(Green Bay, WI) – Former Green Bay Gamblers Head Coach Jon Cooper led the Tampa Bay Lightning to their second straight Stanley Cup on Wednesday. The Lightning beat the Montreal Canadians 1-0 on their home ice in Game 5 of the Stanley Cup Finals. In eight full seasons with Tampa Bay, Cooper has reached the Stanley Cup finals three times, winning twice.
Cooper is joined on the Tampa Bay coaching staff by former Gamblers Head Coach Derek Lalonde. Lalonde coached three seasons in Green Bay (2011-14). Lightning Amateur Scout John Burkart and Lightning Video Coach Brian Garlock also have Gambler connections. Both were part of Cooper’s coaching/scouting staff during his tenure in Green Bay.
Cooper was hired by the Gamblers in the summer of 2008. In two seasons as head coach and general manager, Cooper led the Gamblers to two Anderson Cups and a Clark Cup. In 2010, Cooper was hired by Norfolk Admirals of the American Hockey League. In his second season, the Admirals won the Calder Cup as the AHL’s champions. The Admirals also set the record for the longest regular-season winning streak at 28 games in a row. Additionally, Cooper won the 2012 Louis A. R. Pieri Memorial Award as the AHL’s most outstanding head coach. In March of 2013, Cooper replaced Guy Boucher as the Lightning’s head coach. Cooper is currently the longest-tenured head coach in the NHL.