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Boucher more comfortable with Crawford at his side

New Senators coach cites former Cup winner's leadership as cause for call

by Chris Stevenson / Correspondent

OTTAWA - Guy Boucher said if he got another opportunity to coach in the NHL, he wanted Marc Crawford beside him on the bench as an assistant coach.

He didn't waste any time making it happen. 

"I'm very, very happy because the minute I got the job I called Marc," Boucher, who Sunday was named the 12th coach of the Ottawa Senators, said Monday at his introductory press conference. "I promised myself next time I would have an ex-NHL coach at my side. In what role it depended on what strengths he had. That's what I always focus on, people's strengths to put them in the right chair,"

Crawford, 55, won the Stanley Cup as coach of the Colorado Avalanche in 1996 and has coached 1,151 games in the League in 15 seasons with the Quebec Nordiques, Avalanche, Vancouver Canucks, Los Angeles Kings and Dallas Stars. He is 549-421-103-78.

Video: Guys discuss Boucher hiring for Senators

Crawford went 125-47-28 the past four seasons coaching the ZSC Lions of the National A League in Switzerland. This season, Auston Matthews, the projected top pick in the 2016 NHL Draft, played for Crawford in Zurich.

Like Boucher, Crawford agreed to a three-year contract.

"People ask me what type people do you want to be surrounded with. My answer is always the same: the strongest people possible," Boucher said. "Everything rises and falls on leadership. I want to find the people who have the best and strongest leadership so that leadership grows."

Boucher said Crawford's resume and his ability to teach are two of his biggest assets.

"He's won the Stanley Cup and the players can look up to that and can respect that," Boucher said. "I wanted somebody who I could give a lot of tasks to and not worry (if he) can teach. Some guys are smart hockey people, but it's about communicating.

"The players now expect you not to just tell them what to do, they expect to know why and follow them and accompany them in the process."

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