Juran In The Stands: A Fan’s Goodbye To Guy Boucher

by Jane Juran | Posted on Monday, March 25th, 2013

BoucherGuy Boucher was released of his duties as head coach of the Tampa Bay Lightning on March 23rd following a 5-3 loss at Ottawa. It was a move GM Steve Yzerman believed necessary for the future direction of the team and to shift the momentum of the remaining season. Fan reaction runs the gamut from agreement to outrage.

Opinions as to the reason for this decision flooded the social media fronts today:  Lack of results; an ill-fitting system that the rest of the NHL has figured out and adjusted to; loss of the room.

TSN’s Bob McKenzie offered some interesting insight via his Twitter page:

Were the players turning a deaf ear to their coach? Had they given up on him? Has a negative culture permeated the psyche of the team to such an extent that Yzerman saw no resolution except the immediate removal of his head coach?

In a video released by the Lightning, Steven Stamkos spoke with reporters about Guy’s dismissal and had this to say:

“You hear a lot about the guys not responding to Coach…I don’t think that was the case.”

Watch the full video here:

The players often spoke in interviews of their respect for Boucher, as a coach and as a person. They spoke of his intensity, work ethic and thorough preparation for games.

Guy holds a solid place in the hearts of the fans. He always took time to interact with fans, shaking every hand and making eye contact. He gave his attention to each individual in genuine conversation, no matter how many people there were, how late it was or how many hours he had just spent reviewing footage after a game.

The adversities the Lightning are struggling with this season cannot solely be attributed to Guy Boucher. However, when results aren’t there – whatever the reasons – the man behind the bench is held accountable. That’s how it works. In another market, he would have been released before now.

Guy was fully dedicated to the Lightning organization. He put everything he had into it – his time, passion, intelligence, vision, tenacity…and his heart. He asked that his players be willing to pay the price on and off the ice, mentally and physically. As their leader, he was willing to do no less himself. And he has.

During the Stanley Cup Round 3 Playoff run in 2011, in a post-Game 5 presser Guy stated:

“…real toughness is being able to take it and continue.”

Let’s hope he does just that. He will be missed in TampaBay.

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Jane Juran
About the Author

Jane Juran grew up along the shores of Lake Erie and spent her formative years on ice in figure skating programs at the rec. Her love for hockey began at the scholastic level and grew with family road trips to Erie Panthers, Hershey Bears and Toronto Maple Leafs games. A recent transplant to the Tampa area, Jane has followed the Lightning since the 2010-11 season and has a strong attachment to her team. She offers her thoughts here on Lightning Shout! from a fan's perspective.

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