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Lightning talking to Rick Bowness for assistant job

Rick Bowness was recently fired after seven years as an assistant with the Canucks.

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Rick Bowness was recently fired after seven years as an assistant with the Canucks.

The Lightning apparently is talking to, and is perhaps close to signing, Rick Bowness as an assistant coach.

Tampa Bay has been in the market for an assistant since last month when it announced Dan Lacroix, who handled the defense and penalty kill, would not be given a new contract.

Bowness, 58, has been either an NHL head coach or assistant for 24 years. He was recently fired after seven years as an assistant with the Canucks, which also fired head coach Alain Vigneault in a housecleaning after Vancouver this season was swept out of the first round of the playoffs.

The Canucks went to the playoffs in six of the seven years Bowness was with the team, and to the final in 2011 (losing to the Bruins), but also lost in the first round the past two seasons.

Bowness would give the Lightning what it has lacked behind the bench since assistant Wayne Fleming left the team in April 2011 because of brain cancer -- an assistant with a deep resevoir of NHL knowledge. And general manaer Steve Yzerman, after announcing Lacroix's departure, has said he would look for such a person.

Bowness has been a head coach with the Jets, Bruins, Senators, Islanders and Coyotes, and led the 1991-92 Bruins to the third round of the playoffs. Before landing with the Canucks, Bowness spent five years as a Coyotes assistant, and was head coach for 20 games in 2003-04.

[Last modified: Sunday, June 2, 2013 4:51pm]

    

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