Lightning hire Rob Zettler as an assistant coach

The former NHL defenseman worked under Jon Cooper at AHL Syracuse before becoming head coach of the Crunch.
Former Syracuse Crunch head coach Rob Zettler was hired by the Lightning as an assistant coach.
Former Syracuse Crunch head coach Rob Zettler was hired by the Lightning as an assistant coach. [ CANNERELLI | SCANNERELLI@SYRACUS | TNS ]
Published Dec. 7, 2020

The Lightning turned to a familiar face to fill the opening on their coaching staff, announcing Monday that former AHL Syracuse head coach Rob Zettler will fill the spot vacated by Todd Richards.

Zettler, 52, worked under Lightning head coach Jon Cooper at Syracuse — the Lightning’s AHL affiliate — for the 2012-13 season before Zettler became the Crunch’s head coach for the next three seasons.

“Rob brings extensive coaching experience to the Lightning organization and is very familiar with a lot of our players and coaches,” general manager Julien BriseBois said in a news release. “We believe our players will benefit from Rob’s wealth of experience, both as a long-time NHL defenseman and as a veteran coach in the NHL.”

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Zettler had a 108-90-41 record in three-plus seasons in Syracuse. He took over the Crunch with 11 games remaining in the 2012-13 regular season after Cooper was promoted to the Lightning. The team won the AHL’s Eastern Conference and advanced to the Calder Cup final, where it lost to Grand Rapids in six games.

Zettler most recently worked as an assistant coach with the San Jose Sharks from 2017-19.

A defenseman, he played in the NHL for 14 seasons with the Minnesota North Stars, Philadelphia Flyers, Nashville Predators, Washington Capitals, Sharks and Maple Leafs.

Zettler will fill the role vacated when Richards left for the Predators this offseason. Richards worked with the Lightning’s defense and penalty kill.

Contact Mari Faiello at Follow @faiello_mari.

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