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Senators Week

What Has Guy Boucher Been Up To Since His Players Joked In A Car About How Much The Senators Sucked?

Guy Boucher, head coach of Ottawa Senators during the 2017 SAP NHL Global Series match between Ottawa Senators and Colorado Avalanche at Ericsson Globe on November 10, 2017 in Stockholm.
Photo: Nils Petter Nilsson/Ombrello/Getty Images

The highlight of Guy Boucher's time as Ottawa Senators head coach, a job he held for almost three seasons, was getting to the Eastern Conference Final in 2016–17, then losing in double OT of Game 7. The lowest point of his tenure came in November 2018, when a bunch of his players laughed about how much the team sucked as they rode in a car to a hotel.

Matt Duchene, Chris Wideman, Thomas Chabot, Chris Tierney, Colin White, Dylan DeMelo, and Alex Formenton were all in an Uber—it was a big car—in Phoenix during a road trip, but Boucher wasn't the focus of their jokes. They were mostly razzing assistant coach Martin Raymond, not to be confused with the more antisemitic hockey coach Marty Raymond, because of the quality of the Sens' penalty-killing unit under his guidance.

From the Ottawa Citizen:

Defenceman Chris Wideman, sitting in the front passenger seat, chirps in: “Do you notice that when (Raymond) runs the video, if you actually do pay attention, he doesn’t ever teach you anything? He just commentates what’s happening.Then Duchene can be heard replying: “Here’s the other thing, too. We don’t change anything, ever. So why do we even have a meeting? I haven’t paid attention in three weeks.”

Once the video caught everyone's attention, the players in the car released a joint statement about how they were sorry:

This embarrassing video was not a turning point for the 2018–19 Ottawa Senators; they did not focus and grow together. Later that November, the team traded Wideman to the Edmonton Oilers. In February 2019, Duchene was traded to the Columbus Blue Jackets. (Already not seeing many PK minutes in Ottawa—perhaps for obvious reasons—Duchene has been all but glued to the bench on the penalty kill in his subsequent stops in Columbus and Nashville.) On March 1, 2019, the last-place Sens fired Boucher and replaced him with interim coach Marc Crawford. They finished the season as the worst team in the NHL, with 64 points. It was by an impressive margin, too: The second-worst team was the Los Angeles Kings, with 71 points.

The Senators traded DeMelo in 2020, but the other players in that car—Chabot, Tierney, White, Formenton—are still in the organization, and some of them are even good. (I've been told this, anyway.) According to Raymond's LinkedIn page, he left the organization in June 2019 and is currently a coach for "Programme de Hockey De Mortagne." Meanwhile, Boucher has not picked up an NHL coaching gig since his firing. These days, he regularly appears on a sports radio show called On Jase, which roughly translates to "We chat," for the Canadian channel RDS (Réseau des sports). Below is his appearance on an episode that aired last week. I do not speak Québécois French, but I can only assume they are talking about hockey.

So that's what Guy Boucher has been up to lately. If you thought that headline was rhetorical, that there would be no closure to the question, I bet you feel pretty silly right about now.

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