Bern Fires Guy Boucher, Will Return to North America

The Swiss National League A (NLA) team SC Bern has relieved head coach Guy Boucher of his duties, effective immediately.

The firing comes following a 6-3 Bern loss to HC Lugano on Tuesday. That makes three straight losses since Boucher and Bern announced last week that he would not be returning to the team next season after Boucher declined a two-year contract extension.

The team claims that the decision to fire Boucher has nothing to do with his decision not to return to the team.

Overall Bern has lost four straight and has fallen to ninth place among 12 teams. That puts them outside the playoff picture in the NLA. Bern was also eliminated in the opening group stage of the Champions Hockey League.

Boucher told TSN’s Bob McKenzie, “I want to coach in NHL again. That’s my goal.” It was clearly a factor in his decision not to return next season. He is a name that should be in the mix for any coaching vacancies that pop up over the course of the season or the summer. That was clear over summer when he was interviewed for the Toronto Maple Leafs coaching job that ultimately went to Mike Babcock.

The news comes just a day after a report that Boucher may be coaching Team Canada at the Spengler Cup in Davos in December.

Taking the reins for Bern is assistant coach Lars Leuenberger, with Elite-A coach Marco Bayer stepping up into the assistant coach role.

Boucher will certainly be in the mix for any coaching position that opens up during the season. His name can be thrown into the pile that includes Paul MacLean, Randy Carlyle, Adam Oates, Marc Crawford, and Mike Keenan (also recently relieved from a coaching position) that should comprise part of the long list for open positions.

RELATED: Hockey Hall of Fame Debates: Sergei Makarov