George Gwozdecky is leaving the Tampa Bay Lightning after spending two seasons as an assistant coach on Jon Cooper’s staff the club announced on Monday.
Gwozdecky joined the Lightning on Aug. 9, 2013 after serving as the head coach at the University of Denver for 19 seasons.
“Jon Cooper and I, along with the entire Lightning organization, would like to thank George and his family for giving us the past two years,” GM Steve Yzerman said in a statement. “He helped turn a young, unproven team into the Eastern Conference Champions and we appreciate his professionalism and dedication.”
The 61-year-old told the Tampa Bay Times that he’s been considering leaving the club for a while.
“I have nothing but great memories, great things to say about the team, about the organization,” Gwozdecky said. “It was a great learning experience.”
Gwozdecky will attend this week’s NHL Draft with the Lightning and be apart of the coaches association meetings before heading home to Denver.
Mike Chambers of The Denver Post reports that Gwozdecky could be an ideal candidate to replace Andre Tourigny in Colorado, but Gwozdecky says he has not heard from the Avs.
“Not leaning in any direction right now except to get some much-needed (rest and relaxation),” Gwozdecky told Chambers via text message. “I have not spoken with anybody in the Avs organization but I’m sure I would if they call.”
Tourigny announced his resignation last month.
Photo courtesy of the Tampa Bay Lightning