Make us your home page

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Lightning assistant Steve Thomas won't return

For the second straight offseason, Lightning coach Jon Cooper made a change on his staff.

Assistant Steve Thomas, 52, will not return next season, his contract not renewed by the club, general manager Steve Yzerman confirmed Monday. Thomas, a longtime NHL forward, had been on Cooper's staff since the 2013-14 season, and with the organization since 2010, when he was a player development coordinator (2010-2012). Thomas was Tampa Bay's player development coach in 2012-13.

Thomas' main responsibility was with forwards. Thomas, with 421 career goals, could likely land on another NHL staff, ESPN reporting he's already spoken to a few teams. It's unclear if Tampa Bay will pursue a replacement. The Lightning didn't renew assistant George Gwozdecky's contract after last season, hiring Brad Lauer in his place.

The Lightning could try to address its power play, which ranked 28th in the NHL this season, by adding a coach (Adam Oates?) to help with it. Currently, Cooper primarily runs that special teams unit.

Thomas and Yzerman, could not be reached for comment.

SCHEDULE UP: The Lightning announced its preseason schedule Monday, with three home games starting Sept. 27 against the Hurricanes. The other home games are Sept. 29 against the Panthers and Oct, 8 vs. the Predators. Tampa Bay's road games: the Hurricanes on Sept. 30, the Predators on Oct. 1 and the Panthers on Oct. 6. The regular-season schedule will come out around June 21.

Lightning assistant Steve Thomas won't return 06/06/16 [Last modified: Monday, June 6, 2016 7:32pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Rays late-night bullpen shuffle: Alvarado, Pruitt down; Kolarek up


    The Rays shuffled their bullpen again after Tuesday's game, sending down struggling LHP Jose Alvarado along with RHP Austin Pruitt to Triple-A Durham, and turning next to LHP Adam Kolarek, who will make his major-league debut at age 28,

  2. Rays journal: Alex Cobb brilliant, Alex Colome worrying in 10-inning victory (w/video)

    The Heater

    PITTSBURGH — RHP Alex Cobb couldn't have been much better for the Rays on Tuesday, taking a no-hitter into the seventh inning while working eight solid. And Alex Colome couldn't have been much worse, blowing a two-run ninth-inning lead.

    Rays starter Alex Cobb carries a no-hitter into the seventh and pitches eight shutout innings in his best outing of the season.
  3. Marc Topkin's takeaways from Tuesday's Rays-Pirates game

    The Heater

    RHP Alex Cobb continues to look better and better, which could make the decision whether to trade him tougher. Cobb had a no-hitter through six and threw his biggest pitch with a 1-0 lead in the seventh, getting Josh Bell to roll into a double play.

  4. For good of the Rays, Tim Beckham should embrace move to second

    The Heater

    PITTSBURGH — The acquisition of slick-fielding shortstop Adeiny Hechavarria said a lot of things, most notably that the Rays are serious about making in-season moves to bolster their chances to make the playoffs, with a reliever, or two, next on the shopping list.

    PITTSBURGH, PA - JUNE 27:  Tim Beckham #1 of the Tampa Bay Rays celebrates with teammates after scoring during the eighth inning against the Pittsburgh Pirates at PNC Park on June 27, 2017 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Joe Sargent/Getty Images) 700011399
  5. Rays at Pirates, 7:05 p.m. Wednesday, Pittsburgh

    The Heater

    Tonight: at Pirates

    7:05, PNC Park, Pittsburgh

    TV/radio: Fox Sports Sun; 620-AM, 680-AM (Spanish)

    PORT CHARLOTTE, FL - FEBRUARY 18:  Blake Snell #4 of the Tampa Bay Rays poses for a portrait during the Tampa Bay Rays photo day on February 18, 2017 at Charlotte Sports Park in Port Charlotte, Floida.  (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)