Bolts Fire Coach Rick Tocchet And GM Brian Lawton

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New Tampa Bay Lightning owner Jeff Vinik is off to a dramatic start, firing coach Rick Tocchet and GM Brian Lawton.

Vinik said he wanted a clean slate to work with.

Not helping things was the fact that Lawton and Tocchet spent much of the second half of the season at each other’s throats.

The team definitely imploded on Tocchet toward the end of the season, but I thought he deserved another season if for no other reason than his handling of Steve Stamkos.

Vinik has to remember that if it wasn’t for Tocchet, his top goal-scorer might have been Martin St. Louis and his 29 goals, not Stamkos and his 51.

It also would have been interesting to see Tocchet coach with a well-constructed line up.

Tocchet wasn’t an amazing coach, but he coached well enough last season to keep his job. I understand the appeal of the fresh start, but Vinik would have probably had plenty of chances to fire Tocchet if things really didn’t work out next season.

Speaking of ownership changes, Mike Modano is part of a local Dallas group trying to buy the Stars.

I bet Marc Crawford is wishing he had given Modano the captaincy back after previous coach Dave Tippett took it from Modano.

Because as we saw in Tampa, a lot of times, new ownership likes to make changes.