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Steve Yzerman

Lightning coach Jon Cooper was a lawyer before new career

Tampa Bay Lightning coach Jon Cooper left Wall Street to be a lawyer, planning to eventually become a sports agent.

To make ends meet as an attorney, he made $1,500 a month to handle cases for financially strapped clients in the middle of Michigan. Cooper's charm and communication skills helped him cut deals for defendants while quickly processing a lot of people in and out of the state district court.

Then, Cooper got a call in the fall of 1999 from the judge who often saw him do his day job and knew he was a pretty good hockey player.

"I said, 'Jon, do you want to coach my son's high school hockey team at Lansing Catholic?'" retired judge Thomas Brennan...