The Tampa Bay Lightning have officially signed head coach Jon Cooper to a three-year extension, keeping him under contract through the 2024-25 season. The deal comes just a few weeks after the team extended GM Julien BriseBois, and secures the foundation of the team’s leadership for several years. BriseBois released a statement explaining just why the Lightning are keeping Cooper around:
Unequivocally, Coop is the best person for the job. 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.
A two-time Stanley Cup champion now, Cooper really does win at every level. In 2012 he took home the Calder Cup and won AHL Coach of the Year, in 2010 the Clar Cup and USHL Coach of the Year, in 2008 the Robertson Cup and NAHL Coach of the Year, and in 2002 the Hurster Cup in the CSHL. His next test will be this February when he leads the Canadian Olympic team in their pursuit of another gold medal.
With a 384-197-53 regular season record, there’s not really anything to critique about Cooper’s performance behind the bench in Tampa Bay. When the team was swept out of the first round in 2019, some wondered whether he was the one who would be able to get them over the playoff hump. He responded with consecutive titles, and has the Lightning poised to compete for a third-straight Stanley Cup.
Though the Lightning have not released any financial details on the contract, Pierre LeBrun of The Athletic tweets that it will likely carry an annual salary close to Joel Quenneville’s $5.5MM.