Ottawa Senators general manager Pierre Dorion said Guy Boucher was the coach he targeted from the start of his search.
The Senators signed Boucher to a three-year contract Sunday.
"No doubt, [Boucher] was No. 1 from the get-go," Dorion said during an appearance with Boucher on TSN 1200 on Monday. "Guy was the first interview I did. Every other interview I did I felt didn't come to the level of Guy."
Boucher, 44, said managing individuals is his greatest asset and he looks forward to returning to the NHL as a coach. He coached the Tampa Bay Lightning for parts of three seasons (2010-13), reaching the Eastern Conference Final in his first season. Boucher spent the past three seasons coaching Bern in National League A, Switzerland's top professional league.
"My strengths over the years have been to bring some speed, some immediate threat mentality on the power play and on 5-on-5 offense," he said. "I was lucky enough to coach many stars. Being able to manage individuals is probably my biggest strength. It's not systems. Systems change every year. You change every period. Every game you tweak things. You use what you need to use at certain times. The biggest thing is to manage people and connect; connect with the younger generation."
Video: Friedman on the new Senators Head Coach Guy Boucher
Dorion was named Senators GM on April 10, and two days later he fired coach Dave Cameron. The Senators missed the Stanley Cup Playoffs, finishing eight points behind the third-place Detroit Red Wings in the Atlantic Division. Ottawa was 26th in goals-against per game, 29th on the penalty kill, 26th in power-play percentage and were tied for 29th in the NHL with 38 power-play goals this season.
He said he expects a turnaround with Boucher in charge.
"To me [Boucher] was the best candidate out there," Dorion said. "What we're looking for, Guy checks all the boxes. He definitely has a great defensive structure. He knows we're a talented offensive team and he knows how to coach offensive talent. He's an excellent communicator. He's well-spoken. A good coach is someone who knows the X's and O's and knows how to transmit the message to his players."