Big Rapids, Mich. - Former Ferris State University men's ice hockey assistant coach Derek Lalonde continues to climb the ladder as he was tabbed Thursday (July 12) as an assistant coach with the National Hockey League's (NHL) Tampa Bay Lightning.
The announcement was made by Tampa Bay vice president and general manager Steve Yzerman. He will serve under head coach Jon Cooper.
Lalonde, a native of Brasher Falls, New York, spent the previous two seasons as head coach of the Iowa Wild of the American Hockey League (AHL). During his tenure in Des Moines, he posted a 69-58-17-8 record, becoming the first coach in Iowa Wild history to record a winning season with 36-31-7-2 during his first campaign in 2016-17. Under his leadership the Wild posted team records for wins, home wins, road wins, fewest losses and total points in a season.
He took the reins of the Minnesota Wild's AHL affiliate following two impressive seasons as the head coach and general manager of the East Coast Hockey League's (ECHL) Toledo Walleye in the Detroit Red Wings' system.
In his two seasons in Toledo, Lalonde compiled a record of 97-35-12 overall with two-straight playoff appearances. He led the Walleye to back-to-back ECHL Eastern Conference and North Division regular-season championships after making a league-record 58-point improvement during his first season. Following his first season (2014-15) with the Walleye, the ECHL named Lalonde the recipient of the John Brophy Award for ECHL Coach of Year.
Prior to his stint in Toledo, Lalonde guided the United States Hockey League's (USHL) Green Bay Gamblers in the junior ranks. He compiled a 125-65-14 mark in Green Bay, earning USHL Coach of the Year honors after leading the Gamblers to the Anderson and Clark Cups in 2011-12.
Formerly, he was an assistant coach in the college ranks with five schools from 1995 to 2011, including Ferris State. He worked under FSU head coach Bob Daniels from 2002-06, helping the Bulldogs to the school's first-ever Central Collegiate Hockey Association (CCHA) Regular-Season Championship in 2002-03.
Another former Bulldog assistant coach and player, Jeff Blashill, is currently a head coach in the National Hockey League with the Detroit Red Wings and previously served as an AHL head coach with the Grand Rapids Griffins, which he guided to the 2013 AHL Calder Cup Championship.
Lalonde also has experience as a coach on the international stage. He served as an assistant with the United States World Junior U-19 team, which captured a gold medal at the 2012 World Junior "A" Challenge in Yarmouth, Nova Scotia. He also served as the head coach for the United States World Junior U-19 at the 2013 World Junior "A" Challenge, once again winning gold.
Lalonde's coaching experience included serving as an assistant coach at the University of Denver (2006-2011), Ferris State (2002-2006), Hamilton College (2000-2002), Lebanon Valley College (1998-2000) and the Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts (1995-1998). He played collegiate hockey at Cortland State (N.Y.) from 1991-95 as a goaltender.
Lalonde's wife, the former Melissa Eging, served as Ferris State's head women's soccer coach for three seasons from 2003-05.