George Gwozdecky…there’s a name that you haven’t heard in NHL locker rooms. Fired after 19 years as the coach of the University of Denver’s Pioneers, he gets his first crack at the National Hockey League with our Tampa Bay Lightning.Speaking about his former coach, Angelo Ricci a former DU forward and current director of the state’s premier triple-A hockey organization, the Colorado Thunderbirds, had this to say
I was stunned…Coach Gwozdecky has done so much for DU hockey, the academic institution, alumni and the community. He made DU hockey important again and made them a national power again. He will be missed.
In addition to his overwhelming track-record of success in Denver, perhaps the main reason Gwozdecky got the nod in Tampa was the excellent reputation he has for working with young players. And with the Lightning’s emphasis on developing the talent of their youth, George got the nod over a seasoned NHL coach.
Here’s what Gwozdecky had to say about coming to Tampa,
I am excited to be joining the Tampa Bay Lightning coaching staff and am really looking forward to working with outstanding coaches like Jon (Cooper), Steve (Thomas) and Rick (Bowness),” Gwozdecky said. “The opportunity to coach in an organization with such highly-respected ownership and excellent front office leadership, as well as a talented mix of veteran and young players in a great community like Tampa Bay is the chance of a lifetime.
Welcome to HockeyBay USA, Coach. We’re glad you’re here!