LIGHTNING ANNOUNCE HOCKEY OPERATIONS STAFF ADDITIONS & PROMOTIONS
Amateur Scout Dave Heitz has been promoted to Full Time Professional Scout, Feaster announced. Also, the team has hired NHL veteran goaltender Corey Schwab, who backstopped the Lightning from 1996-99, as Associate Goaltending Coach and Scout.
Former Lightning Assistant Trainer Adam Rambo has been named Head Medical Trainer for the Springfield Falcons of the American Hockey League, while Jason Serbus, formerly of the ECHL's Pensacola Ice Pilots, will replace Rambo as Assistant Medical Trainer for the Lightning. Additionally, Elizabeth Sylvia is leaving her post with the AHL to become Executive Assistant to the General Manager.
Heitz, who joined the Lightning as a Part Time Amateur Scout in 1999, will report to Director of Player Personnel Bill Barber and will scout the NHL, AHL and European professional leagues for the team. Based out of Minnesota, Heitz, a former goalie, was drafted by the North Stars in 1974 and played in the AHL and the International Hockey League.
"Dave Heitz has been an extremely dedicated and loyal employee for this organization and has done an outstanding job evaluating talent at the collegiate and U.S high school levels for us," Feaster said. "We had two of Dave's full-time scouting colleagues and a member of our Tampa coaching staff approach us to recommend Dave when it became known that a pro-scouting position had opened with the club. That speaks volumes about the high regard Dave's fellow scouts and our coaches have for him, and we are very pleased that he has accepted this promotion to the full-time pro ranks."
Schwab, who appeared in 87 games with the Lightning and 147 total NHL games with New Jersey, Vancouver, Toronto and Tampa Bay, will report to Lightning Goaltender Coach Jeff Reese and will work with the goaltenders in both Springfield and Johnstown of the ECHL, as well as the organizations amateur prospects.
"In a 'perfect world' we would find a way to clone Jeff Reese and have him in three or four places at the same time," Feaster said. "In the real world we have found the next best solution. In Corey Schwab we are bringing one of our Lightning alumni back home and we are excited about having him work with Reeser to learn his philosophy and approach and then teaching and applying that philosophy and approach to our young goaltenders throughout the organization.
"In addition, Schwabby will serve as a goaltending scout for us, collecting a detailed 'book' on all other NHL teams' goaltenders and goaltending prospects, as well as assisting us with scouting draft-eligible goalies. In the new world in which we are operating, we believe this kind of goaltending support is absolutely essential, and not only will Corey do a great job for us, but his presence will also enable us to keep Jeff Reese right here with the NHL club, focusing on making our NHL goaltenders the best they can be."
Rambo spent two seasons with the Lightning (2002-03, 2003-04) as Assistant Medical Trainer before joining Springfield as Strength & Conditioning for 2004-05. He previously had served as Head Medical Trainer for Greensboro of the ECHL. A Minnesota native and graduate of the University of South Florida, Rambo will oversee medical and training operations for the Falcons, reporting to Head Coach Dirk Graham.
"Adam Rambo has learned 'the Tampa Bay way' working with both Tom Mulligan and, just as importantly, John Tortorella, during the 2002-03 and 2003-04 seasons," Feaster said. "He is going to make an outstanding Head Medical Trainer one day, and both he and the organization recognize that the next logical career step for him is to be the top man for our AHL affiliate. His knowledge of our organization and our expectations will prove to be an invaluable asset for our players and coaches in Springfield."
Serbus, the Head Medical Trainer for Pensacola the past four seasons, will report to Head Medical Trainer Tom Mulligan and will assist with medical and training operations. A Minnesota native, Serbus has worked previously with Eisbaren Berlin in Germany, the University of Wisconsin-River Falls, the Western Professional Hockey League and several NFL teams.
"As a result of our previous affiliation relationship with Pensacola, we all got to know and work with Jason Serbus," Feaster said. "In short order it became apparent to us that he was a perfect fit for our organization. He is a very knowledgeable and dedicated professional with a lot of experience in our sport. We are confident he will enable us to move forward without skipping a beat in this critical area of hockey operations."
Sylvia, currently Executive Assistant to the President and CEO of the American Hockey League will replace former Administrative Assistant, Kathy Paterson. A native of Massachusetts, Sylvia has spent six years at the AHL office and previously worked for the AHL's Beast of New Haven in Connecticut.
"Liz Sylvia is an extremely knowledgeable, incredibly bright and highly motivated person who has a tremendous background in professional hockey," Feaster said. "Our new Assistant General Manager, Claude Loiselle, worked closely with Liz when he was with the NHL office in New York, and not only did he recommend her highly but he also lobbied her on a number of occasions to join the Lightning. In addition, Liz also worked closely with Bruce Landon, General Manager of our AHL affiliate in Springfield, and he, too, enthusiastically endorsed Liz. These relationships and her knowledge of the AHL will make her transition to the NHL even smoother. She will be an invaluable asset to the entire Hockey Operations Department."