
Boucher got his NHL coaching start with the Tampa Bay Lightning back in 2010, when he also lead the the Bolts to the Eastern Conference Final in his first year. He was fired before the halfway point of the 2012-13 campaign. The Senators did an exhaustive search to find Boucher two years ago, and Dorion might have been looking to hold on to the head coach who led his club to the Conference finals last year.
In that same interview, it was also revealed that Kurt Kleinendorst will not return as head coach of the Belleville Senators in the American Hockey League. His contract will not be renewed this summer for the position.