Steve Thomas not returning to Lightning staff
For the second straight offseason, coach Jon Cooper has made a change on his staff.
Assistant Steve Thomas will not be returning next season, his contract not renewed by the club. Thomas, a former long-time NHL forward, had been on Cooper's staff since the 2013-14 season, and with the organization since 2010, when he served as a player development coordinator (2010-2012).
Thomas worked with the forwards on Cooper's staff. It's unclear if Tampa Bay will pursue a replacement. The Lightning didn't renew George Gwozdecky's contract after last season. Brad Lauer was hired in his place.
The Lightning could try to address its power play, which ranked 28th in the NHL this season, by adding a coach to help with it. Currently, Cooper primarily runs that special teams unit.