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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    The Toews injury isn’t getting better, so Chicago’s captain will sit versus Jets

    NEWARK, NJ - OCTOBER 28:  Jonathan Toews #19 of the Chicago Blackhawks skates against the New Jersey Devils at the Prudential Center on October 28, 2016 in Newark, New Jersey.  (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
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    The Blackhawks face the Winnipeg Jets on Sunday, and they’ll do so without captain Jonathan Toews.

    Toews will miss a fifth straight game because of a reported back injury.

    On Sunday, per CSN Chicago, coach Joel Quenneville provided an update, saying the Blackhawks forward will now be kept off the ice for the next few days because the injury essentially isn’t getting any better.

    The Blackhawks are coming off a 3-1 road loss to the Philadelphia Flyers on Saturday, and they’re going through a difficult time with injuries to key players. Not only is Toews out, but goalie Corey Crawford has been sidelined for two to three weeks after undergoing an appendectomy.

    Scott Darling will start in net tonight for Chicago, which has a three-point lead in the Central Division.

    The Jets will be without their top point producer Mark Scheifele for a second straight game with a lower-body injury, per NHL.com.

    Buffalo’s depth on defense is dwindling

    BUFFALO, NY - OCTOBER 18:  Josh Gorges #4 of the Buffalo Sabres skates against the Boston Bruins at First Niagara Center on October 18, 2014 in Buffalo, New York.  (Photo by Jen Fuller/Getty Images)
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    The Buffalo Sabres aren’t known for their depth on defense, so when they have to deal with injuries at that position, things can get complicated.

    Well…I guess things are about to get complicated.

    On Sunday, the Sabres announced that Josh Gorges (pictured) will miss “weeks” because of a non-displaced fracture in his foot. The injury occurred after he blocked a shot in Thursday’s game against the Rangers.

    Besides Gorges, Buffalo is also without Zach Bogosian and Dmitry Kulikov.

    Bogosian has been out since Nov. 3 with sprained ligaments in his knee, and he’s still 10-to-14 days away from getting back into the lineup.

    The news is a little better for Kulikov, who returned to practice on Sunday. He’s missed 11 games because of a back injury he suffered in the preseason. He tried playing through it, but obviously he was still in some discomfort.

    “Kulikov has now skated two days with some physicality and now been skating for seven days,” coach Dan Bylsma said, per the Buffalo News. “Hopefully, that means we’ll see him in practice soon – in the next week hopefully.”

    Now, some of the replacements for these guys are starting to get hurt.

    Taylor Fedun missed Sunday’s practice and it’s unclear if he’ll be able to play against the Capitals on Monday night. If he can’t go, Buffalo will need to call someone up from the minors.

    Things got so wacky last week that the Sabres called up Brendan Guhle from junior on an emergency basis. By rule, he can stay on the roster as long as he keeps playing. Once he stops playing, the emergency tag is removed and he has to go back to his junior team.

    Guhle, Rasmus Ristolainen, Jake McCabe, Cody Franson and Justin Falk are the healthy defensemen on the roster right now.

    Goalie nods: Dubnyk looks to continue dominance of Oilers

    CHICAGO, IL - APRIL 07:  Devan Dubnyk #40 of the Minnesota Wild celbrates a win over the Chicago Blackhawks at the United Center on April 7, 2015 in Chicago, Illinois. The Wild defeated the Blackhawks 2-1.  (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
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    Playing against your old team is always special, but Devan Dubnyk takes it to another level when he goes up against the Edmonton Oilers.

    The Oilers drafted Dubnyk in the first round, 14th overall, in 2004 and he spent parts of five seasons with them.

    Since leaving Edmonton in 2014, he’s won six of seven games against his former team.

    To make matters worse for the Oilers, his individual stats are better against them than they are against any other team in the league. He has a  1.28 goals-against-average and a .949 save percentage in those seven games.

    His numbers in 2016-17 aren’t as good as his career numbers against Edmonton, but he still has a fantastic 1.67 goals-against-average and a .946 save percentage this season.

    Like the Wild, the Oilers played last night, as they won an OT decision against the Ducks.

    Cam Talbot played in that game, so they’ll opt to start backup goalie Jonas Gustavsson tonight.

    Elsewhere… 

    Ben Bishop turned in a solid performance against the Capitals last night, but the Lightning still haven’t announced who their starter will be this afternoon. Cam Ward is likely to get the nod for the Hurricanes.

    –The Flyers and Predators both played afternoon games yesterday, and neither side has indicated who will start. Don’t be surprised if it’s Steve Mason against Pekka Rinne.

    Jared Coreau made his NHL debut for Detroit yesterday, so look for Petr Mrazek to get the call tonight. Jaroslav Halak is the probable starter for the Islanders.

    –Look for Connor Hellebuyck to be between the pipes for the Jets, but that hasn’t been confirmed. With Corey Crawford hurt, don’t be surprised if Scott Darling gets his second start in two nights for Chicago.

    –The Ducks will give backup Jonathan Bernier the start in Calgary. The Flames will continue to ride Chad Johnson.

    Flames get Johnny Gaudreau back way ahead of schedule

    CALGARY, AB - APRIL 5: Johnny Gaudreau #13 of the Calgary Flames in action against the Los Angeles Kings during an NHL game at Scotiabank Saddledome on April 5, 2016 in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. (Photo by Derek Leung/Getty Images)
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    Some good news if you’re a fan of the Calgary Flames.

    Johnny Gaudreau, who missed 10 games with a finger injury, will be back in their lineup for Sunday’s game against the Anaheim Ducks.

    The Flames forward was injured in a game against Minnesota on Nov. 15 (he was slashed by Eric Staal), and after he underwent surgery, the team announced that he’d be out six weeks.

    In the end, he missed less than three weeks of action.

    “I’m ready to play,” Gaudreau said, per NHL.com. “I think the finger’s healed up pretty well there. I’m just excited to get things going here.

    “I think they did a great job with my finger and we did a great job rehabbing it. They keep tell me it’s going to be harder to break the nine other fingers than to re-hurt this one. It feels good. It feels good when I shoot. I’m excited to finally get out of there.”

    He’ll be playing with some added protection, as Calgary’s equipment manager made this glove for him:

    Before Gaudreau got hurt, the Flames had a 6-10-1 record. But thanks to improved team play and some strong performances from goalie Chad Johnson, they managed to go 6-3-1 in, while Gaudreau was out.

    The 23-year-old has five goals and six assists in 17 games, but he had scored three goals in three games before getting hurt.

    Related:

    Gaudreau injury a reminder as to how star players are treated

    Boudreau: Flames made “mountain out of a molehill” over Gaudreau slash