Coach Jon Cooper signs three-year extension with Lightning

The Tampa Bay Lightning head coach Jon Cooper reacts after a goal was called back due to an offside against the Boston Bruins during first period NHL Stanley Cup Eastern Conference playoff hockey action in Toronto, Tuesday, Aug. 25, 2020. (Frank Gunn/CP)

The Tampa Bay Lightning have signed coach Jon Cooper to a three-year contract extension.

The move comes one day before the Lightning begin their quest to capture their third Stanley Cup in a row as they host the Pittsburgh Penguins in the NHL season opener on Tuesday.

“Unequivocally, Coop is the best person for the job,” general manager Julian BriseBois said. “He is a great leader, spokesperson and ambassador for our organization. We are lucky to have him as our head coach and I very much look forward to our continued partnership.”

Cooper, a native of Prince George, B.C., was named the ninth head coach in Lightning franchise history on March 25, 2013 and is now the NHL’s longest tenured bench boss.

“It has been a tremendous honor to be the head coach of the Tampa Bay Lightning for the past eight-plus seasons and I’m looking forward to having the opportunity to build on what we have here,” Cooper said.

Cooper is 383-197-53 for a .647 points percentage. It is the second highest points percentage in NHL history among coaches with a minimum of 500 games, behind only Scotty Bowman (.657 in 2,141 games).

The Lightning have advanced to the Eastern Conference Final five times and the Cup Final three times during Cooper’s tenure.

In 2014 and ’19, Cooper was a finalist for the Jack Adams Award, given annually to the NHL’s top coach. He replaced Guy Boucher as Lightning coach after spending three seasons with Tampa Bay’s AHL affiliates.

Cooper also will serve as head coach for Canada at the 2022 Beijing Olympics.

Jon Cooper: From Texarkana to Team Canada
August 11 2021

When submitting content, please abide by our submission guidelines, and avoid posting profanity, personal attacks or harassment. Should you violate our submissions guidelines, we reserve the right to remove your comments and block your account. Sportsnet reserves the right to close a story’s comment section at any time.