Reports: Cooper to be named Lightning head coach

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It appears the Tampa Bay Lightning will once again turn to a rookie NHL head coach.

According to both TSN’s Darren Dreger and CBC’s Elliotte Friedman, the Lightning will announce tomorrow that 45-year-old Jon Cooper, currently the head coach of Tampa Bay’s AHL affiliate in Syracuse, is Guy Boucher’s replacement.

Last year, Cooper coached the Norfolk Admirals (the Lightning’s affiliate before this season) to a Calder Cup championship.

Not surprisingly, his name came up this summer in regards to other coaching vacancies around the NHL.

“I’m probably a chic name right now,” Cooper told the Washington Times. “And in this business, that’s good. Sometimes it’s time to move and sometimes you’ve got to strike when the iron’s hot, if it happens.”

Before Cooper’s AHL coaching career started in 2010, he spent two seasons behind the bench of the Green Bay Gamblers of the USHL. He’s also coached young players internationally and has a law degree.

How would he describe his coaching style?

“I would throw aggressive in there, I would throw in in-your-face,” Cooper told Sports Illustrated. “I would throw in ‘We’re tough.’ If I could find a perfect marriage between the ’80s Edmonton Oilers and the ’70s Philadelphia Flyers, that’s the way we play.”