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Lightning sign head coach Jon Cooper to multi-year extension

by Staff Writer / Tampa Bay Lightning

TAMPA BAY – The Tampa Bay Lightning have signed head coach Jon Cooper to a multi-year contract extension today, vice president and general manager Steve Yzerman announced. Cooper was named the eighth head coach in franchise history on March 25, 2013.

Cooper, a native of Prince George, British Columbia, has led the Lightning to 112-70-23 record and a .602 winning percentage in 205 games. He has guided the Bolts to the Stanley Cup Playoffs in each of his two full seasons since coming to Tampa Bay, including a trip to the Stanley Cup Final in 2015. On April 11, 2015, Cooper earned his 100th career victory, making him the fifth-fastest coach to do so among those who debuted in the league since 2000. He was also named a finalist for the 2014 Jack Adams Award, given annually to the NHL’s top bench boss.

The 2014-15 season was an especially remarkable one for Cooper and the Lightning, posting a record of 50-24-8, reaching the 50-win plateau for the first time in franchise history. The Lightning also set a new franchise high for points in a season (108). Tampa Bay led the NHL with 259 goals scored during the regular season and their 32 wins at AMALIE Arena were the most in the NHL. The Lightning’s success transferred over to the Stanley Cup Playoffs with Tampa Bay defeating the Detroit Red Wings in seven games, the Montreal Canadiens in six and the New York Rangers in seven before eventually losing to the Chicago Blackhawks in the Stanley Cup Final. In the process the Lightning became the first team in the modern era to beat three of the NHL’s original six clubs in the same postseason.

Prior to being named head coach of the Lightning, Cooper was awarded the Louis A.R. Pieri Memorial Award as the AHL’s top coach in 2012 after guiding the Admirals to the Calder Cup Championship. In two years in Norfolk he led the Admirals to a 94-44-18 regular season record and a 17-7 mark in the playoffs. In 2011-12, the Cooper-led Admirals set franchise records with 55 wins and 113 points en route to the organization’s first Championship. Along the way, Cooper and his team set a North American professional sports record, winning a remarkable 28 consecutive games. That season Norfolk earned the Macgregor Kilpatrick Trophy as the AHL’s regular season points champion, while also capturing the league’s East Division title.

In 2012-13, Cooper led the Crunch to an AHL-best 39-18-8 record prior to his promotion to the Lightning. Syracuse’s 218 goals were also the most in the league. More than 10 players were recalled during the season and remained with the Lightning, giving Cooper familiarity with a number of players. Cooper previously ran the Lightning’s development camps during his time in the organization.

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