Tampa Bay Lightning Hire Todd Richards; Will Become Assistant Coach
Tampa Bay Lightning Vice President and General Manager, Steve Yzerman, announced on Tuesday that NHL coaching veteran, Todd Richards, has been hired as an assistant coach on Jon Cooper’s staff.
Todd Richards, who has more than 400 NHL career games of head coaching experience, replaces Steve Thomas, who coached the Lightning for the past two seasons.
Following his termination from the Blue Jackets back in October, he has been considered a top candidate for several assistant coaching vacancies this offseason, but has chosen Tampa Bay. “The people that I respect in the NHL, the people that I lean on–GM’s and coaches–all had great things to say about the organization,” Richards said.
Richards, 49, has coached for USA Hockey at the world Championships and Olympics.
Tampa Bay will be the sixth organization that Richards has coached for, after coaching for Nashville, Pittsburgh, San Jose, Minnesota and Columbus.
Transition From Player to Coach
After retiring from the NHL, he spent four seasons as a coach for the Milwaukee Admirals, who advanced to the playoffs each year, and had won the Calder Cup in 2004. In 2006, Richards became the fifth head coach of the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins, in which he guided to a record of 51-24-2-4 and a second-place finish in the AHL’s east division in his fifth season with the team.
In 2008, Richards signed as an assistant coach for the San Jose Sharks for the 2008-09 season, where he helped the team capture the Presidents trophy with an NHL-best record of 53-18-11. The following year, Richards became the Minnesota Wild’s second head coach in franchise history and lead the team to two consecutive winning seasons with a record of 77-71-16.
In 2011, he was fired from the Wild and was hired a few months later by the Columbus Blue Jackets. Richards registered a record of 127-112-21 with the Blue Jackets, holding more wins than any coach in Columbus team history and was the franchises’ first coach to record three consecutive winning seasons.
It’s apparent that Todd Richards is quite the experienced coach with much value to bring to the Tampa Bay Lightning. And that is just what he’ll do with the team.
(Tampa Bay Lightning Hire Todd Richards)