By John Vogl
Steve Yzerman sounds like he knows who he wants behind the Tampa Bay Lightning's bench. He's still trying to make it happen.
Yzerman, the vice president and general manager of the Lightning, fired coach Guy Boucher this morning. He met with media in Winnipeg, where Tampa plays tonight, to discuss the coaching search. The leading candidates are former Sabres coach Lindy Ruff and Jon Cooper, who coaches the Lightning's minor-league club and won the AHL title last year.
"I will tell you I’m hopeful that I can get something in place as quickly as possible, and I’m not looking to drag things out," Yzerman said. "I have an idea of what I want to do and a plan for what I want to do, and I’m trying to get that accomplished as soon as possible."Yzerman made the Boucher announcement at 7 a.m. It stands to reason if he planned to promote Cooper from Syracuse, it could have been done within 8 1/2 hours. Ron Rolston came from Rochester to Buffalo almost immediately.
Yzerman decided to fire Boucher following a 5-3 loss to Ottawa on Saturday. The Bolts were in a 4-0 hole after one period.
"I’ve noticed a difference in our play, a difference in the attitude just as an observation of our players and felt the situation is worsening and quickly worsening, and something needs to be done immediately," Yzerman said. "I am going to hire and a name a head coach for the remainder of this year and years to come."