Lightning Name Mike Vernon Special Assistant to Vice President of Hockey Operations
TAMPA BAY – The Tampa Bay Lightning have hired former NHL goaltender Mike Vernon as special assistant to the vice president of hockey operations today, owners Oren Koules and Len Barrie announced. Vernon’s duties will be to assist in hockey-related matters and to provide guidance to the team’s goaltenders.
“The Tampa Bay Lightning are thrilled to add a former Stanley Cup Champion to our staff,” vice president of hockey operations Brian Lawton said. “Mike’s past experience and knowledge will be a true benefit to the organization and it will be critical to us as we continue to make changes within the team to improve it.”
Vernon, a five-time NHL All-Star who retired in 2002 after a stellar 17-season NHL career with Calgary, Detroit, San Jose and Florida, captured the Stanley Cup with the Flames in 1989 and again with Detroit in 1997. He was awarded the Conn Smythe Trophy in 1997 after posting a 16-4 record and 1.76 goals-against average in the playoffs for the Red Wings.
A native of Calgary, Vernon, 45, holds Flames goaltending records for games played (526), wins (262), minutes played (29,649), playoff games (81), playoff minutes (4,773) and playoff wins (43). While with the Red Wings he shared the William Jennings Trophy with Chris Osgood in 1996 after the pair combined for the NHL’s lowest goals-against average.
Vernon was drafted 56th overall by the Flames in 1981 and played three seasons for the Calgary Wranglers of the Western Hockey League. He was added to the roster of the Portland Winter Hawks in the 1983 Memorial Cup Series and his performance helped Portland become the first team from outside Canada to win the Cup. He was awarded the Hap Emms Memorial Trophy as the outstanding goaltender for the series.
After turning professional, he spent most of the next three seasons in the minors before being promoted in January, 1986. That season he helped the Flames to the Stanley Cup Finals before falling to the Montreal Canadiens. He remained in Calgary until 1994, when he was traded to the Red Wings. After eight more seasons divided between Detroit, San Jose, Florida and Calgary again, he announced his retirement on September 13, 2002.