Jon Cooper is the new head coach of the Tampa Bay Lightning. The current coach of the Bolts' AHL affiliate, the Syracuse Crunch, will move to sunny Central Florida to replace outgoing coach Guy Boucher, according to a reports from CBC and TSN.
The Lightning are expected to announce the hiring of Cooper as early as Tuesday. The team hosts the Buffalo Sabres on Tuesday evening.
Cooper is in his third-year as a professional coach. In two seasons with the Norfolk Admirals, Cooper's teams recorded a 94-44-10-8 record, and a year ago the Admirals set an AHL record by winning 28 games in a row en route to a Calder Cup title. When the Lightning switched affiliates this past summer, Cooper and most of his championship squad moved to Syracuse where they've carried on the success, currently sitting atop the Eastern Conference.
Prior to joining the Admirals, Cooper led the USHL's Green Bay Gamblers to a league championship in 2010. He was a hot commodity during the 2012 offseason as several teams looked to fill their coaching vacancies, but ultimately Cooper decided to stay in the Lightning organization. Now, he'll get to stay, and Steve Yzerman hopes his championship pedigree follows Cooper to the NHL.
UPDATE: The Lightning have officially announced the hiring of Jon Cooper:
The Lightning have named Jon Cooper the 8th head coach in franchise history.— Tampa Bay Lightning (@TBLightning) March 25, 2013