Booger McFarland: The Lightning’s Hire of Jon Cooper, Smart or Insane?

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NHLI via Getty Images

NHLI via Getty Images

So the Tampa Bay Lightning have named Jon Cooper as their 8th head coach in franchise history. Some of you may say “Yeah that’s what I’m talking about!” While others of you may not care one way or the other. But I ask you this question: is it smart or insane?

I remember once when Guy Boucher was the flavor of the month. He was a hot young assistant with no NHL experience. The one guiding the Hamilton Bulldogs to an amazing 52-17-11 record and winning coach of the year. He had his choice of jobs between Columbus and Tampa and he chose the Lightning as Steve Yzerman’s first big move. He was thought to be innovative and creative, some would say an offensive mastermind when it came to the power play. Those memories didn’t last long did they?

On Monday night the Lightning have a new flavor, or do they? He is the hot, new innovative master motivator of the Syracuse Crunch. Jon Cooper led the Norfolk admirals to a Calder Cup in 2012 and won the coach of the year award. Sound familiar? So far in 2013, the Syracuse Crunch have the best record in the AHL and several of Cooper’s players have come to the show and made an immediate impact. Steve Yzerman has to hope that this flavor isn’t the same as the last.

For Yzerman I ask one question: what’s different? If I took away the name of the coach you fired and the one you just hired and just focused on their resumes at the time of hiring, they look similar. I’m reminded of the old definition of insanity, to do the same thing over and over and expect a different result. I’m not sure if this is a good hire or a bad fire. One thing is for sure; on the surface it sure looks very similar. So I ask: SMART or INSANE?

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