Maple Leafs add Guy Boucher, Mike Van Ryn to Sheldon Keefe's coaching staff

Former Lightning and Senators head coach Guy Boucher is expected to run Toronto's high-octane power play next season.

Guy Boucher brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to the Maple Leafs coaching staff. (Getty)
Guy Boucher brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to the Maple Leafs coaching staff. (Getty)

The Toronto Maple Leafs have hired Guy Boucher and Mike Van Ryn as assistant coaches for the 2023-24 season, the club announced Thursday.

Spencer Carbery, Toronto’s lead assistant last season, took over as the head coach of the Washington Capitals this summer, creating a vacancy among the team’s coaching staff.

"One of my goals every offseason is to put together the best staff possible to help give us the greatest opportunity for team success," Maple Leafs head coach Sheldon Keefe said in a statement.

"With Spencer Carbery's departure to become the head coach of the Washington Capitals, I'm thrilled to add experienced and accomplished coaches like Guy and Mike, as well as how the roles and responsibilities will now be shared amongst our coaching staff moving forward."

Boucher joins the Maple Leafs with a wealth of experience, previously serving as the head coach of the Tampa Bay Lightning and Ottawa Senators. He has also worked extensively with Hockey Canada in various roles with the men’s U18 and U20 programs. Boucher is widely expected to direct the team’s power play, a role previously handled by Carbery.

It will be compelling to see how Boucher meshes with the Maple Leafs staff, given he’s historically been a proponent of a 1-3-1 alignment in the neutral zone, which goes against the team’s up-tempo style of play under Keefe’s watch.

Keefe was considered by many to be on the hot seat after the Maple Leafs were eliminated by the Florida Panthers in the second round of the 2022-23 playoffs. He survived a regime change and evidently impressed new general manager Brad Treliving during their initial summer meetings. Toronto is going all-in in pursuit of an elusive Stanley Cup and if the team falters out of the gate, Boucher could be viewed cynically as a potential stop-gap option in the event Keefe is dismissed.

Van Ryn played 353 games in the NHL, finishing his career with the Maple Leafs during the 2009-10 season. He was successful during his lone season as the head coach of the OHL’s Kitchener Rangers, leading his team to a second-round playoff appearance in 2015-16. Van Ryn also excelled during his single season with the AHL’s Tucson Roadrunners, which resulted in an exit in the division finals.

Following his stint with the Roadrunners, Van Ryn won a Stanley Cup with the St. Louis Blues as an assistant coach in 2018-19. He was fired by the Blues in April.

Toronto previously hired Derek Clancey as its assistant general manager of player personnel on Tuesday.