LIGHTNING ANNOUNCE COACHING STAFF EXTENSIONS
The Tampa Bay Lightning have signed associate coach Craig Ramsay, assistant coach/head goaltending coach Jeff Reese, video coach Nigel Kirwan and strength & conditioning coach Eric Lawson to three-year contract extensions, executive vice president & general manager Jay Feaster announced today. Lightning head coach John Tortorella received a similar extension on July 26, 2005.
"I am convinced that we have the finest coaching staff in the NHL right here in Tampa," Feaster said. "My feelings about Torts are well known, and as much as I love what he brings to our team I love his staff just as much. All five complement each other incredibly well. There are no egos, no agendas and no personality conflicts on our staff. They all care only about helping our players improve and achieve their potential so that we can be the best team possible.
"It is a pleasure to work with them every day and a thrill to be able to keep them all together for another three years."
Recognized as one of the finest teachers in the game, associate coach Craig Ramsay is in his sixth full season with the Lightning after joining the organization in the middle of the 2000-01 season. His progressive thinking combines with a calming influence and steady demeanor to help make him one of the NHL's top bench and practice assistants. A 14-year NHL veteran, Ramsay played more than 1,000 games in his career and was considered one of the game's best defensive forwards. He won the Frank J. Selke Trophy following the 1984-85 season.
Assistant coach/head goaltender coach Jeff Reese began his coaching career in 2000 after completing an 11-year career as a goaltender in the NHL. Primarily responsible for the coaching and development of all goaltenders in the Lightning system, Reese works on a regular basis with John Grahame and Sean Burke while advising the coaching staffs in Springfield of the American Hockey League and Johnstown of the ECHL. Reese, a former Lightning goaltender, also scouts potential draft talent for the team.
Nigel Kirwan is in his 14th year with the Lightning, making him one of the only employees in the organization to be with the team from its inception. He oversees all video analysis and breakdown of the Lightning and its opponents.
Eric Lawson is in his fifth year as strength and conditioning coach for the Lightning, overseeing both off-season and in-season conditioning and maintenance. A United States Olympic Committee veteran, Lawson came to Tampa from Colorado Springs, where he had worked as head speed and strength physiologist.