For a while, we've been covering the Red Wings' search for a new assistant coach to head the power play/forwards, thinking former Columbus Blue Jackets head coach Todd Richards was the front-runner for the gig and waiting for the news of his hire since Richards returned from Russia where he was the head coach of Team USA.
That's.... not going to happen now.
#TBLightning announce the hiring of former #CBJ coach Todd Richards as an assistant on Jon Cooper's staff.— Stephen Whyno (@SWhyno) June 7, 2016
Things move fast in Tampa, as this time yesterday they announced they weren't renewing the contract of assistant coach Steve Thomas. Today we learned they've been very busy.
For what it's worth, Thomas did run the power play/forwards for Tampa, but it's been pretty well known that head coach Jon Cooper was more responsible for Tampa's power play failures than Thomas. Tampa was 28th in the league this season for power play efficiency, running at just 15.8%
So where does this leave the Wings? I'm not sure. The Wings presumably still have John Torchetti and Dave Cameron on their list of candidates with whom they've spoken who are former head coaches, and there's always a number of names out there to grab from, but it very much seems like the best candidate just went to a division rival.