NHL Notes: Lightning hire former Blue Jackets head coach Todd Richards as assistant coach


TAMPA, Fla. -- The Tampa Bay Lightning have hired Todd Richards as an assistant on coach Jon Cooper's staff.

Vice president and general manager Steve Yzerman announced the move Tuesday.

Richards most recently served as head coach of the Columbus Blue Jackets and previously coached the Minnesota Wild. He replaces Steve Thomas, who spent the past two seasons with the Lightning.

The 49-year-old Richards has more than 400 games of NHL head-coaching experience and has coached for USA Hockey at the world championships and Olympics. He was an assistant for the San Jose Sharks when they won the Presidents' Trophy in 2008-09.

Richards had been considered a top candidate for several assistant coaching vacancies this offseason after being fired by Columbus in October (see full story).

Wild: Hall of Famer Scott Stevens hired as an assistant coach
ST. PAUL, Minn. -- The Minnesota Wild have hired Hall of Fame defenseman Scott Stevens as an assistant coach.

Stevens served as a co-coach and assistant for the New Jersey Devils before spending time as a television analyst. He is the first new hire for new Bruce Boudreau's staff after the Wild hired the former Anaheim Ducks coach last month.

Boudreau still has one hire left to make.

Stevens was an assistant for the Devils for two seasons and was a co-coach along with Adam Oates and Lou Lamoriello after Peter DeBoer was fired midway through the 2014-15 season.

As a player, Stevens won the Stanley Cup three times with the Devils and played 1,635 NHL games with Washington, St. Louis and New Jersey (see full story).

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