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Tampa Bay Lightning considering Adam Oates to coach the power play



It's a long way from being official, if it happens, but the Tampa Bay Lightning is considering former NHLer Adam Oates as an assistant coach who will work almost exclusively with the power play. Oates, a center and power-play specialist in a 19-year NHL career, was a teammate of Lightning coach Rick Tocchet with the Bruins, Capitals and Flyers.

Adding Oates would not affect Tampa Bay's slow-moving search for an assistant coach to work behind the bench and run the defense during games. It also would not affect assistant coach Wes Walz, who was valuable last season as a liaison between Tocchet and the players and was invaluable in the video room, where he helped turn around Steven Stamkos' season.

Hiring a power-play coach would be a smart play for the Lightning, which finished 19th in the league last season with a 17.8 percent efficiency. Notable five-on-three failures late in the season exacerbated the problem.

Oates, 46, had 341 goals and 1,079 assists in a career that took him to Detroit, St. Louis, Boston, Washington, Philadelphia, Anaheim and Edmonton. He retired after the 2003-04 season sixth all-time in assists and 16th with 1,420 points.

[Last modified: Sunday, August 16, 2009 4:38pm]


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