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Tampa Bay fires coach Boucher; Ruff has ties to Lightning's Yzerman

By John Vogl

MONTREAL -- The Tampa Bay Lightning fired coach Guy Boucher this morning, possibly giving Lindy Ruff his first opportunity to accept or turn down a coaching job since being let go in Buffalo.

The Lightning are 13-17-1 and sit 14th in the Eastern Conference despite offensive talents such as Steven Stamkos, Martin St. Louis, Vincent Lecavalier and Canisius product Cory Conacher. They've struggled in goal, however, and Boucher is gone.

Lightning Vice President and General Manager Steve Yzerman said assistants Martin Raymond and Dan Lacroix will share coaching responsibilities for the game tonight against the Winnipeg Jets.

"Guy has poured his heart and soul into the Lightning organization for these past three years and we appreciate all the work he has done," Yzerman said in a statement. "But ultimately I am not satisfied with the direction we are heading and I believe making a change today is in the best interest of our franchise."

The Sabres play in Tampa Bay on Tuesday.

Yzerman was the executive director of the 2010 Canadian Olympic team, and Ruff was an assistant coach for the gold-medal winners. Ruff has been out of the spotlight since a farewell news conference Feb. 22, two days after the Sabres fired him. He said he wanted to clear his head but added he definitely planned to return to coaching.

The Lightning also has Jon Cooper in their organization, and the coach led their AHL team on a record-setting championship run last season.

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John Vogl

John Vogl

John Vogl has been covering the Sabres since 2002-03, an era that has included playoff runs, last-place finishes and three ownership changes. The award-winning writer is the Buffalo chapter chairman for the Professional Hockey Writers’ Association.

@BuffNewsVogl |

About Sabres Edge

Mike Harrington

Mike Harrington

Mike Harrington, a Canisius College graduate who began his career as a News reporter in 1987, has been covering the Buffalo Sabres since 2007. He is a member of the Professional Hockey Writers' Association and can vouch that exposed flesh freezes instantly when walking in downtown Winnipeg in January.

@BNHarrington |

Amy Moritz

Amy Moritz

Amy Moritz, a native of Lockport, has a bachelor’s degree in journalism/mass communication from St. Bonaventure University and a master’s degree in humanities from the University at Buffalo. An endurance athlete, she has completed several triathlons, half marathons and marathons.

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