On Wednesday night, the Lightning fired head coach Cory Schmidt after the season.
Schmidt had led the Lightning for the past two seasons, and had been a big part of the organization since the beginning.
He was known for his work with the AHL’s Syracuse Crunch, and the Lightning’s playoff run from 2011-13.
But that all changed in the postseason when Schmidt and the Crunch went to the Western Conference Final, falling to the eventual Stanley Cup champion Chicago Blackhawks in seven games.
The Lightning were swept by the Blackhawks in six games in the Eastern Conference Finals.
The team fired Schmidt after that series, but the Lightning would be without him for the entire 2014-15 season, and he has since been fired once again.
A lot of people thought that was it, but Schneider is still very much part of that Lightning organization, and will be in attendance tonight.
He has been a key figure in the Lightning organization since 2011, and has had a tremendous impact on the franchise.
He helped build the Lightning into one of the best teams in the league, and was a key reason why the Lightning finished as the league’s second best team the past four years.
Schmidt was a member of the Lightning when they were the franchise’s second-division affiliate in 2008, and then in 2011 he was hired by the Lightning as their head coach.
He had a huge impact on how the team played.
The Bolts were a top-five team in goals for, and goals against during his two seasons with the club, and were a perennial contender in the East.
In Schneider’s two seasons as the Lightning head coach, the team finished tied for second in the Western conference, tied for fourth in goals against, and tied for seventh in points.
The Lightning won the Stanley Cup in his first season with the organization, in 2010, and his second year with the team in 2012.
Schneider had a fantastic tenure in Tampa, and helped the team win the Stanley Series in 2015, but he also won the Presidents’ Trophy in 2014.
In Schneider, the Bolts added a young talent to their organization.
He had one of his best seasons in the NHL with the Lightning, and led them to an Eastern Conference Final appearance in 2017.
“Cory Schneider is a great coach,” Lightning president and general manager Steve Yzerman said in a statement on Thursday.
“He will be missed by all of us.
Our deepest condolences go out to his family, friends and teammates.”
Schmidt coached the Lightning from 2011 to 2013, and from 2012 to 2014, he led the AHL affiliate to a pair of playoff appearances.
It was a difficult year for Schneider in Tampa.
The NHL lockout forced the team to move to Raleigh, N.C., and Schneider was forced to step away from the Lightning.
His firing came as the Bolton organization was rebuilding after their first playoff berth in seven years, and it was a tough time for the Lightning fanbase, and for Schneider’s reputation.