The Tampa Bay Lightning have added a popular, former Capitals player behind the bench. Friday, the Lightning announced that Jeff Halpern will serve as an assistant coach under Jon Cooper next season, replacing Rick Bowness.
The Capitals defeated the Lightning in the Eastern Conference Final last season.
Halpern will focus working with Lightning forwards.
Jeff Halpern will work with #TBLightning forwards, be on the bench. Sounds like Todd Richards will handle the defense, which Bowness used to do. Not sure if another assistant is getting hired.
— Joe Smith (@JoeSmithTB) June 22, 2018
Halpern first joined the Bolts as a player development coach in 2015 and was later hired as an assistant for their AHL squad, the Syracuse Crunch, in 2016. Halpern helped lead the Crunch to a 84-46 record over the past two seasons, guiding them to the Calder Cup Finals in 2017.
Halpern had two separate stints as a player for the Capitals, appearing in 507 games and totaling 220 points (91 goals, 129 assists). During the 2005-06 season, he was named Captain.
Halpern was the first youth hockey player from the Washington DC area to ever make the team.
The 42-year-old also serves as a co-owner of Astro Doughnuts & Fried Chicken.
More from the Lightning:
TAMPA BAY – The Tampa Bay Lightning have named former Lightning forward Jeff Halpern to the position of assistant coach today, vice president and general manager Steve Yzerman announced.
Halpern, 42, first joined the Lightning organization for the 2015-16 season as the team’s player development coach. He worked closely with the organization’s prospects in Syracuse to assist with individual development. Halpern was hired as a full time assistant coach with the Crunch on June 27, 2016, working alongside head coach Benoit Groulx. He spent two seasons behind the bench for Syracuse, playing an integral role in the team’s second run to the Calder Cup Finals in 2017.
A native of Washington, D.C., Halpern played in 976 NHL games, including 126 with the Lightning from 2007 to 2010. During his 14 seasons in the NHL, he recorded 152 goals and 221 assists. Along with Tampa Bay, he spent time with the Washington Capitals, Dallas Stars, Los Angeles Kings, Montreal Canadiens and New York Rangers before finishing his playing career with the Phoenix Coyotes in 2014.
Headline photo: Tampa Bay Lightning
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