Lightning to name head coach on Tuesday
The Tampa Bay Lightning's incoming ownership promised on Monday the team would quickly rebound from its recent woes.
Oren Koules and Len Barrie, the two most prominent members of the new eight-person ownership group, met with local media for the first time since the NHL's board of governors approved the sale of the club last week.
"This is a great day for Tampa Bay and for the Lightning," said Koules. "There is a wonderful foundation for hockey in this community, a great fan base and a former Stanley Cup winning team led by Vincent Lecavalier and Martin St. Louis. Our group’s primary goal is to win hockey games and compete for championships on a regular basis.
The pair said a new head coach to replace John Tortorella would be announced Tuesday. It is widely believed that former Los Angeles Kings coach Barry Melrose, who has been in broadcasting for the past 12 years, will take over behind the bench.
The hiring would come just days after the Lightning selected Steven Stamkos as the No. 1 overall pick in the NHL entry draft. Tampa Bay finished 31-42-8 and out of the playoffs the past season, just four years after winning the Stanley Cup.
Koules once played in the Western Hockey League before achieving financial success as a producer of the Saw movie franchise and Two and a Half Men. Barrie spent parts of seven seasons in the NHL before making his fortune in real estate.
The deal to buy the team for $200 million US as well as the lease for St. Pete Times Forum is expected to close by June 30. The club has been owned by William Davidson and Palace Sports and Entertainment, owners of the NBA's Detroit Pistons.