What made Derek Lalonde attractive as an NHL coaching candidate is that he has a keen understanding of what steps are necessary to guide a team to the top of the mountain.
He was an assistant coach for the Tampa Bay Lightning when they won 62 games only to be swept in the first round of the NHL playoffs by the Columbus Blue Jackets. Lalonde was in that same job when the Lightning won back-to-back Stanley Cup championships. He has intimate knowledge about both failed and successful ascents to the summit of his sport. Lalonde knows both the anguish and jubilation of the climb.