There has been a grand change in management by the Lightning this off-season, and the fact is conflicting philosophies led to several changes including the dismissals of Brian Lawton and Rick Tocchet.
Rehashing their drama is needless. Yet one key player in the whole mess was not sent packing: Norfolk Coach Jim Johnson. Johnson remains under contract while GM Steve Yzerman and head coach Guy Boucher plot their course forward.
For those who were wondering about the fate of Johnson - if he were to be replaced by a new coach .. Well, Steve Yzerman gave Jim a vote of confidence yesterday:
The remark about Johnson, coming at the tail-end of a larger piece from Damian Cristordero, lacks full context of the statement and question posed leading into it. But Cristordero prefaced it with the news that it "sure sounds like" Johnson would be returning to his job as head coach of the Admirals next season.
It'd just be odd seeing Johnson survive while all the key players of his promotion -- Lawton, Tocchet, and Wes Walz -- remain out of jobs as of this writing. The idea he is sticking around is not a bad thing, especially if he and management click.