Jan 07, 2012; Montreal, QC, CAN; Tampa Bay Lightning Head Coach Guy Boucher reacts during the third period against Montreal Canadiens at the Bell Center. Mandatory Credit: Jean-Yves Ahern-USA TODAY Sports

Tampa Bay Lightning Fire Coach Guy Boucher

The Tampa Bay Lightning announced on Sunday that head coach Guy Boucher has been relieved of his duties after a  13-17-1 start to the season. The Lightning currently sit in fourth place in the Southeast Division and just three points ahead of the Florida Panthers for last place in the Eastern Conference.

Tampa Bay general manager Steve Yzerman addressed the move in a statement.

“Guy has poured his heart and soul into the Lightning organization for these past three years and we appreciate all the work he has done,” said Yzerman. “But ultimately I am not satisfied with the direction we are heading and I believe making a change today is in the best interest of our franchise.”

Assistant coaches Martin Raymond and Dan Lacroix will join forces on Sunday night and take over coaching duties for the team’s game against Winnipeg.

Former Buffalo Sabres coach Lindy Ruff and Jon Cooper, who head coach of the Syracuse Crunch (the Lightning’s AHL affiliate) are the leading candidates to replace Boucher as the leading man on Tampa Bay’s bench.

Tags: Tampa Bay Lightning

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