The death of longtime NHL assistant coach Wayne Fleming, who passed Monday at age 62 after battling brain cancer, has sparked numerous condolences and reminiscences from some of the players he coached and the people he worked with during more than 30 years in hockey.
Fleming's last position was as an assistant coach with the Tampa Bay Lightning, helping to develop the team that came within a goal of the 2011 Stanley Cup Final, when he first left the team to battle his illness.
Several Lightning players were among those who took to Twitter to share their feelings.
Thoughts and prayers go out to the entire Fleming family. Wayne was a great coach and even better man.#RIP— steven stamkos (@RealStamkos91) March 26, 2013
Thoughts and prayers go out to the entire Fleming family. Wayne was a great coach but an even better person. He will be missed deeply— Victor Hedman (@heds77) March 26, 2013
Lightning players weren't the only ones with fond memories of Fleming. Edmonton Oilers forward Sam Gagner, who was with the team during Fleming's one season there, said he was fortunate to have been able to work with him.
Sad to hear of the passing of Wayne Fleming. Was lucky enough to have him as a coach for a season. A great person. RIP Flemmer.— Sam Gagner (@89SGagner) March 26, 2013
So sad to hear about Wayne Fleming passing. One of my 1st pro coaches. He could sure run a bag skate. hockey lost a great man today! RIP— Eric Nystrom (@enystrom23) March 26, 2013
Players weren't the only ones tweeting their condolences. Calgary Flames president and CEO Ken King expressed his feelings via the team's Twitter site.
"Wayne was a great coach, a tremendous family man and friend to us all." - Ken King— Calgary Flames (@NHLFlames) March 26, 2013