Lightning keep Friday busy and add center Marc Pouliot, assistant coach Wayne Fleming
The Lightning brought in another pair of bodies for another pair of roles with the club. Wayne Fleming was hired by the Bolts to round out Guy Boucher's coaching staff and former Edmonton Oiler's first-round draft pick Marc Pouliot was signed to a two-way contract.
Pouliot is familiar with coach Guy Boucher, having worked with him / played under him in 2004-05 with Rimouski Oceanic. He's bounced around the AHL while spending different amounts of time with the Edmonton Oilers. Benjamin Massey was a true believer in Pouliot and did not care for the fact the Oilers let him go:
But he was hurt, and his development delayed, and he never got that offensive touch in the NHL. What he brought instead was moderate offensive ability combined with some defensive skill. He could win a faceoff, play the wing if necessary, and was effective in all situations. At no point has Marc Pouliot ever been a star, but at no point has he ever failed to be a useful NHL player. He's a quintessential utility man, someone who won't kill you no matter what you have him do and can outscore when he's in his best situation. You're not going to win a Stanley Cup with a lineup of twelve Marc Pouliots but you're also not going to win a Stanley Cup without a couple.
You can read another critique on Pouliot by Massey on the Copper and Blue.
Well, let me put it absolutely simple. What Pouliot does well is something almost no other Oilers forward can do. He outscores. He gets on the ice against another team's player and sometimes he scores and sometimes they score but, compared to his teammates, the former happens more than the latter. He also makes approximately minimum wage, is a restricted free agent at the end of the year, is a remarkably hard worker, and is still younger than you probably remember.
Let us take, for example, Gabe Desjardins and his statistical witchcraft. Go to http://www.behindthenet.ca and browse for a bit and you'll see a statistic named, rather obtusely, "Rating". What "Rating" is is the difference between a team's +/- per sixty minutes when a given player is off the ice and a team's +/- per sixty minutes when a given player is on the ice: basically, the difference the guy makes from what his team usually achieves.
Derek Zona, head of the Copper and Blue, also chimed in privately to summarize Pouliot:
There is talent there. He's already an actual NHL Player, but injuries and not finding a spot really did him in. He's got size, he skates well and he's an excellent passer. In limited time, he's been above-average in penalty killing and he will make an excellent 4th center, and in a protected role, may be able to handle third tough minutes.
Wayne Fleming also comes from the Edmonton Oilers... Or at least that was his last gig. Fleming has coached extensively for more than 30 years and not solely in North America. It's unclear in what capacity Fleming will be responsible, but with his extensive experience (as well as having coached both Team Captain VIncent Lecavalier and Martin St. Louis in international play)... Well, it can't hurt.
Below are both press releases from the team:
LIGHTNING HIRE COACHING VETERAN WAYNE FLEMING AS ASSISTANT
TAMPA BAY – The Tampa Bay Lightning have named Wayne Fleming to the position of assistant coach today, Vice President and General Manager Steve Yzerman announced. Fleming brings more than 30 years of coaching experience, both internationally and at the NHL level, most recently with the Edmonton Oilers.
"Wayne is a well-known person in the world of hockey," Lightning Head Coach Guy Boucher said. "He has an extensive resume both in the NHL and internationally. Wayne brings new information, ideas and a wealth of professional and NHL experience. He is familiar with a number of our current players, having previously coached Lecavalier, St. Louis and others. I needed someone with experience as well as an open mind and he certainly fits that perfectly. I think he’s the perfect fit for our staff.
"Along with Daniel Lacroix and Martin Raymond, there are three key traits that these three gentlemen have in common. They care about people, they have tremendous enthusiasm and their work ethic is unsurpassed."
Fleming has extensive NHL experience, serving as an assistant for 10 seasons with the New York Islanders, Phoenix Coyotes, Philadelphia Flyers, Calgary Flames and the Oilers. He spent last season in Edmonton where he was an assistant to Head Coach Pat Quinn.
Prior to joining the Oilers coaching staff, Fleming served as the Head Coach for the Avangard Omsk of the Kontinental Hockey League in Russia for the 2008-09 season. Before going to Russia, Fleming served as an assistant coach with the Calgary Flames from 2006-08. In 2008, he was reassigned to assistant coach – development. From 2002-06 Fleming served as an assistant coach with the Philadelphia Flyers, helping them compile a 130-67-39-10 record during that time.
A native of Winnipeg, Manitoba, Fleming also served as an assistant coach with the Phoenix Coyotes during the 1999-00 season and with the New York Islanders for two seasons from 1997-99. Before joining the Islanders he served as head coach for Landshut of the German Elite League during the 1996-97 season and spent four seasons with Leksand of the Swedish Elite League from 1992-96.
Fleming has a long resume of international experience. He served as associate coach for Team Canada at the 2004 World Cup of Hockey and the 2006 Winter Olympic Games. Fleming also served as vice president of hockey operations and head coach for Hockey Canada. In that role he served as the head coach for Team Canada at the 2001 and 2002 IIHF World Championships as well as serving as associate coach and winning the Gold Medal at the 2002 Olympic Winter Games in Salt Lake City.
Beginning his coaching career at the University of Manitoba in 1980, Fleming went on to coach nine seasons with the Bison. He led them to Great Plains Athletic Conference Championships during the 1983-84 and 1984-95 seasons and won the Father George Kehoe Memorial Award as the Canadian Interuniversity Athletic Union Coach of the Year in 1985. Fleming compiled a 140-78-14 record in 232 regular season games with the Bison.
LIGHTNING SIGN CENTER MARC-ANTOINE POULIOT
TAMPA BAY – The Tampa Bay Lightning, NHL parent club of the Norfolk Admirals, have signed center Marc-Antoine Pouliot (MAHRK ahn-TWAHN poo-L’YAHT) to a one-year, two-way contract, Lightning Vice President and General Manager Steve Yzerman announced today.
"We are pleased to make Marc-Antoine a member of the Lightning organization today," said Yzerman upon making the announcement. "He fits the mold for the type of person we want on our roster and we look forward to seeing what he can show us in training camp this fall. He will add depth at the forward position and has a great chance to become a contributor in Tampa Bay."
Pouliot, 25, is a 6-foot-1, 195-pound center from Quebec City, Quebec. He appeared in 35 games last season with the Edmonton Oilers, scoring seven goals and 14 points. Pouliot also skated in four games with Edmonton’s American Hockey League affiliate, the Springfield Falcons, scoring one goal and six points. A veteran of five professional seasons, Pouliot has appeared in 176 career NHL games – all with the Oilers – scoring 21 goals and 53 points.
In 157 career AHL games between the Falcons, Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins and Hamilton Bulldogs, Pouliot has scored 51 goals and 129 points. In 2005-06, he was named Bulldogs MVP in a vote of his teammates and was also named Hamilton’s top rookie by the Bulldogs broadcast team. He ranked second with the Penguins in scoring during the 2007 Calder Cup Playoffs with ten points in 11 games. Pouliot also ranked second in goals and points with the Falcons during the 2007-08 season with 21 goals and 47 points in just 55 games.
Pouliot was drafted by the Oilers in the first round (22nd overall) of the 2003 NHL Entry Draft. He played junior hockey in the QMJHL with the Rimouski Oceanic, recording 111 goals and 268 points in 205 games. He finished third in the QMJHL in scoring in 2004-05, recording 45 goals and 114 points in 70 games en route to his selection as a QMJHL First Team All Star. He captained the Oceanic for two seasons.