Lightning still trying to hire Jacques Lemaire
Former Wild coach Jacques Lemaire apparently is still very much on the Lightning's radar. But the potential hiring, as well as Lemaire's mulling other employment opportunities, has been on the back burner lately. Lemaire, who lives in Palmetto, said he has been dealing with a family matter that has diverted his attention.
"There is nothing new at the moment," he said about perhaps joining the Lightning.
But there clearly is interest from Tampa Bay to bring Lemaire on board as a senior consultant. Even so, the team has yet to offer a contract and the parameters of the job have yet to be discussed. In other words, the process may still have a way to go.
As Lemaire said, "I should think I'll decide a little later on."
Lemaire, 63, who has indicated the Panthers also have shown interest and who wants to work for an east coast team, would be an intriguing addition. Lemaire, who won the 1995 Stanley Cup as Devils coach, was the master of the trapping defensive system that people either loved for its ability to shut down opponents or hated because it stifles so much of the offensive flow.
Not that Lemaire would be so in on the ground floor with Tampa Bay. Coach Rick Tocchet has said he wants an up-tempo, attacking system. But Lemaire gained a reputation as a builder as he quickly made the expansion Wild a competitive squad with three playoff appearances in eight seasons. And though the team did not make the postseason this year, it has six straight winning records in the very tough West, not counting overtime losses.
Lemaire stepped down at the end of the season.