Gwozdecky Lands With NHL's Lightning
CHN Staff Report
Former Denver coach George Gwozdecky was named an assistant coach with the NHL's Tampa Bay Lightning.
Gwozdecky was fired by Denver in April after 19 seasons on the job, including two national championships, over a contract dispute. Gwozdecky said he wanted to be a head coach in college hockey again, and spoke with a number of schools about openings, including Maine, Connecticut and Alabama-Huntsville, before ultimately not getting, or taking, any of them.
Gwozdecky will join Jon Cooper, Tampa's head coach, fellow assistant Rick Bowness, and team general manager Steve Yzerman in the organization. The Lightning did not make the playoffs last season, and are rebuilding.
"We are pleased to add George to the coaching staff," Yzerman said. "He brings a wealth of experience to the bench and we feel he will be a valuable addition to the organization."
A native of Thunder Bay, Ontario, Gwozdecky ranks 11th all-time in NCAA men’s hockey for wins with 593. Prior to joining Denver, Gwozdecky was head coach at Miami. While at Miami he won the Spencer Penrose Award as National Coach of the Year as well as a pair of CCHA coach of the year honors.
Gwozdecky was a four-year letterman at Wisconsin, where he was a member of the Badgers’ 1977 National Championship team. Gwozdecky was inducted into the Wisconsin Hockey Hall of Fame in 1994. He is only coach in NCAA hockey history to win a Division I National Championship as a player (Wisconsin, 1977), assistant coach (Michigan State, 1986) and head coach (Denver, 2004 and 2005).