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Tampa Bay Lightning

Veteran coach joins Lightning

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Published:   |   Updated: March 23, 2013 at 04:23 AM
TAMPA -

The Lightning filled their void on the bench, hiring 20-year coaching veteran Rick Wilson as associate coach on Rick Tocchet's staff.

Wilson, 59, primarily will be responsible for coaching the defense, the same responsibility he held with Dallas before he was let go in May after spending the past 17 seasons with the Stars' organization.

"We believe Rick is exactly what this club needs as an associate coach and we are excited that he has elected to join our staff," Lightning general manager Brian Lawton said. "As our team develops, we will look to control the game from the blue line. Rick shares that philosophy, understands that concept and will teach our young defensemen to do just that."

Wilson, who is believed to have signed a two-year deal, said he was enticed by the mix of youth and experience on the Lightning roster.

"I see the makings of a pretty good team, with some good young players including Steven Stamkos and Victor Hedman combining with Stanley Cup champions like Vinny Lecavalier and Marty St. Louis," Wilson said. "I feel we can do some good things with the defense there and I look forward to being part of building something special."

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