Flyers goalie Brian Boucher has returned to practice after suffering a knee injury and hopes he can back up Michael Leighton in the Stanley Cup finals.
Boucher was Philadelphia’s postseason starter until he sprained a ligament in his left knee in Game 5 of the Eastern Conference semifinals. Leighton took over and had three shutouts in the East finals to lead the Flyers to their first Stanley Cup finals in 13 years.
Boucher was expected to miss the rest of the postseason. He said after yesterday’s practice there were no setbacks in his rehabilitation. He wants to be in uniform for Saturday’s Game 1 against the Blackhawks at Chicago.
Boucher is 6-4 with a 2.33 goals against average in the playoffs this season.
The Crimson captain was selected by the Sabres in the fifth round (No. 147 overall) in the 2006 NHL entry draft. He didn’t miss a game during his four years of college, tying for eighth in career games played for the school with 131.
Throughout most of his career, the Montreal native was on the top defensive pairing on the Crimson. He was the Tudor Cup winner as Harvard’s most valuable player the last two seasons and was a three-time All-Ivy League selection and a two-time All-ECAC Hockey selection.
He had 70 career points. His 55 assists were the most by a Harvard defenseman since Derek Maguire had 71 from 1991-94. In 2008-09, he became the first blue liner since Don Sweeney to lead the Crimson in assists with 16. Sweeney, now an assistant general manager of the Bruins, had 23 in 1987-88.
“If it takes well into June, then that’s what it takes,’’ Howson said while on a scouting trip to Toronto. “We’re prepared to make sure that we’ve looked at all opportunities before we make a decision.’’
The club has been seeking a new coach since the final game of the season April 9. The Blue Jackets fired Ken Hitchcock on Feb. 3, elevating assistant Claude Noel to interim head coach.
Noel, who led the team to a 10-8-6 record the rest of the season, is one of at least four candidates.
Now Howson is searching for a coach at the same time that at least three other teams — Atlanta, New Jersey, and Tampa Bay — are also trolling the market.