This is the hardest post that I have ever had to write. It’s no secret that the Tampa Bay Lightning have been struggling. Fans have been crying for a while to make changes. But most of them don’t want their ‘faces of the franchise’ to be messed with. They want the players that they are comfortable seeing on the ice. While Guy Boucher has a large following in Tampa, there are just as many fans who have been calling for the head of the coach.
When Steve Yzerman took over the team as General Manager, he said that there would be no over night fix. He said that he was going for a long term goal, not a short term fix. People just want the here and now, and that’s all that they can see. When Guy Boucher was brought on, he said that it would be up to a four year plan. Look at the young, fresh blood from Syracuse that is stirring things up. The veteran players aren’t producing. Is firing Boucher really the thing to do? In my opinion, this is a hypocrite move.
I was going to keep this just informative. But you know me better than that. I’m upset. I’m angry. I will put my personal feelings for Guy Boucher, as everyone knows how much I respect him, aside and look at this from an out-of-body point of view. Even still, I’m sure this will be one of those articles that gets me a lot of backlash. Bring it on.
FOUR years Boucher said. LONG TERM Yzerman said. So he doesn’t even give him three full years. He doesn’t let him finish out the year, and gets rid of him when the team is up in Canada? That is a cowardly move in my opinion.
My question is why fire him if he doesn’t have a back up coach ready? Why keep on Marty Raymond and Dan LaCroix? The bigger question is why in the world does goal tending coach Franz Jean still have a job today? If you get rid of one, get rid of them all. The two assistant coaches will be heading up the game behind the bench together.
There are a lot of players who I could think of parting ways with, but I’ll save that for another day. Right now the talk is all about Boucher. Fans in Tampa and Lightning fans all around the world are waking up to the thunderstorm, and for those who were calling for Boucher’s head and for all of the impatient fans who couldn’t wait out the long term goals of the team, I hope that you are happy.
Now everyone is saying to bring up all of the Syracuse boys and bring up Cooper as head coach. Do you really think that Yzerman will gamble with another AHL coach who has no NHL experience? I don’t think that would be a wise move. They are doing great in the AHL. However, this isn’t the fix that everyone is looking for. Another rumor is fired Buffalo Sabres coach Lindy Ruff. Ummm…. ok. That’s all I’m going to say about that.
Former Lightning head coach John Tortorella made a statement to the effect of that when you fire a head coach when the players are not playing well, it’s like telling them ‘Oh it’s alright. Come back next year, your job will be here and you’re off the hook.’ I agree. I agree wholeheartedly. While I understand that changes need to be made, keep your word and let it go long term. Or don’t just kick the scape goat in the butt, kick the whole coaching staff. If Yzerman really wants to shake things up, then really shake things up. Get all fresh blood in there.
Now the players get a second chance to redeem themselves. They should be shaking in their skates, actually playing like they care enough to win. Maybe now they will see that their jobs might be in jeopardy, fan favorites or not.
Me, not as the Boucher fan, but as the Lightning fan… I’m angry. I’m hurt. I’m confused. Of course I’m upset. I feel like punching the ‘fire Boucher’ people in their noses, and letting them sop the blood up with the jerseys of their deadweight favorited players who have done nothing this season. Guy Boucher is simply a scape goat. Now let us brace for the next chapter in Tampa Bay Lightning history, let’s brace for the next coach who can’t make the team like the Detroit Redwings or the Chicago Blackhawks and get fired when the fans cry.