Make us your home page
Instagram

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

(View our Privacy Policy)

Tampa Bay Lightning assistant Wayne Fleming not expected to be with team when season opens

Last season, the Lightning dedicated its run to the Eastern Conference final to assistant coach Wayne Fleming, who had surgery in May in a California hospital to remove a malignant tumor from his brain.

Getty Images

Last season, the Lightning dedicated its run to the Eastern Conference final to assistant coach Wayne Fleming, who had surgery in May in a California hospital to remove a malignant tumor from his brain.

Lightning assistant coach Wayne Fleming, who is battling brain cancer, is not expected to be with the team when the season opens in October, general manager Steve Yzerman said.

Yzerman is hopeful, though, that Fleming will be able to watch games on television and provide observations and insights via text messages and phone calls as he did during last season's playoffs.

"Absolutely, we hope he has the energy to do that. But that's up to Wayne about what he can do," Yzerman said Monday.

Fleming, 61, has been in Tampa for about a month after spending almost three months in a California hospital recovering from surgery in May to remove a malignant tumor.

The coach, to whom Lightning players dedicated last season's run to the Eastern Conference final, still is undergoing chemo and radiation treatments through Moffitt Cancer Center and is in a wheelchair as he rehabs to regain his motor skills, Yzerman said.

"His progress has been up and down," Yzerman added. "It just wears on him. With all the chemo and radiation and physical therapy and trying to get back walking, it just takes a toll on him."

That said, Yzerman called Fleming's spirits "really good" and added, "The majority of times I've spoken with him, if you didn't know his condition, you wouldn't know there was anything wrong with him. His mind is sharp."

That is why Yzerman, who reiterated he will not hire a replacement for Fleming and is leaving the door "wide open" for his return, hopes Fleming will contribute even if not physically with the team.

"He wants to be involved, and it's good for him to be involved," Yzerman said. "We hope he can be."

Damian Cristodero can be reached at cristodero@sptimes.com.

Tampa Bay Lightning assistant Wayne Fleming not expected to be with team when season opens 08/29/11 [Last modified: Monday, August 29, 2011 10:16pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. USF opens preseason workouts with defensive improvement a priority

    College

    TAMPA — To prevent preseason wear on his three normal practice fields, new USF coach Charlie Strong is staging the first phase of the 2017 preseason on the fields used by the original Bulls two decades ago.

  2. Spieth has suddenly made the PGA Championship a lot more interesting

    Pga

    SOUTHPORT, England — Now that the PGA Championship in Charlotte next month has gone from a big deal to a big-big deal because of Jordan Spieth, there is no telling where he might lead us. On Sunday, of course, he led us way up a dune.

    Jordan Spieth celebrates an eagle during his U.S. Open victory.
  3. In Twitter rant, Bucs' Gerald McCoy says he's unappreciated

    Bucs

    Gerald McCoy is feeling underappreciated again. He says somebody has crossed the line this time. He's speaking out and suggesting he might be gone "soon enough" from Tampa Bay.

    Photo Illustration RON BORRESEN   |   Photo by LOREN ELLIOTT   |   Times 
Gerald McCoy may be upset that Ronde Barber said a defensive leader “has to have a huge personality’’ like Warren Sapp’s. Monday, Barber walked that back.
  4. Rays' Evan Longoria: "We have all the belief in the world in here"

    Blogs

    The weekend sweep by Texas and four-game overall losing streak has some Rays fans - based on their tweets and emails - questioning the team's ability to make the playoffs and suggesting they might as well trade away their key parts.

  5. What are the odds the Rays trade for Brad Hand or Pat Neshek?

    Blogs

    In each of the last three seasons, the Rays have been sellers at the trade deadline. They shipped away David Price in 2014, got rid of David DeJesus and Kevin Jepsen in 2015 and flipped Matt Moore, Steve Pearce and Brandon Guyer in 2016.

    Padres left-hander Brad Hand has excelled in his two years with the team.