Kukla's Korner Hockey
Entries with the tag: jon cooper
from Katie Baker of Grantland,
His team had just beat the Stanley Cup champion Chicago Blackhawks to pick up its first win of the season, but Tampa Bay Lightning coach Jon Cooper remained uneasy. Despite tying the road game in the third period and going on to win in a shootout, the Lightning had gotten off to an ugly start, recording zero shots on goal in the first period.
"I was looking for the police when we left the locker room," Cooper said on Saturday night after the comeback win, "because I thought we'd get arrested for stealing. We stole two points."
Spoken like a true attorney — which was, just a decade ago, Cooper's full-time profession, but which these days seems like an increasingly distant past life. Once a public defender in Lansing, Michigan, who snagged some pickup ice time with colleagues here and there, the Tampa Bay Lightning's coach has worked his way up through the hockey ranks to become one of the NHL's more intriguing recent hires.
His résumé spans outposts like Texarkana and Green Bay; he's won championships with ragtag teenagers and with men on the cusp of an NHL dream. He has a career trajectory similar to some on-ice prospect who's short on pedigree but long on performance, who expects little but is willing to go through a lot. And oftentimes, he sounds more like a newly drafted player than a 46-year-old coach.
from Damian Cristodero of the Tampa Bay Times,
"To hear somebody say the playoffs are history, I don't know," Cooper said. "Until the final buzzer goes in the last game of the season, I'm coming here to make the playoffs. I probably shouldn't say this out loud, but when Steve (Yzerman) offered me the job, I said, 'Are you sure you want to do this?' He said, 'I want to do this.' Because if you do this I'm going to try to screw up your draft pick. That's where we're at."
Cooper hit several topics in the relatively short session before the game with the Sabres, which he watched with Yzerman from the Lightning's suite.
He said he wants his teams to be a combination of the 1970s Flyers and 1980s Oilers: "It's no secret, you can look up the stats with penalty minutes and fighting majors our teams have had. But nobody would call us a goon team. We play hard, and that's all I ask, that we play hard and we're hard to play against. Nobody is going to be the '80 Oilers, and nobody is going to be the '70s Flyers. But if we can mix a little of that and have players that couple both those teams ... but, again, it's just trying to make an analogy."
One of the many reports which are beginning to surface...
from Jim Matheson of the Edmonton Journal,
Jon Cooper used to stand before the bench as a lawyer, now he stands behind one.
And if he used to defend people, nobody has to defend his record as a hockey coach.
Everywhere he coaches, he wins. Midget AAA in Michigan, junior in two different leagues, in the pros with the Norfolk Admirals in the American Hockey League. He’s a rising star.
Would the Edmonton Oilers ever hire Cooper? Who knows?
In a summer that has been, at the very least, stabilizing (if not downright successful) for the Tampa Bay Lightning, the vast majority of those taking notice of the work done throughout the organization have come away impressed – including the club’s latest addition, Jon Cooper, announced yesterday as head coach of the AHL’s Norfolk Admirals.
“The whole thing that drew me to (the club),” Cooper said, “Was the (positive) attitude and the people they’ve brought in.”
Now, included in that very group, Cooper is well aware of some fortunate timing for the two sides to come together.
“I wanted to go the AHL at some point,” explained Cooper, who leaves his post as head coach and general manager of the United States Hockey League’s Green Bay Gamblers. “I just probably didn’t think it was going to be right this second.”
But now that making that jump is indeed a reality for Cooper, his excitement and enthusiasm cannot be tempered and he gives his new bosses credit for finding him in their search.
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