Tampa, FL-- The Tampa Bay Lightning have named Jon Cooper as the team's 8th head coach.

"We are very pleased to introduce Jon as our head coach today," Lightning vice president and general manager Steve Yzerman said. "He has had success at every level he has coached and is extremely familiar with our organization, as well as our players. He has a tremendous record at all levels and we feel he is ready to make the move to the NHL."

"There is no other team in hockey that I would rather be coaching than the Tampa Bay Lightning," said Jon Cooper upon accepting the position. "It's quite a tribute to Steve Yzerman, Jeff Vinik and the organization they are building that they are proud to promote from within. I look forward to getting to know the players and getting to work right away."

Cooper will coach his first game Friday night against the New Jersey Devils at the Tampa Bay Times Forum.

Assistants Dan LaCroix and Steve Thomas will be behind the bench for Tuesday's game with Buffalo, then join Cooper's staff as assistants.

Cooper won the Calder Cup Championship as head coach of the Norfolk Admirals last year. He's been a head coach in the AHL the past three seasons, and is currently with the Syracuse Crunch.

Cooper is 45 years old, has a law degree, and is a native of Price George, British Columbia.

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