Boucher appointed top ‘Dog in Hamilton

Montreal Canadiens general manager Bob Gainey and Hamilton Bulldogs general manager Julien BriseBois announced Monday the appointment of Guy Boucher as head coach of the Hamilton Bulldogs, the Canadiens’ top affiliate in the American Hockey League.

Boucher has been involved in Quebec major junior hockey for the better part of the last decade, including the last three seasons as head coach of the QMJHL’s Drummondville Voltigeurs. In 2008-09, he led his team to the QMJHL’s regular-season and playoff championships, as well as a berth in the Memorial Cup. He also took the Voltigeurs to their best season in franchise history (54 wins, 112 points), an improvement of almost 400% over the previous season (14 wins, 33 points).

Following the 2008-09 season, Boucher was awarded the Paul Dumont Trophy as the QMJHL’s Personality of the Year.

“On behalf of our staff and our fans, I’d like to welcome Guy Boucher to Hamilton”, said Bulldogs owner and chairman Michael Andlauer. “We have been very fortunate to have had a number of outstanding coaches during our 13 seasons. I am confident that the Montreal Canadiens have chosen the right person to continue that tradition, to develop their prospects and to lead the Hamilton Bulldogs in our quest for a second Calder Cup championship.”

Prior to his tenure in Drummondville, Boucher was an assistant coach with the Rouyn-Noranda Huskies (1997-2000) and the Rimouski Oceanic (2003-2006), winners of the 2005 QMJHL regular-season title and the President Cup as playoff champions, earning them a spot in the Memorial Cup tournament. He left the QMJHL for two seasons (2000-02) to be at the helm of the Lac Saint-Louis Lions in the Midget AAA Development League.

Boucher also enjoyed success at the international level working as an assistant coach with Canada’s National Men’s Under-18 Team program on three separate occasions, most recently at the 2008 IIHF World Under-18 Championship where the squad struck gold. He was also behind the bench at the 2007 Ivan Hlinka Memorial summer tournament and the 2006 IIHF World Under-18 Championship.

More recently, at the 2009 IIHF World Junior Championships in Ottawa, he was an assistant with the Canadian team that won a fifth consecutive gold medal.

Before embracing a coaching career, Boucher was a member of the McGill Redmen where he played left wing from 1991-95, recording 51 goals and 121 points, and also earned a degree in history with a minor in environmental biology. He also entered a university program towards a masters’ degree in sports psychology. His career as a hockey player took him to France where he suited up for the French club of Viry-Essonne in 1995-96.

Boucher, who will turn 38 on Aug. 3, is a native of Notre-Dame-du-Lac, Que. He and his wife Marsha are the proud parents of three children, son Vincent and twin daughters Mila and Naomi.