Tampa Bay Lightning

Content regarding the Tampa Bay Lightning organization.

Lightning Will Pick 10th

The Edmonton Oilers have won the NHL Draft Lottery, earning them the right to move up one slot from second to first in the draft order. The Lightning's draft position is unchanged at the 10 pick.

In related news, Columbus fans are seething mad.

Cooper is Coach of the Year

(Norfolk Admirals press release) The American Hockey League announced today that Jon Cooper of the Norfolk Admirals has been named the winner of the Louis A.R. Pieri Memorial Award as the AHL’s outstanding coach for the 2011-12 season, as voted by coaches and members of the media in each of the league’s 30 cities.

In his second season in the professional ranks, Cooper has kept his Admirals at the top of the league for much of the year, finally pulling away from the rest of the pack on the strength of a record 25-game winning streak that remains intact heading into the final week of the season. At 52-18-1-2 (107 points), the Admirals have won their first division title since 2003 and have captured the Macgregor Kilpatrick Trophy as the overall points champion for the first time ever. Norfolk, whose top five scorers this season include three rookies and one second-year pro, leads the AHL in offense (3.58 goals per game) and ranks third in defense (2.40 goals against per game), and under Cooper’s development watch nine Admirals were called up to play a total of 142 games with the parent Tampa Bay Lightning in the National Hockey League this season.

A 44-year-old native of Prince George, B.C., Cooper joined the Tampa Bay Lightning organization in August 2010 as head coach of their top development affiliate in Norfolk following a prolific career in the U.S. junior ranks. He won a USHL championship and was that league’s coach of the year with Green Bay in 2010, and was twice coach of the year in the NAHL with St. Louis, winning back-to-back titles there in 2007 and 2008. Cooper has also spent time behind the bench internationally for Team USA’s U-17 and U-18 teams. A dual citizen of the United States and Canada, Cooper played hockey and lacrosse at Hofstra University and later obtained a law degree from the Thomas M. Cooley Law School.

Cooper becomes the second Admirals head coach to win the Louis A.R. Pieri Award. Mike Haviland also won the award during the 2006-07 season.

Aulie Joins Norfolk for Playoffs

The Tampa Bay Lightning have assigned defenseman Keith Aulie to the Norfolk Admirals, Lightning Vice President and General Manager Steve Yzerman announced today.

Aulie, 6-foot-6, 217 pounds, appeared in 36 NHL games this season between the Lightning and Toronto Maple Leafs, recording three assists and 29 penalty minutes. Aulie played in 17 games with the Maple Leafs, collecting two assists and 16 penalty minutes before being acquired by the Lightning on February 27 in exchange for Carter Ashton. Aulie then appeared in 19 games with Tampa Bay, posting one assist and 13 penalty minutes. In 76 career NHL games, Aulie has scored two goals and five points with 61 penalty minutes.

Aulie also skated in 23 games with the Toronto Marlies of the AHL this season, recording one assist and 30 penalty minutes. The 22-year-old native of Regina, Saskatchewan, has skated in 107 career AHL games with the Marlies and Abbotsford Heat, posting five goals and 16 points. He represented the Marlies at the 2011 AHL All-Star Classic in Hershey, PA last season.

Aulie was drafted by the Calgary Flames in the fourth round, 116th overall, of the 2007 NHL Entry Draft. He was acquired by Toronto along with Fredrik Sjostrom and Dion Phaneuf from Calgary in exchange for Jamal Mayers, Niklas Hagman, Matthew Stajan and Ian White on January 31, 2010. (News Observer photo)

Lightning Draft Position Heading Into Draft Lottery

The Lightning will head into the draft lottery in the 10th position. The lottery drawing will be held on April 10th, with the results announced by the Deputy Commissioner on the NBC Sports Network at 8 pm.

The Lightning have a 2.1% chance of winning the lottery, which would enable them to move up 4 spots to the 6th spot in the draft. The Lightning also have a 3.9% chance of falling to the 11th pick. It's a 94% likelihood, however, that 10th is indeed where the team will find its draft pick heading into June.

The Lightning also hold Detroit's first round pick (pick 23, as of right now), Minnesota's second round pick (pick 37), their own second round pick (pick 40), Philadelphia's second round pick (pick 52, as of right now), and possibly Florida's second round pick (pick 55, as of right now), although the Panthers have the option to take the pick and give the Lightning their 2013 second round pick, and GM's rarely defer taking a pick in these situations. Playoff teams that advance to their respective conference finals are resituated in the bottom 4 picks of the draft, which is why the draft position of Detroit, Philadelphia, and Florida may yet change.

Several of these picks are likely to be packaged in a trade for a goaltender this offseason, but for those that are retained, BoltProspects' research has shown in the past that roughly 70% of NHLer's come from the top-60 picks of the draft. The Lightning's current organizational needs lean heavily towards defense, where Everett's Ryan Murphy, Red Deer's Matthew Dumba, and the USNTDP's Jacob Trouba headline a very deep crop of blueliners.

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