UPDATE – It is being reported that the Canadiens have now given Columbus permission to speak to Guy Boucher about the vacant head coaching position with the Blue Jackets. 

If the Columbus Blue Jackets want to talk to Hamilton Bulldogs head coach Guy Boucher they will have to seek permission from the Canadiens who have him under contract for another year.  So far, according to reports out of Columbus, the Bluejackets have not sought that permission.  Some think that ‘Jackets GM Scott Howson might be having second thoughts connected to the fact that Boucher has only one year of professional coaching experience.  In any case, the Canadiens, if asked, are unlikely to stand in the way of Boucher advancing himself

This from today’s Columbus Dispatch. 

 One thought coming out of Montreal and Hamilton is that Boucher may consider turning down NHL offers this year because he feels he needs more experience coaching in the AHL. I’ll repeat, this is not a report, just the feeling of a few people who know him on a fairly good basis. They believe it’s a possibility, not a likelihood, that Boucher may turn down offers to stay put. Kevin Dineen, also a candidate for the Blue Jackets job, turned down an NHL offer after his second season in the AHL for this very reason.

Blue Jackets general manager Scott Howson nearly two months into a coaching search that has dominated the first part of a crucial off-season expects his exhaustive search to be finished in seven to 10 days.

The last “moving target” was Guy Boucher, coach of the American Hockey League’s Hamilton Bulldogs, whose club was knocked out of the playoffs Wednesday.

It’s unclear if Howson and Boucher have met for an interview. They spent the last three days less than 45 minutes apart in Toronto and Hamilton, Ont., respectively.

Neither Howson, who returned yesterday after a week at the NHL’s scouting combine, nor Boucher would comment yesterday.

In addition to Boucher, Howson is considering Scott Arniel, coach of the AHL’s Manitoba Moose; Kevin Dineen, coach of the AHL’s Portland Pirates; and Claude Noel, who coached the Blue Jackets in their final 24 games last season as interim coach.