Crawford left Zurich in the Swiss NLA in hopes of taking a coaching job in the NHL again and had made it known that he was open to taking an assistant job to get back in the door.
For Ottawa, getting both Boucher and Crawford on the bench presents a very good alternative to hiring Bruce Boudreau, who was speculated to be the team’s top choice (despite the team saying that Boucher was their top choice) before he signed with the Minnesota Wild.
Instead of getting the coach who is widely considered to be the best coach on the free agency market, they snag two of the other top names.
Crawford has been out of the NHL since the 2010-11 season after spending 15 seasons as a head coach in the league, including a Stanley Cup campaign with the Colorado Avalanche in 1996. In the 13 seasons following that Cup win, Crawford-coached teams missed the postseason in seven of those seasons, including his last five straight seasons.
The announcement of Crawford’s appointment is expected to come as early as Monday afternoon, reports Sportsnet’s Damien Cox.
Dustin Nelson is the News Editor for The Hockey Writers. He’s a contributor to Hockey Prospectus, Hockey Wilderness, and writes a column for Rotowire. He’s also written for Gone Puck Wild, Wild Xtra, InDigest, Electric Literature, The Rumpus, Tiny Mix Tapes, Prefix Magazine & other publications. Have a tip? Email him at dlukenelson[at]gmail[dot]com.