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Former NHLers Tocchet and Walz named assistant coaches in Tampa

The Tampa Bay Lightning have named Rick Tocchet, Wes Walz and Cap Raeder as assistant coaches to head coach Barry Melrose.

Tocchet is a 24-year NHL veteran both as a player and a coach. He played 18 seasons in the NHL with Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Los Angeles, Boston, Washington and Phoenix.

“Rick Tocchet is a borderline Hall-of-Famer with vast playing and coaching experience,” vice president of hockey operations Brian Lawton said in a statement. “His already extensive hockey experience was only enhanced by the time he spent as a coach in Colorado and Phoenix, and we are happy to announce him as part of our coaching staff.”

Walz, a veteran of 13 seasons in the NHL, played in 607 career games with Boston, Philadelphia, Calgary, Detroit and Minnesota. He was known as a defensive specialist in his career, amassing a plus-23 rating.

“Wes Walz has been a leader both on and off the ice his entire career in the National Hockey League,” said Lawton. “We are excited that he brings those qualities to our coaching staff. He offers a level of dedication and desire to the Lightning bench that is unsurpassed.”

Raeder, a native of Needham, Massachusetts, has spent the previous 11 seasons in the San Jose Sharks organization. He served as a professional scout for the previous nine years and also served as an assistant coach during the 2000-01 season. Before joining the Sharks, Raeder served an assistant coach at the NHL level for nine seasons with Boston and Los Angeles. He was an assistant on new Lightning head coach Barry Melrose’s staff with the Kings.

“Cap Raeder’s nine-plus seasons as an assistant coach and his more than nine seasons as a professional scout make him ideal for our coaching staff,” said Lawton. “ His experience in the NHL will prove to be invaluable.”

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