Admirals Head Coach Reassigned by Lightning to Scouting Dept

The Tampa Bay Lightning are reporting that the organization has reassigned Norfolk Admirals head coach Steve Stirling to be the Lightning's new full time NCAA scout. Lightning General Manager Jay Feaster also confirmed that that the organization has decided not to exercise its option on Admirals assistant coach Darren Rumble. A search for a new Norfolk head coach will commence upon completion of the sale of the Lightning franchise to OK Hockey headed by Oren Koules.

“For the past 15-years, we have very badly needed a full-time scout devoted to college hockey,” Feaster said. “Over the years we have utilized part-time people as well as full-time pro and amateur scouts to fill the void, but we have never had a full-time scout to properly mine the talent at the college level. Given Steve's extensive background and connections at the collegiate level, combined with his coaching history in the AHL and NHL, we are confident that he is the right person for the job and we appreciate his willingness to switch gears and assist the organization in this critical endeavor.

“In light of the pending sale of the Lightning to OK Hockey, we will defer the search for a new head coach in Norfolk until after the closing on the sale transaction. However, finding the right person to lead our team in Norfolk will be a key priority for us this summer. Once a new head coach is named we will work with that person to ensure that the new coach has significant input into the hiring of an assistant coach for Norfolk as well.”

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1.) I think Stirling

1.) I think Stirling actually did a reasonably good job this season. I know that's not going to be a popular thing for me to say with the folks in Norfolk, but they shuffled the deck on Stirling three or four times over the course of the season, and he kept tweaking it to get it right, and then they'd reshuffle it on him again. But the important thing is he never gave up and the players, for the most part, never gave up. I think the two games they won at the end of the year were proof of that. It was a far cry from a year ago in Springfield when that team completely laid down from February on.

Specifically, I think Stirling deserves a TON of credit for the way Vladimir Mihalik progressed this season. He was tough on Vladdy when he needed to be, but he was tough in a constructive way. Stirling took over coaching the D from Rumble at midseason and I think that had a lot to do with the big plus number the Vladisaurus put up in the second half.

I also think he's one of the nicest and most honest people I've met in hockey, by far. And as far as being a scout goes, I think he's got a good eye for breaking down players and should excel in this new role. Honestly, when I met Stirling and Loiselle and sat down and talked with them in person, it struck me that these two guys roles probably should be reversed. Loiselle seems to have more of the disposition of a coach, and Stirling more of a GM. Heck, Stirling even looks like a GM, so I think scouting and front office work will probably suit him nicely.

2.) As far as Rumble goes, I've heard nothing positive about the guy and I'm kind of surprised they let him go. I wish him well on whatever path the rest of his career takes him.

3.) I've had a feeling in my gut for a while now Tim Taylor is going to be the assistant coach in Norfolk next season.

OK Hockey

I also agree that Stirling did fairly well with what was given to him in Norfolk, but hopefully he will be a better scout than he was a coach. Does anyone know when the sale of the Lightning is expected to be finalized?

Last word

Was it would be within a week or 2, but take that with a grain of salt.

The sooner the better.

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