NHL

Senators head coach Guy Boucher, staff returning for 2018-19 season

Guy Boucher will be back behind the Ottawa Senators bench next season. General manager Pierre Dorion also told Ottawa radio station TSN 1200 on Tuesday that assistants Rob Cookson and Marc Crawford would return.

GM Pierre Dorion to shift focus toward trying to re-sign all-star Erik Karlsson

Senators GM Pierre Dorion on Tuesday confirmed to an Ottawa radio station that head coach Guy Boucher, right, and assistants Rob Cookson and Marc Crawford would be behind the bench to begin the 2018-19 NHL regular season. (Nils Petter Nilsson/Ombrello/Getty Images/File)

Guy Boucher will be back behind the Ottawa Senators bench next season, and so will his entire staff.

Speaking on Ottawa radio station TSN 1200, Senators general manager Pierre Dorion confirmed that Boucher and his assistants will return despite the club's second-last place finish in 2017-18.

Dorion said Boucher would run the power play, while assistants Rob Cookson and Marc Crawford will join Boucher behind the bench.

Boucher's future was in doubt after the Senators struggled to a 28-43-11 record last season, one year removed from making the Eastern Conference final.

Special teams were a particular concern for the Senators. Ottawa finished 27th in the 31-team league with a power play that converted on just 16.6 per cent of its chances, and its penalty-kill rate of 76.2 per cent was 26th.

With the coaching situation stabilized, the Senators can turn their attention toward trying to sign captain Erik Karlsson to an extension.

The superstar defenceman becomes an unrestricted free agent after next season.

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