Jacques Lemaire said he appreciated the Lightning's interest in bringing him on as a senior consultant, but the timing was not quite right.
The former Wild coach who stepped down after the season said he is pursuing another opportunity.
"Brian showed a lot of interest, and I was pleased about that," Lemaire said of Tampa Bay general manager Brian Lawton. "He told me he really wanted me to be part of the organization. He was very patient."
Lemaire, 63, who lives in Palmetto, declined to say to which team he is speaking, but the New York Times reported he could be hired as an assistant by the Canadiens, the team with which he won eight Stanley Cups as a player.
Damian Cristodero, Times staff writer