Marc Crawford joins Ottawa Senators to assist Guy Boucher

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Marc Crawford joins Ottawa Senators to assist Guy Boucher
Marc Crawford joins Ottawa Senators to assist Guy Boucher

New Ottawa Senators coach Guy Boucher and GM Pierre Dorion are determined to bring change to the franchise. 

“I don’t want to put down anything that was done here before. But I think every team has to evolve. My goal is to bring some structure, my kind of structure offensively. I want to have an aggressive penalty kill. And we have the personnel to play an ‘accelerated’ power play,” said Boucher on CBC Radio in Ottawa on Monday.

As for any notion that Boucher was second choice, Dorion said he and assistant GM Randy Lee at one point wrote down their first choices on a piece of paper. Both had selected Boucher.

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So, you know, quiet all that talk about Bruce Boudreau and the fact that Ottawa didn’t announce Boucher until after Boudreau signed with the Minnesota Wild, we guess.

“We hired the best man. There’s no doubt in my mind we hired the best man. Guy was our No. 1 choice. We had the resources to hire whatever head coach we wanted, and Guy was our No. 1 choice,” said Dorion.

We’re not sure where Marc Crawford ranked among the 10 coaches Dorion interviewed for the head-coaching job. But it was apparently high enough where the Senators wanted to bring him on to assist Boucher.

Crawford is expected to be introduced as part of Boucher’s staff on Monday after failing to secure a head coaching gig. He last served as head coach of the ZSC Lions in the Swiss National League A. He was previously the head coach of the Vancouver Canucks, Colorado Avalanche, Los Angeles Kings and Dallas Stars, and won a Stanley Cup in 1996 with the Colorado Avalanche. 

“Some times you’re at the bottom of the wheel, and sometimes you’re a hot commodity,” said TSN’s Bob McKenzie on Montreal radio this morning.

Take Boucher. For a few years, he wasn’t getting a sniff for a coaching job. Last year, he was a finalist with the New Jersey Devils and, according to McKenzie, would have been the Toronto Maple Leafs’ head coach had Mike Babcock opted to sign with the Buffalo Sabres.

(Could you imagine that heaping piles of B.S. Boucher would have cooked up to explain the tank? That would have been worth the contract on its own.)

“He won a Stanley Cup in Colorado. He’s coached extensively in the NHL. And he can’t seem to get that next head coaching position,” said McKenzie.

“He’s now prepared to take a secondary role. It’s a pretty safe bet before the day is out that you’ll see Marc Crawford take an associate head coach or assistant head coach role with Guy Boucher in Ottawa. He recognized that if he wants to be a head coach in the NHL again, he needs to go through a secondary role and be present and not just coach in Europe.”

Crawford, if you’ll recall, landed back on everyone’s radar last season after he coached Auston Matthews in Switzerland.

“But when you coach in Europe, as Guy Boucher and Marc Crawford did, you’ll a little bit out of sight and out of mind.”

Now he’ll be back in sight, joining that tier of former head coaches – Kirk Muller, Kevin Dineen, Jacques Martin – that have needed to take a co-starring role.

Guess we can cool that “Crawford/Burke Calgary reunion” talk.

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Greg Wyshynski is a writer for Yahoo Sports. Contact him at puckdaddyblog@yahoo.com or find him on Twitter. His book, TAKE YOUR EYE OFF THE PUCK, is available on Amazon and wherever books are sold.

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