Assistant Coach Wayne Fleming was paid tribute to by the Tampa Bay Lightning prior to Friday night’s game versus the New Jersey Devils, followed by a moment of silence. Wayne Fleming was hired by Coach Guy Boucher as an assistant, and he was a staple behind the bench until he was diagnosed with brain cancer. In April of 2011 they found a malignant tumor and he had brain surgery. Just weeks later the team went on to battle in the playoffs with Fleming on their minds. He passed away at the age of 62.
“Hockey Canada has lost a great friend, and the hockey world has lost not only a tremendous coach, but a wonderful man,” said Bob Nicholson, president and CEO of Hockey Canada. “We send our condolences to Wayne’s wife, Carolyn, their four children and the rest of the Fleming family.” -Hockey Canada according to Puck Daddy.
Fleming began his long time coaching career in 1980 with the University of Manitoba Bisons. There he was named the Canadian Interuniversity Athletic Union Coach of the Year in 1985. He was the head coach of Leksands IF of the Swedish Elitserien from 1992-1996. From there he spent a year coaching the Landshut Cannibals in Germany before returning to the NHL.
Once in American he became the assistant coach of the New York Islanders in 1997. In 2010 he put on some sun glasses and joined us here in Tampa Bay. He joined the Canadian Olympic team in 1990 as its General Manager and Assistant Coach, and won a silver medal at the 1992 Winter Olympics. In 2000 he was named the Vice President, Hockey by Hockey Canada. He was an associate coach for the national team as it won a gold medal at the 2002 Winter Olympics and the 2004 World Cup of Hockey. In all he served as assistant coach for the Edmonton Oilers, Calgary Flames, Philadelphia Flyers, Phoenix Coyotes, New York Islanders and Tampa Bay Lightning. He also served as a head coach for Leksands IF, EV Landshut and Avangard Omsk in Europe, and as both assistant and head coach for Team Canada in international tournaments.
He passed away peacefully Monday, March 25th, at his home in Calgary. On Tuesday, March 26th, Lightning GM Steve Yzerman released the following statement:
“It is with a heavy heart that we acknowledge the passing of Wayne Fleming yesterday. Wayne was an extremely important part of the Lightning family on and off the ice during his time here. The thoughts and prayers of the entire Lightning organization go out to Wayne’s wife, Carolyn, and the entire Fleming family.”
As editor of Bolts By The Bay, on behalf of Bolts By The Bay and the FanSided Sports Network, and Tampa Bay fans around the league, I would like to offer our deepest condolences to the family. Our thoughts and prayers are with Wayne Fleming’s loved ones. A sad day for hockey.