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Lightning coach Jon Cooper addresses Boston College hockey team

Eagles’ Hockey Hall of Fame-bound coach Jerry York invited Cooper to speak to his team
Jon Cooper and Derek Lalonde addressed the Boston College hockey team at Chestnut Hill on Wednesday. [Courtesy of Boston College]
Published Oct. 17
Updated Oct. 18

BOSTON — Jon Cooper and Derek Lalonde were added to a prestigious list on Wednesday, a list that includes names like Bill Belichick.

They made Jerry York’s list of guest speakers at the Boston College hockey program.

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York, who will be inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame Nov. 18, brings in speakers three or four times a year. He noticed the Lightning had a day between the games in Montreal and Boston and shot off a text to Cooper.

“I try to get people who are successful in business or coaching or education because we can all learn from it,” York said. “Jon has been very successful down there with the Lightning.”

York keeps a list of everyone who comes to speak at Chestnut Hill. Todd Richards, another Lightning assistant, has been previously. Terry Francona was a repeat guest when he managed the Red Sox. St. Louis general manager Doug Armstrong addressed the Eagles, and Capitals coach Todd Reirden will when Washington comes to town.

“(Cooper) was terrific,” York said. “He touched on some key, key points about being prepared, practice habits. Players were riveted.”

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Players had questions for Cooper about topics ranging from goaltenders’ work habits to leadership among players.

The coaches get something out of this arrangement, too. They can talk shop. York shared some drills from a couple of years ago, and described a few new ones he was using in that day’s session.

Cooper and Lalonde were there for about 45 minutes and York estimated they could have gone on for 45 more, but he had a practice to run and they had things to do.

York joked that coaches usually charge thousands of dollars for their speaking engagements, but all he had to give were a couple of t-shirts and hats.

Contact Diana C. Nearhos at dnearhos@tampabay.com. Follow @dianacnearhos.

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