Guy Boucher, who earlier in the day turned down the head coaching job with the Columbus Blue Jackets, has accepted the head coaching role with the Tampa Bay Lightning, according to Rue Frontenac and CKAC.
Boucher coached the AHL's Hamilton Bulldogs this season. At age 38, he would be the youngest coach in the National Hockey League.
The hiring of Boucher comes as the first major decision made by new Lightning GM Steve Yzerman, who took over that title on May 25.
Sources say that the deal with Boucher is believed to be for four years and will be finalized on Tuesday morning. A formal announcement by the Lightning is expected Thursday at 11 am et/8pm pt. Reports also indicate that Boucher will bring his Hamilton staff with him to Tampa Bay.
Reports had been circulating in recent days that Boucher was a top candidate for head coaching vacancies with Tampa Bay, Columbus, and New Jersey. Boucher turned down Scott Howson on Monday when the Columbus general manager offered him the Blue Jackets' head coaching position.
Instead, Manitoba Moose head coach Scott Arniel is expected to be introduced as the Jackets' new bench boss on Tuesday.