Lightning director of player personnel Barber resigns

TAMPA, FLORIDA (TICKER) —A day after locking down a new coach, the Tampa Bay Lightning will now have to try and fill a hole in the front office.

Bill Barber, the Lightning’s director of player personnel the past six seasons, will resign effective July 1, the team announced Wednesday.

During his tenure, Barber, 55, played a vital role in helping put together Tampa Bay’s lone Stanley Cup winning team in 2004.

“Bill Barber was an integral part of our success during the past six seasons and his recommendations on player personnel helped us win the Stanley Cup in 2004,” Lightning executive vice president and general manager Jay Feaster said. “He has served our organization with great pride, enthusiasm and loyalty and we will forever be indebted to him.”

Bothered by the arduous travel associated with his job, Barber decided to step aside to spend more time with his family.

“He then sat down with me at the draft in Ottawa and told me he was resigning so that he could spend more time with his children and grandchildren and also because the travel had worn him down,” Feaster said. “I wouldn’t ‘accept’ his resignation, but I regretfully ‘acknowledged’ it, and now we all wish him the very best in the next stage of his life. He is a friend and he will be deeply missed by this organization.”

A Hall of Fame player, Barber won a pair of Stanley Cup titles with the Philadelphia Flyers, scoring 420 goals and 1,303 points in 12 seasons. He also served 18 years as a coach and scout for the Flyers.

Later Wednesday, Tampa Bay named Brian Lawton vice president of hockey operations.

Lawton spent the past 14 years as an NHL player agent. The 42-year-old was the first U.S.-born hockey player chosen first overall when he was selected by the Minnesota North Stars in 1983. The New Jersey native played in 483 games for six different NHL clubs.

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Updated Wednesday, Jun 25, 2008