Yzerman touts Cooper's familiarity with Lightning organization - WFLA News Channel 8

Yzerman touts Cooper's familiarity with Lightning organization, players

Posted: Updated:
TAMPA, FL (WFLA) -

Jon Cooper has never been on an NHL bench before as either a player or a coach.  But his success in the Lightning's minor leagues have made him a hot coaching candidate around the NHL before the Bolts hired him Monday night.

While fans and media speculated if Cooper or former long-time Buffalo Sabres coach Lindy Ruff should succeed Guy Boucher in Tampa Bay, there was no debate for Lightning general manager Steve Yzerman.

"To be perfectly honest with you, I called Lindy to let him know what I was doing," Yzerman said at a Tuesday press conference. "I had made my mind up and that we were going with Jon Cooper."

Like Boucher, Cooper comes up from the Lightning's minor leagues. But Yzerman still considers Cooper the best hire, instead of simply a safe hire.

"Most importantly, he was in our organization. I worked with him closely for three years," Yzerman said. "He's watched all our games. He knows all of our players."

Cooper knows many of the Lightning's younger players firsthand. This season alone, Cooper has coached ten players on the current Lightning roster.

Rookie Cory Conacher played for Cooper in Norfolk last season, and he said to expect a physical style of play. "He likes the character guys. We might not have had the most skilled team last season, but we so much character," said Conacher. "We had guys who block shots with one second left in the game even if we were up 6-0."

That Norfolk Admirals squad raised the Calder Cup last season after winning the AHL championship. Cooper's most recent team, the Syracuse Crunch, currently owns the best record in the AHL.

Still, Cooper's didn't take the usual path to the NHL.  Before he went into coaching, Cooper was a criminal defense attorney. "Yeah, he is definitely a lawyer," said rookie Tyler Johnson, who also played for Cooper earlier this year. "He's one of those guys who you don't want to get into a little [debate] with because he'll make you feel silly. He's a really smart guy."

And you can even find Cooper on twitter at, what else, @Cooperslaw.

  • 8 On Your SideMore>>

  • TPD claims training stories fell short

    TPD claims training stories fell short

    Thursday, August 21 2014 5:12 PM EDT2014-08-21 21:12:02 GMT
    The Tampa police department is responding to an 8 On Your Side investigation into a January shooting.The police contend the reports were incomplete and contained errors.The stories focused on a January 9th police shooting in Tampa and the lack of crisis intervention team training at T.P.D.
    The Tampa police department is responding to an 8 On Your Side investigation into a January shooting.The police contend the reports were incomplete and contained errors.The stories focused on a January 9th police shooting in Tampa and the lack of crisis intervention team training at T.P.D.
  • TPD responds to story controversy surrounding police shooting

    TPD responds to story controversy surrounding police shooting

    Thursday, August 21 2014 12:48 PM EDT2014-08-21 16:48:17 GMT
    Jason TurkJason Turk
    An 8 On Your Side investigation into police shooting and the lack of Crisis Intervention Team training at the Tampa police department is not sitting well with T.P.D.Police spokesperson Laura McElroy sent an email to News Channel 8 management with the subject line labeled, "The Rest of the Story
    An 8 On Your Side investigation into police shooting and the lack of Crisis Intervention Team training at the Tampa police department is not sitting well with T.P.D.Police spokesperson Laura McElroy sent an email to News Channel 8 management with the subject line labeled, "The Rest of the Story
  • Verizon insists on seeing Town N' Country man's birth certificate for credit report error

    Verizon insists on seeing Town N' Country man's birth certificate for credit report error

    Wednesday, August 20 2014 5:26 PM EDT2014-08-20 21:26:13 GMT
    James Woolever was shocked to find a bad mark on his credit report. Especially since it was for an "outstanding balance" from a Verizon account opened in 1979. He knew that couldn't be right, because he was just 6 years old then.
    James Woolever was shocked to find a bad mark on his credit report. Especially since it was for an "outstanding balance" from a Verizon account opened in 1979. He knew that couldn't be right, because he was just 6 years old then.
  • NewsMore>>

  • Clearwater history book creating controversy

    Thursday, August 21 2014 6:57 PM EDT2014-08-21 22:57:21 GMT
    A planned book on the 100 year anniversary of Clearwater is making some business owners angry.Clearwater will celebrate the century mark next year and the city plans to publish a book on their rich history.
    A planned book on the 100 year anniversary of Clearwater is making some business owners angry.Clearwater will celebrate the century mark next year and the city plans to publish a book on their rich history.
  • Governor proposes increase in education funding

    Governor proposes increase in education funding

    Thursday, August 21 2014 6:33 PM EDT2014-08-21 22:33:29 GMT
    File photo: Governor RIck ScottFile photo: Governor RIck Scott
    Gov. Rick Scott announced Thursday that he will propose an increase in per-pupil funding for Florida students if he is elected to a second term. His proposal calls for a $232 boost in per-student spending to $7,126. Scott and potential political opponent Charlie Crist have traded barbs on education in recent weeks, with Crist launching a bus tour around the state he called “Restore the Cuts.”Scott's proposal tops the ...
    Gov. Rick Scott announced Thursday that he will propose an increase in per-pupil funding for Florida students if he is elected to a second term. His proposal calls for a $232 boost in per-student spending to $7,126. Scott and potential political opponent Charlie Crist have traded barbs on education in recent weeks, with Crist launching a bus tour around the state he called “Restore the Cuts.”Scott's proposal tops the ...
  • Students arrive at USF Tampa for move in day

    Students arrive at USF Tampa for move in day

    Thursday, August 21 2014 6:21 PM EDT2014-08-21 22:21:26 GMT
    Dozens of events were planned this week to welcome new and returning students back to the University of South Florida for the fall semester.Nearly 5,500 students were expected to move into campus residence halls Thursday.
    Dozens of events were planned this week to welcome new and returning students back to the University of South Florida for the fall semester.Nearly 5,500 students were expected to move into campus residence halls Thursday.
  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • Haircuts for the Homeless

    Haircuts for the Homeless

    Wednesday, August 20 2014 11:38 AM EDT2014-08-20 15:38:55 GMT
    On his days off, stylist Mark Bustos gives free haircuts to the homeless of New York City. Here are some of the transformations.
    On his days off, stylist Mark Bustos gives free haircuts to the homeless of New York City. Here are some of the transformations.
  • 59 Arrested By Greenville Police In Latest Prostitution Sting

    59 Arrested By Greenville Police In Latest Prostitution Sting

    Tuesday, August 19 2014 9:30 PM EDT2014-08-20 01:30:28 GMT
    Greenville Police released information Tuesday that 59 people were arrested in a four day long prostitution sting.
    Greenville Police released information Tuesday that 59 people were arrested in a four day long prostitution sting.
  • VIDEO: Grouper snatches shark in one bite

    VIDEO: Grouper snatches shark in one bite

    Wednesday, August 20 2014 2:44 PM EDT2014-08-20 18:44:27 GMT
    Clip of video from YouTubeClip of video from YouTube
    One bite: that's all it apparently took for a grouper to eat a 4-foot shark in a video posted to YouTube, according to user Gimbb14.
    One bite: that's all it apparently took for a grouper to eat a 4-foot shark in a video posted to YouTube, according to user Gimbb14.
Powered by WorldNow

200 South Parker Street, Tampa, FL 33606

Telephone: 813.228.8888
Fax: 813.225.2770
Email: news@wfla.com

Can’t find something?
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Media General Communications Holdings, LLC. A Media General Company.