The Lightning apparently is talking to, and is perhaps close to signing, Rick Bowness as an assistant coach.

Tampa Bay has been in the market for an assistant since last month when it announced Dan Lacroix, who handled the defense and penalty kill, would not be given a new contract.

Bowness, 58, has been either an NHL head coach or assistant for 21 years. He was recently fired after seven years as an assistant with the Canucks, which also fired head coach Alain Vigneault in a housecleaning after Vancouver this season was swept out of the first round of the playoffs.

The Canucks went to the playoffs in six of the seven years Bowness was with the team, and to the final in 2011 (losing to the Bruins), but also lost in the first round the past two seasons.