OTTAWA -- Guy Boucher agreed to terms on a three-year contract to become the 12th coach in Ottawa Senators history on Sunday. The challenge for the 44-year-old will be to address the Senators defensive zone and special teams play.
Boucher returns to the NHL after a three-year absence; he coached the Tampa Bay Lightning from 2010-13, reaching the Eastern Conference Final in his first season. He compiled a 97-78-20 record with the Lightning before being fired in March 2013 after a 5-2 loss to the Senators.
He spent the past three seasons coaching Bern of the National League A in Switzerland where he had a 44-29-5 record.
Boucher and Senators general manager Pierre Dorion will meet with the media Monday afternoon.
"Over the past three weeks, Pierre Dorion and our hockey operations staff have undertaken a thorough and comprehensive search for our next head coach," Senators owner Eugene Melnyk said. "Following a detailed evaluation of all coaching candidates, there was overwhelming consensus that Guy was our top candidate. We wanted a great coach and this process yielded our top pick. I couldn't be happier.
"On behalf of the entire Senators organization, the great city of Ottawa and our fans, I want to welcome Guy, his wife Marsha and their three children, Vincent, Mila and Naomi."
Video: Friedman on the new Senators Head Coach Guy Boucher
In his first move after being named GM on April 10, Dorion fired coach Dave Cameron on April 12 after the Senators missed the playoffs with a 38-35-9 record.
The Senators were 26th in goals-against average, 29th on the penalty kill, 26th in power-play percentage and last in the NHL with 15 power-play goals this season.
Boucher earned a reputation as a power-play specialist with Canada at the 2009 IIHF World Junior Championship. As an assistant coach to Pat Quinn, Boucher ran the power play, which went 21-for-42 and helped Canada win its fifth gold medal in a row.
The next season Boucher coached Hamilton of the American Hockey League, who finished sixth in the AHL with 70 power-play goals on their way to winning the North Division championship. Boucher won the Louis A.R. Pieri Memorial Award as the AHL's most outstanding coach in 2009-10.
In his first NHL season, the Lightning power play was sixth at 20.6 percent but fell to 24th (15.2 percent) the following season.