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Lightning Fire GM & Coach

Rene Gnam

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The Tampa Bay Lightning have fired coach Rick Tocchet and general manager Brian Lawton after missing the playoffs for the third straight year.


Team owner Jeff Vinik made the announcement Monday.


The search for a new GM will begin immediately, and Lawton's replacement will hire the coach.


Vinik said in a statement that Tampa Bay's hockey operations department "needs a fresh start in order to help us fulfill our goal of being a world-class organization."


Tocchet became interim coach 16 games into the 2008-09 season and was given the head coach position in May 2009. Lawton assumed the general manager post on Oct. 22, 2008.


Since winning the 2004 Stanley Cup championship, Tampa Bay has not advanced beyond the first round of the playoffs.



I thought they'd keep Tocchet.

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It's the clean slate idea, but I'm not so sure that if a new GM though Tocchet was a good fit that he might not be re-considered. It's really about Vinick wanting to let the CEO pick the GM, and the GM pick the Coach.


Lawton was just a fucking putz who was actively trying to undermine the coach. And when the writing was on the wall I think he started trying to undermine the franchise. I doubt he's going to get another chance as GM in the NHL. Tocchet will get another chance to coach I think.

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