Jon Cooper sees current Lightning core winning another Stanley Cup

When you think of the best active coaches in the NHL, it’s hard not to put Jon Cooper at the top.

Lightning coach Jon Cooper at 10 years: Inside a rare NHL run and a message that 'doesn't seem to get old' - The Athletic

In recent years, there have been coaching changes aplenty across the NHL.

In fact, there have been 17 head coaching changes since the end of last season.

That’swhat we learn in this article by Joe Smith, on The Athletic.

Jon Cooper also confided that he’s not ready to give up his position at the helm of the Tampa Bay Lightning, even though he knows he can’t stay there indefinitely.

“Eventually, one day, we’ll know it’s time to pass the reign to someone else. There’s no way that’s the time right now.” – Jon Cooper

Cooper is the active coach with the longest reign with a single team.

He has been in post since the end of the 2013 season.

Mike Sullivan with the Pittsburgh Penguins is close behind, but his position is far less guaranteed than Cooper’s, after a disappointing season. The Pittsburgh rebuild seems to have begun with the Jake Guentzel trade.

With so much success since his arrival behind the Lightning bench, Cooper wants to continue this reign for as long as possible.

He knows he won’t be coaching the club forever, but he wants to keep the momentum going and hope to win at least one more Stanley Cup to add to his collection.

In the same Joe Smith article, Cooper made an interesting comparison with golf legends Jack Nicklaus and Tiger Woods:

“What was special about Jack Nicklaus in 1986? He kept putting in the effort and he did it (win). And what about Tiger Woods when he won the Masters in 2019? Our window is open, but it’s not as open as it was four or five years ago.” – Jon Cooper

By the way, I invite you to go and read this excellent piece by Joe Smith, on The Athletic, it’s well worth it.

Keeping the current core is the Bolts ‘ main objective for next season.

Steven Stamkos and Victor Hedman will both have to sign contract extensions by July 1, failing which they will become unrestricted free agents.

NHL - Bond with Victor Hedman a big reason why captain Steven Stamkos stayed with the Tampa Bay Lightning - ESPN

If Julien BriseBois succeeds in extending Stamkos and Hedman, the core of the last few years would still be intact. It would be older, but also more experienced.

With Stamkos, Hedman, Nikita Kucherov, Andrei Vasilevskiy, Brayden Point and Mikhail Sergachev still with the team, the Lightning’s chances are good.

As Cooper mentioned, there are several key elements on the team. It’s just a matter of finding the few pieces of the puzzle to fit around these key players.

As the saying goes: nothing is impossible.(Except maybe skewering air into a tree…)

In bursts

MacDoughall hasn’t lost a game this season.

– The Rangers won the first game of this second round against the Carolina Hurricanes.

 

 

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