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Rick Wilson hired by Minnesota Wild


Former Lightning assistant coach Rick Wilson has joined the Minnesota Wild, replacing Mike Ramsay in that capacity with the club. Wilson was brought in as a defensive specialist under former coach Rick Tocchet last off-season. With the change in coaching staffs, Wilson has been permitted to seek employment with other clubs.

Rick Tocchet interviewed on Leafs Lunch


Given there's two sides to every story, Tocchet played his half of "he said, she said" with Darren Dreger on 640 Toronto yesterday. Outcome not terribly surprising, but fair play to Tocchet, he acted as professionally as he could have, given the situation. Downloadable version here.

A letter from Jeff Vinik


A few words from the new owner of the Tampa Bay Lightning, Jeff Vinik. He confirms that GM Brian Lawton and head coach Rick Tocchet have both been fired. More on this as information becomes available.

Jacques Lemaire and the Bolts moving like snails


Much like the Rick Tocchet negotiations that dragged on and on before his ultimate signing on May 11th -- more than a month after the regular season ended and weeks after news of him being offered a contract was announced -- former New Jersey Devils/Minnesota Wild head coach Jacques Lemaire still is out there, with interest in joining the Lightning as a consultant. But the parameters of the job, the contract, all of the basics - let alone the details - for the position haven't been hammered out. The concept amounts to a What-if right now, with nothing of substance to back up the title.

The Straight Edge: Stamkos set to take NHL by storm in sophomore season

"I was given the opportunity to play a lot in the second half; play big minutes and play in all situations," Stamkos noted. "When (Tocchet) took over, I think he knew the ability I had and was willing to give me a chance and that’s all you can ask for. "Knowing your coach has confidence in you is big for a young player." I would guess that Stamkos is probably pretty happy that Tocchet is now the official head coach of the Lightning, wouldn't you?

Tocchet signs 2 year deal


It's official, former interim head coach Rick Tocchet is now just plain Head Coach Rick Tocchet. The team held a press conference at 4 PM to announce the signing of the deal. We'll have more on this later.

"The Plan is in Place ... The Lightning will win again" -- May 11th Forum


For all of the doubt that lingers with fans, or worry... or speculation, or skepticism... there is one thing that's for certain: the OK Hockey wanst to engage the fans. On May 11th, at 7PM there will be another one of these open forums at the St. Pete Times Forum arena in downtown Tampa. Oren Koules, Brian Lawton and Rick Tocchet will all be on hand for a question and answer session that night. If any fans are planning to attend this event, please let us know in the comments...

Groundwork being laid for Camp Torture-chet


Rick Tocchet bemoans the teams conditioning... Again. And while invoking the rigors of past training camps that Mike Keenan had Tocchet work through, we get a glimpse at what is to come for the Lightning in September. "Camp Torturella" may have been frowned upon and cursed, but the players lasted the season with the conditioning that was laid out over the off season and the stress-testing of camp. And while I know Rick should be able to get through most anything regarding camp being grueling next fall, I have to wonder if former Lightning Head Coach and current Rangers coach John Tortorella will be given the ability to work with the Rangers given the New York media's interfering glare?

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