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Longtime NHL assistant Fleming dies at 62

The SportsXchange

Wayne Fleming, a veteran NHL assistant coach, died Monday after a lengthy battle with brain cancer. He was 62.

He served on the staffs of the New York Islanders, Phoenix Coyotes, Philadelphia Flyers, Calgary Flames, Edmonton Oilers and Tampa Bay Lightning, as well as teams in Sweden, Germany and Russia.

Lightning forward Steven Stamkos wrote on Twitter. "Thoughts and prayers go out to the entire Fleming family. Wayne was a great coach and even better man. #RIP"

Tampa Bay vice president and general manager Steve Yzerman said in a statement, "Wayne was an extremely important part of the Lightning family on and off the ice during his time here. The thoughts and prayers of the entire Lightning organization go out to Wayne's wife, Carolyn, and the entire Fleming family."

Flyers left wing Simon Gagne told USA Today Sports, "Wayne was the perfect assistant coach for ... well, it didn't matter what head coach."

Fleming coached the University of Manitoba team for nine years, and he was an assistant for the Canadian Olympic hockey team three times, including the squad's gold-medal run in 2002.

"Hockey Canada has lost a great friend, and the hockey world has lost not only a tremendous coach, but a wonderful man," Hockey Canada president and CEO Bob Nicholson said in a statement.
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