Dec 23 2011; Denver, CO, USA; Tampa Bay Lightning head coach Guy Boucher (center) talks to his team as assistant coach Dan Lacroix (left) assistant coach Martin Raymond (right) listen during the first period of the game against the Colorado Avalanche at the Pepsi Center. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

Dan Lacroix Will Not Return to the Lightning Next Season

The Tampa Bay Lightning have made a move today that may very well change the entire face of the Coaching Staff. The team announced earlier today that they have chosen not to retain Assistant Coach Dan Lacroix upon the expiration of his contract.

With a new (head) coach,” Lightning Vice President and General Manager Steve Yzerman said of Jon Cooper, “we’re trying to find the right fit as far as skills and experience.” ~ via Damien Cristodero at the Tampa Bay Times

Dan Lacroix joined the Lightning in the summer of 2010, along with former Lightning Head Coach Guy Boucher. Lacroix was responsible for the defense and the penalty kill.

The Lightning have left the door open for Lacroix to remain with the organization in some other capacity; however, at the same time, he is free to explore other coaching opportunities.

At the present time, there have been no final decisions made regarding the status of Assistant Steve Thomas or Goaltending Coach Frantz Jean. Both Thomas and Jean have contracts that are due to expire at the end of June.

Currently, Yzerman has said that it is his intention to bring back Goaltending Coach Frantz Jean.

Lacroix’s replacement will weigh heavily on how the design of the new coaching staff will play out.

There are a lot of rumors floating around the internet as to who Dan Lacroix’s replacement will be. Only time will tell which one of those rumors will turn out to be fact. One thing is for sure. With Jon Cooper being a “rookie” coach in the NHL, you can count on Yzerman looking for an Assistant Coach with a wealth of experience in the NHL.

We’re contemplating a lot of things,” Yzerman said, “and what is the best fit.” ~ via Damien Cristodero at the Tampa Bay Times

It will be interesting to see how this situation plays out of the course of the off season. So many things hang in the balance, all hinging off of one single decision. If the new Assistant Coach has a wealth of experience in the game, then the team may elect to stay with a two assistant format; however, in the same respect, if the new Assistant has significantly less experience, we may see the team expand to a three assistant format.

With only a little over 3 months left until training camps should start, one can only assume that we will start to see these changes play out rather soon.

Who do you think would be a viable decision to step into Lacroix’s position? Do you think the other coaches will remain intact, or will they be free to explore other opportunities as well? Should the other coaches remain intact? So many questions need answers. Sound off in the comments below and let us know what you think those answers should be.


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