TAMPA BAY, Fla. – The Tampa Bay Lightning have named Derek Lalonde to the position of assistant coach, vice president and general manager Steve Yzerman announced.
Lalonde, a native of Brasher Falls, New York, spent the previous two seasons as head coach of the Iowa Wild of the American Hockey League, top affiliate of the NHL’s Minnesota Wild. During his tenure in Des Moines, he posted a 69-58-17-8 record, becoming the first coach in Iowa Wild history to record a winning season with 36-31-7-2 during his first campaign in 2016-17. Under his leadership the Wild posted team records for wins, home wins, road wins, fewest losses and total points in a season.
Prior to joining the Wild organization, Lalonde spent two seasons as head coach of the ECHL’s Toledo Walleye. He helped Toledo to a 97-35-7-5 record over that time, resulting in back-to-back playoff appearances. During his first season in 2014-15, Lalonde led the Walleye to a 50-15-5-2 record, claiming the Brabham Cup as the ECHL’s regular season champions. The Walleye lost in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Finals. In recognition of his success, Lalonde was named the ECHL’s Coach of the Year after orchestrating a 58-point improvement from the previous season, the largest in ECHL history. During his second year in Toledo the Walleye posted a record of 47-20-2-3, finishing with the team’s second consecutive regular season title.
Before joining the Walleye, Lalonde served as the head coach of the USHL’s Green Bay Gamblers for three seasons, registering a record of 114-56-8-6. In 2011-12 he led the Gamblers to a 47-9-2-2 record and the organization’s fourth Clark Cup Championship, leading to him being named the USHL’s Coach of the Year. Lightning head coach Jon Cooper also previously served as head coach of the Gamblers (2008-2010), winning the Clark Cup in 2010.
Lalonde served as an assistant coach at the University of Denver from 2006-2011, helping the Pioneers to a 122-63-19 record and two WCHA Championships in 2008 and 2010, as well as four consecutive NCAA Tournament appearances. He began his collegiate coaching career as an assistant at Ferris State University from 2003-2006.
The 45-year-old graduated from Cortland State, where he also played goaltender, with a B.S.E. in physical education and later earned a M.A. in education administration from the Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts.
Lalonde previously served as a coach during Lightning’s development camp in 2013.