Well, that certainly didn't take long.
One day after the Lightning announced Steve Thomas' contract would not be renewed, the team announced Todd Richards has been added to the coaching staff, joining head coach Jon Cooper and assistant coaches Rick Bowness and Brad Lauer.
Joe Smith reports that the power play was "part of talks," which feels a little disconcerting since the power play was dismal for a team with so many offensive weapons. Take it as you will.
Todd Richards said conversations with #tblightning began after season ended. Power play was part of talks, but exact role to be determined— Joe Smith (@TBTimes_JSmith) June 7, 2016
Todd Richards on #tblightning: "They play fast, they play an aggressive style. And I love that."— Joe Smith (@TBTimes_JSmith) June 7, 2016
Richards was on the list of several teams who were looking for help behind the bench, including Buffalo and Detroit. He brings 417 games of head coaching experience to Tampa Bay. He spent two years behind the Minnesota Wild's bench before parts of five seasons with the Columbus Blue Jackets. He was fired in October after the Blue Jackets started the season 0-7.
On Richards and his ties with the organization:
Todd Richards said he played in Orlando with Brad Lauer and worked with Rick Bowness' son Ricky while in Columbus. #TBLightning— Bryan Burns (@BBurnsNHL) June 7, 2016
Richards, who's from Crystal, Minnesota, was drafted by the Montreal Canadiens in 1985 as the 33rd overall pick and appeared in eight NHL games. He served as assistant coach for Team USA at the 2014 Winter Olympics. In 2015, he was the head coach as Team USA won the bronze medal at the World Championships.