Lightning fire coach Tocchet, general manager Lawton

One day after their season ended, the Tampa Bay Lightning fired head coach Rick Tocchet and general manager Brian Lawton on Monday.

The axe fell after the Lightning missed the playoffs for the third consecutive year.

“Our hockey operations department needs a fresh start in order to help us fulfil our goal of being a world-class organization,” Lightning owner Jeff Vinik said in a release.

Lawton was hired in June, 2008 and named general manager on October 22, 2008.

Tocchet was hired as the team’s Associate Coach in July, 2008. He became the interim head coach just 16 games into the 2008-2009 season after the Lightning fired Barry Melrose. Tocchet began the 2009-2010 season as the head coach and went 34-36-12.

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Updated Monday, Apr 12, 2010