Who will be the Lightning's next coach?
Who will coach the Lightning next season? Will it be John Tortorella or ESPN analyst Barry Melrose? The smart money is on Melrose. Yet it appears to be an either-or proposition. Why is that? If soon-to-be-Lightning owner Oren Koules is bent on making a change — and I'm not so sure that a change is in order — these are five others he should at least consider for a minute or two before deciding that his new favorite hairstyle is the mullet. I'm not saying any one of these guys should get the job, but don't you at least consider them?
1. Ron Wilson
The former Ducks, Caps and Sharks coach has a lifetime record of 518-446-127. Those 518 wins are eighth in NHL history. During the past three seasons, his Sharks went 187-97-38, but then again, they failed to get past the second round of the playoffs. Still, eighth most victories of all time?
2. Scotty Bowman
Hey, why not? He's the greatest coach in NHL history. Maybe the greatest coach in any sport ever. And, here's the kicker: He lives in Sarasota. You probably would have to give him a boatload of money and let him be in charge of the whole shebang, but, say it again, the greatest hockey coach of all time!
3. Pat Burns
Another local. He has a place on the other side of the Skyway. He has overcome cancer and appears a little more mellow these days. Was coach of the year with three teams and is a proven winner. And he's hungry.
4. Andre Savard
There's always some hot assistant coach floating around, and Savard, an assistant with the Penguins, is the hot name these days. He has been a head coach (back with Quebec in 1987-88) and is very well-liked by the players he coaches. Rumor is he could be the Panthers’ next head coach.
5. Paul Maurice
Fired after two seasons in Toronto, but he did take the Carolina Hurricanes to the finals in 2002. A young guy (he's only 40) who relates well to players.