Source: Boucher new Lightning coach

Updated: June 9, 2010, 9:02 PM ET
By Pierre LeBrun | ESPN.com

The Tampa Bay Lightning will announce Guy Boucher as their new head coach on Thursday, a source told ESPN.com.

The Lightning said in a statement they will hold a press conference to make a major announcement on Thursday morning.

Montreal website RueFrontenac.com first reported the Lightning offering Boucher the job on Monday night.

Boucher was the AHL coach of the year this season with the Hamilton Bulldogs, the Montreal Canadiens' farm team. The Habs allowed Boucher to pursue NHL opportunities. He interviewed with the Columbus Blue Jackets as well.

Boucher will become the first head coach under new general manager Steve Yzerman. Yzerman was hired last month after spending five years in Detroit as vice president for the Red Wings.

The Lightning were 12th in the Eastern Conference last season and new team owner Jeff Vinik fired head coach Rick Tochett and general manager Brian Lawton after the season.

Tampa Bay has made the playoffs twice since winning the Stanley Cup in 2004 but has not won a playoff series.

Boucher takes over a roster including two stars from the Stanley Cup winner, Vincent Lecavalier and Martin St. Louis, as well as Victor Hedman and Steven Stamkos, the top pick in the 2008 NHL draft who scored 51 goals this season to tie Sidney Crosby for the league lead.

Pierre LeBrun covers the NHL for ESPN.com.

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