TAMPA BAY – The Tampa Bay Lightning named Rick Tocchet, Wes Walz and Cap Raeder as assistant coaches to head coach Barry Melrose today, owners Oren Koules and Len Barrie anncounced.
“Rick Tocchet is a border-line hall-of-famer with vast playing and coaching experience,” vice president of hockey operations Brian Lawton said. “His already extensive hockey experience was only enhanced by the time he spent as a coach in Colorado and Phoenix, and we are happy to announce him as part of our coaching staff.
“Wes Walz has been a leader both on and off the ice his entire career in the National Hockey League. We are excited that he brings those qualities to our coaching staff. He offers a level of dedication and desire to the Lightning bench that is unsurpassed.
“Cap Raeder’s nine-plus seasons as an assistant coach and his more than nine seasons as a professional scout make him ideal for our coaching staff. His experience in the NHL will prove to be invaluable.”
Tocchet is a 24-year NHL veteran both as a player and a coach. He played 18 season in the NHL with Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Los Angeles, Boston, Washington and Phoenix. During his career he amassed 1,144 career games during his career as he recorded 440 goals, 952 points and 2,972 penalty minutes. He also appeared in 145 playoff games and netted 52 goals with 112 points and 471 penalty minutes.
The Scarborough, Ontario native won the Stanley Cup with the Pittsburgh Penguins in 1992 and appeared in the Stanley Cup Finals with Philadelphia in 1987. Tocchet also played under Lightning head coach Barry Melrose with Los Angeles during the 1994-95 season. He was selected to four NHL All-Star teams (1989, 1990, 1991, 1993).
Tocchet is one of two players in the history of the NHL to record 400 goals or more and at least 2,500 penalty minutes. He was a 11-time 20-goal scorer in the NHL, and a two-time 30-goal scorer. He also recorded three 40-goal campaigns. In 1992-93 he set career highs for goals with 48, assists with 61 and points with 109 in 80 games with the Penguins. Internationally, Tocchet represented Canada at the 1990 and 1991 World Championship as well as in the 1987 and 1991 Canada Cup Tournaments.
He was originally drafted by Philadelphia in the sixth-round, 125th
overall, in the 1983 NHL Entry Draft. Tocchet began his career with the Flyers in 1984-85 and retired mid-way through the 2001-02 season, also with Philadelphia. Shortly after retiring he joined the Colorado Avalanche as an assist coach. He spent a season and a half on the bench with the Avalanche before joining former teammate Wayne Gretzky as and assistant coach with the Phoenix Coyotes.
Walz, a veteran of 13 seasons in the NHL, played in 607 career games with Boston, Philadelphia, Calgary, Detroit and Minnesota. He recorded 109 career goals, 260 points and 14 shorthanded goals. He was known as a defensive specialist in his career, amassing a plus-23 rating for his career.The Calgary, Alberta native made his mark with the Wild, where he played 438 of his 607 games and was a finalist for the Frank J. Selke Trophy as the NHL’s best defensive forward in 2002-03. Walz was twice chosen by the Twin Cities chapter of the Professional Hockey Writers’ Association as nominee for the Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy, awarded annually to the player who best exemplifies the qualities of perseverance, sportsmanship, and dedication to hockey. He ranks second all-time in games played for the Wild. He also served as Minnesota’s captain for a portion of the season in 2000-01. At the time of his retirement in December of 2007, Walz was one of only two players, the other being Marian Gaborik, remaining from the Wild’s inaugural season. He also scored the first playoff game-winning goal in Minnesota history in 2003.
Raeder, a native of Needham, Massachusetts, has spent the previous 11 seasons in the San Jose Sharks organization. He served as a professional scout for the previous nine years and also served as an assistant coach during the 2000-01 season. Before joining the Sharks, Raeder served an assistant coach at the NHL level for nine seasons with Boston and Los Angeles. He was an assistant on new Lightning head coach Barry Melrose’s staff with the Kings.
Before joining the Kings, Raeder was the head coach at Clarkson University. He coached in 86 games with the Golden Knights and posted a 50-30-6 record, including two appearances at the East Coast Athletic Conference Championship Game in 1986 and 1988. He also served as an assistant coach for two seasons before taking the head coach position at Clarkson. Raeder began his career with the University of New Hampshire where he spent two seasons as an assistant coach.