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A letter from Jeff Vinik

by Staff Writer / Tampa Bay Lightning

Effective immediately, I have decided to replace both Brian Lawton as General Manager and Rick Tocchet as Head Coach of the Tampa Bay Lightning. I believe that the hockey side of the TBL organization needs a "fresh start" in order to help us fulfill our goal of being a world-class organization. On behalf of the whole Lightning organization, I thank Brian and Rick for their service to the Lightning and wish them well in their future endeavors.

As you know, our search for a new CEO is well underway. I'm happy to announce that we have received quite a few resumes. We are in the process of interviewing a number of very highly qualified candidates.

Starting today, we will begin our search for a new GM. The new CEO will hire the new GM. It will then be the responsibility of the new GM to hire the new Head Coach. We plan to have this exciting hiring process all wrapped up prior to the NHL Draft.

Although we all are disappointed in the way our 2009-10 season finished, I am very excited about our future. We will all continue to build on the team’s tremendous foundation with the goal of bringing back the enthusiasm and success that the Tampa Bay Lightning and its great fans have enjoyed in the past.

Thank you for your continued support.

I look forward to “bringing it back” with you.

Jeff Vinik, Chairman

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