Bowness hired as associate coach in Tampa Bay

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After seven years as an assistant in Vancouver, Rick Bowness has been hired as an associate coach in Tampa Bay where he’ll work with new Lightning bench boss Jon Cooper.

The hiring was first reported today by Renaud Lavoie of RDS. It has since been confirmed by the Lightning.

On Sunday, the Tampa Bay Times reported that the Lightning were speaking with Bowness, who was fired by the Canucks, along with head coach Alain Vigneault and assistant Newell Brown, in May.

From the Times:

Tampa Bay has been in the market for an assistant since last month when it announced Dan Lacroix, who handled the defense and penalty kill, would not be given a new contract.

Bowness would give the Lightning what it has lacked behind the bench since assistant Wayne Fleming left the team in April 2011 because of brain cancer — an assistant with a deep resevoir of NHL knowledge. And general manaer Steve Yzerman, after announcing Lacroix’s departure, has said he would look for such a person.

Bowness worked mostly with the defense in Vancouver. If that’s his area of focus in Tampa Bay, he’ll have lots of work to do on a team that gave up 3.06 goals per game in 2013.