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Lightning assistant Gwozdecky discusses sudden firing from college job

Aug 21, 2013, 9:58 AM EDT

Garret Allen, Zac Larraza, George Gwozdecky AP

New Tampa Bay Lightning assistant coach George Gwozdecky is getting his first taste of work in the NHL at age 60 and it’s not something he planned on doing.

This summer, Gwozdecky was suddenly fired as head coach at the University of Denver. After 19 seasons, two national championships, and numerous conference titles and NCAA tournament appearances he was out of work.

As Erik Erlendsson of The Tampa Tribune reports, it’s something he’s still smarting over.

“I don’t think you ever get over being jilted, whether it’s your first high school dance and the pretty girl in the corner says, ‘Get lost,'” Gwozdecky said. “That’s kind of tough to take the rejection. But certainly I’ve got a lot more positive feelings about our years and the people I worked with, the great players I worked with, than with one person’s decision.”

Sounds like his time in high school was eerily similar to mine.

With Gwozdecky now in Tampa, he’ll be reunited with one of his former players in Matt Carle. If that reunion works out for Carle, it’ll give a lift to Tampa’s defense and that’s something they could really use this season.

  1. twinwildflyer - Aug 21, 2013 at 12:14 PM

    Denver shouldn’t have let him go, he was a great college hockey coach. He had a competitive team put together each year. When you get top recruits that leave early each year it’s hard to replace them. Good luck Denver being towards the bottom of the standings in the NCHC.

  2. gotampabay52 - Aug 21, 2013 at 12:32 PM

    He might replace cooper if coops doesn’t get it done

    • mathieug79 - Aug 21, 2013 at 2:34 PM

      If Cooper doesn’t work out, I imagine it will be the new GM that will pick the new coach

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