Tampa Bay Lightning: Embarrassing Play Down Stretch an Indictment of Head Coach

April 7th, 2010 by JC De La Torre Leave a reply »
My target for the Tampa Bay Lightning's post-Olympic collapse has always been general manager Brian Lawton. During the break, Lawton shook up the Lightning chemistry by firing a well-liked assistant coach, then abandoning his hockey team at the deadline by not making any moves to strengthen a young, struggling defense.

While Lawton definitely remains in the cross hairs of my angst, he's now got some company.

Until now, I always viewed Lightning head coach Rick Tocchet as a victim in all of this. He had to deal with a dysfunctional, idiotic ownership group (exhibit A: according to an article in the New York Post ,  former owner Len Barrie nearly dealt Steven Stamkos to the Rangers during his rookie season).

He was at odds with his GM all season for generating trade rumors regarding his best players. His assistant was fired without his knowledge or consultation, and insiders say Tocchet believed replacement Jim Johnson to be "a spy for the GM." The GM then stabs him in the back by not following through with promises to get help for the blue line.

It's a sad set of circumstances to be sure, but when you look ...

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