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Short Shifts

Guy Boucher's crazy first pitch was Joe Maddon's idea

Senators coach lacked baseball skills, so he went another route

NHL.com @NHL

Ottawa Senators coach Guy Boucher delivered an unconventional first pitch at a Tampa Bay Rays game in 2012 and owes it all to a quintessential bold move from World Series-winning manager Joe Maddon.

"I did it with a hockey stick; strike," Boucher said after starting his availability on Thursday congratulating the Cubs manager, a friend of his, on the championship. "It wasn't my idea, it was his. He dared me. He's a great guy. I'm really happy for him."

Watch: Guy Boucher shoots first pitch at Rays game

Boucher got to know Maddon when Boucher was the coach of the Tampa Bay Lightning from 2010-13 and Maddon was managing the Rays.

The Rays asked Boucher to throw out the first pitch at a game, but he was apprehensive because he was, admittedly, a terrible baseball player as a kid. That's when Maddon stepped in with the unorthodox idea of Boucher using a hockey stick and shoot the puck from the mound.

Boucher said he used some dirt on the rubber on the pitcher's mound to hold the ball in place and then wristed a strike across the plate.

"Terrific individual," Boucher said of Maddon. "His players loved him in Tampa also, so I'm really happy for him. I'm not surprised (the Cubs won)."

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