Former assistant Burkart gets NHL gig

Former Metro Jets assistant coach John Burkart (2000-2002) was named a scout for the Tampa Bay Lightning today.

The press release from is below:

The Green Bay Gamblers have announced that director of scouting John Burkart has accepted a position with the Tampa Bay Lightning of the National Hockey League.  Burkart will serve as the Lightning's Midwest amateur scout and cover NCAA Division I college hockey, the United States Hockey League and the Ontario Hockey League.

Burkart came to the Gamblers prior to the 2008-09 season from the St. Louis Bandits of the North American Hockey League.  Burkart was hired by then-head coach Jon Cooper (also the coach who guided the Jets to the national Junior B title in 2002), who is also in the Tampa Bay organization, serving as the head coach of the Lightning's American Hockey League affiliate in Norfolk, Va. 

With Burkart evaluating and recruiting talent, the Gamblers won 145 games (regular season and playoffs), the most in a three-year span by any team in the 32-year history of the USHL.  In his first season with the organization, the Gamblers won the Anderson Cup, earning a 50-point improvement in the standings from the previous year, the largest turnaround in USHL history.  Green Bay went on to win their second consecutive Anderson Cup in 2009-10 and won the Clark Cup as playoff champions.  They made a repeat trip to the Clark Cup final this season.

Burkart will join the Tampa Bay organization this weekend at the NHL Entry Draft at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul, Minn.