By now the shock of the firing of head coach Guy Boucher has warn off, and the excitability about the hiring of new head coach Jon Cooper is buzzing. While most of us loved Boucher and hated to see him go, I have come to the realization that there were several reasons on why this change might actually be a good thing.
There are many fans, like me, who are big Boucher supporters. We feel that he should have been given more time. In a four year ‘plan to grow’ ‘for the long term’ he was only given two and a half years. And that’s it. He was cut short of his prime.
I’ve listened to several of the fans talk about the changes. Some are actually happy about the change. Most still have a bitter taste in their mouths about the coaching change. However, it’s not Jon Cooper’s fault. No matter who you are, you can’t hate this guy. He is extremely nice, from what I’ve heard. Friends who live in Norfolk said that the atmosphere with him around was electric, and it changed after he left. They said that he loves to have fun, and he is one of those friendly guys you just feel like you’ve known all of your life.
Aside from his friendliness, his track record speaks for itself. He’s won the championships and exceeded on every level that he has stepped up. So he hasn’t been an NHL coach yet. No one is until they are given the chance! In his first time addressing the media, he acknowledged that there was both bad news and good news. The bad news being that he was only getting the new job because someone else had to lose theirs. He sounds classy and humble to me. He also sounds humorous as he told Steve Yzerman that he was going to try his best to mess up his draft pick! The team needed a change. As much as I want Boucher back, it’s not going to happen. What’s done is done. Cooper wasn’t a circling vulture, waiting for Boucher to be kicked out the door so that he could pounce on his job.
I am happy that the choice was made in Jon Cooper’s favor. He will be good for the team and for the community. I can’t wait to be able to meet him personally. (I met him briefly at Prospect Camp two years ago, but that was a very quick introduction. I don’t really count that one.)
Welcome to Tampa Bay, Coach Cooper, from the Bolts By The Bay staff.