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A Look At 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.


Filed in: NHL Teams, Tampa Bay Lightning, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: jon+cooper


NHLJeff's avatar

Great, interesting article. Definitely worth a read.

Posted by NHLJeff from Pens fan in Denver on 10/08/13 at 03:29 PM ET

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Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.

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