NHL-worst Senators fire Boucher, name Crawford interim coach


Ottawa (AFP)

Mired in a six-game losing streak with the NHL's worst record, the Ottawa Senators fired head coach Guy Boucher on Friday and named Marc Crawford as an interim replacement.

With only 22 wins and 49 points from 64 games, the Senators were five points below Los Angeles as the NHL doormat and are all-but assured of missing the playoffs for the fourth time in six seasons.

"I want to thank Guy for his three years of service," Senators general manager Pierre Dorion said. "He is a good person and has been an excellent representative of the Senators.

"At this point, however, we need a different set of coaching and leadership skills to guide our team through this rebuild. In the interim, Marc will bring a different perspective along with a wealth of head coaching experience."

Crawford, in his third season as the Senators associate coach, has a record of 549-421 with 78 overtime losses and 103 draws as an NHL head coach with the Quebec Nordiques, Colorado Avalanche, Vancouver Canucks, Los Angeles Kings and Dallas Stars.

Crawford won the 1995 Jack Adams Award as NHL Coach of the Year in his first season as a league coach with Quebec and, with the team relocated to Colorado, led them to the 1996 Stanley Cup crown.

The Senators will visit Tampa Bay Lightning on Saturday for the 58-year-old Crawford's first game as an NHL coach since he was fired by Dallas in 2011.

Boucher was 94-108 with 26 overtime losses in 228 games guiding Ottawa but led the Senators to the Eastern Conference finals in 2017, losing in the maximum seven games to eventual champion Pittsburgh.

Overall, Boucher is 191-187 with 46 overtime losses over six seasons with Ottawa and Tampa Bay.

Boucher became the seventh NHL coach to be fired this season, following Randy Carlyle (Anaheim Ducks), Dave Hakstol (Philadelphia Flyers), Todd McLellan (Edmonton Oilers), Mike Yeo (St. Louis Blues), Joel Quenneville (Chicago Blackhawks) and John Stevens (Los Angeles Kings).