Tampa Bay continues its front office overhaul by adding new goalie consultant Frantz Jean

lightninglogowithname.gifIt’s actually not that unusual to see the Tampa Bay Lightning go through big changes in a summer. It seems like that’s been happening ever since they decided to keep their Cup winning trio of forwards (Brad Richards, Martin St. Louis and Vincent Lecavalier) rather than parting with one of them to retain Nikolai Khabibulin.

The only difference is that now it seems like they actually are making wise moves, rather than haphazard ones.

The latest change involves the team adding a new goalie coach named Frantz Jean. Damian Cristodero has the news.

The Tampa Bay Lightning on Tuesday hired Frantz Jean as a goaltending consultant. Team spokesman Bill Wickett said not calling Jean a coach is simply a “contractual formality.” Jean, 39, the long-time goaltending coach for Moncton of the Quebec junior league will “work with all the goaltenders in the organization,” according to the announcement. Jean takes over for the fired Cap Raeder.

While the team still employs big goalie Mike Smith (the crowned jewel of the Brad Richards to Dallas trade), the other part of their 1a/1b rotation changes as Dan Ellis steps in for departed netminder Antero Niittymaki. Here is more about Jean from the Lightning.

Jean has been involved in hockey for more than 25 years as both a player and coach. He has made a name for himself most recently with Moncton, where he has worked for the previous 12 years. During Jean’s time with the Wildcats, the team has allowed the least number of goals in the league on four occasions (1999-00, 2005-06, 2008-09, 2009-10). Jean’s goaltenders have been named defensive player of the year or goaltender of the year three times (Lajeunesse in 1999-00, Crawford in 2003-04, Riopel in 2008-09). Nicola Riopel was also named league most valuable player in 2008-09. Jean has had his goaltenders named to the first or second all-star teams on five occasions and six of his protégés have either been drafted or signed as a free agent in the NHL.

Jean began coaching at the age of 14 and has went on to coach under the supervision of some of the best hockey has to offer, including Vladislav Tretiak, Francois Allaire and Phil Myre. He also operated a goalie school with former Canadiens goaltending coach and ex-NHLer Roland Melanson.

In the summers of 2009 and 2010, Jean was selected as the goaltending consultant for the Hockey Canada Summer National Under-18 team that won the Gold Medals at the Ivan Hlinka Memorial Tournament. Since 2002, he has done several goaltending seminars for the Atlantic Center of Excellence and for Hockey Canada’s Advance Level 2 Coaching Program. Jean is also a member of Hockey Canada’s National Goaltending Consultants Team.

Now, the question is: does he know how to use Twitter? I hear one of his goalies might need a little “coaching” in how to conduct himself on social media networks

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    Oilers get Kronwall’d – in more ways than one

    Niklas Kronwall
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    When someone gets clobbered by Niklas Kronwall, they get Kronwall’d.

    (His detractors may insist that the definition require the words “dirty” or “illegal,” but that’s a debate for another day.)

    It’s easy to get lost in those thunderous hits and forget that the  Swedish defenseman also brings some skill to the table.

    He made a big impact – literally and figuratively – in Detroit’s 4-3 overtime win against the Edmonton Oilers on Friday.

    First, the Kronwalling:

    Next, Kronwall’s overtime-winner:

    It hasn’t always been pretty, but the Red Wings are leaning on guys like Kronwall and Dylan Larkin to stick with it.

    Tonight’s win extends their point streak to six games (4-0-2), with five of those contests going to overtime.

    Dubinsky – Crosby’s nemesis – gets the last laugh on Friday

    Sidney Crosby, Brandon Dubinsky

    Brandon Dubinsky isn’t a household name like Sidney Crosby is, yet for all the hype that Crosby vs. Alex Ovechkin gets, Dubinsky is the sort of guy who truly rankles No. 87.

    It’s been getting that spotlight since the Columbus Blue Jackets faced off against the Pittsburgh Penguins in a brisk playoff series, though it wouldn’t be surprising if the bad blood stemmed to Dubinsky’s days with New York.

    To some, Dubinsky’s cross-check on Crosby will resonate far more than the end result of this game:

    The bottom line is that he’ll get the last laugh, at least for now. (In-game, that moment merely drew a minor penalty.)

    That’s because Dubinsky set up the overtime game-winner, and the cherry on the top of that spite sundae came with Crosby being on the ice when it happened:

    They’re not just rubbing the Penguins the wrong way.

    Even Dubinsky kind of sort of admits that he may have been in the wrong.


    More and more, the Blue Jackets are looking like a nuisance … possibly one that will grind their way to an unlikely playoff berth. They improved to 8-4-0 in November after a disastrous 2-10-0 October.

    In other words, there’s at least a chance that we may see these increasingly bitter rivals butt heads in another playoff series.

    Eichel’s sweet snipe helps Sabres snap six-game skid

    Jack Eichel
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    The Buffalo Sabres probably deserved better during at least some chunks of their six-game skid, yet Jack Eichel swooped in on Friday to remind fans that there’s a light shining at the end of the tunnel.

    You can watch his goal from tonight’s eventual 4-1 win against the Carolina Hurricanes in the video above.

    That’s not necessarily the absolute height of his on-ice magic, yet it clearly gave his team a lift:

    Call this a healthy reminder that Eichel has the ability to change games, something Buffalo fans hope to get used to.

    Report: Likely no suspension for Matt Beleskey’s hit on Derek Stepan


    Alain Vigneault went there in comparing Matt Beleskey‘s hit on Derek Stepan to the notorious check Aaron Rome delivered on Nathan Horton many moons ago, but the league seems to disagree.

    While Rome sat through that memorable Stanley Cup Final between Boston and Vancouver, it sounds like Beleskey won’t face any further discipline, according to ESPN’s Pierre LeBrun.

    In the unlikely event that anything changes, PHT will make note.

    The next game between the Rangers and Bruins takes place at Madison Square Garden on Jan. 11. Will these bad feelings linger?