Julien BriseBois hired as Lightning assistant GM and GM of AHL Norfolk; Szczechura signs
The Tampa Bay Lightning on Friday hired Julien BriseBois as an assistant general manager and GM of AHL Norfolk, a day after it fired assistant general manager Imran Khan. It also signed center Paul Szczechura to a one-year, two-way contract that will pay $550,000 if he is in the NHL and $105,000 if he is in the minors.
BriseBois was the vice president of hockey operations for the Canadiens and the general manager of AHL Hamilton, where he worked closely with Guy Boucher, who Tampa Bay hired away from Hamilton as its coach. BriseBois also was Montreal's capologist and was in on contract negotiations.
Khan was promoted to assistant GM last season by then-GM Brian Lawton after serving as Tampa Bay's vice president of strategic planning. Khan had been an intern of Lawton's at the Octagon sports management agency, where Lawton ran the hockey division.
Here is the official announcement from the team:
The Tampa Bay Lightning hired former Montreal Canadiens executive Julien BriseBois as Assistant General Manager today, Executive Vice President and General Manager Steve Yzerman announced. BriseBois will report directly to Yzerman and assist him in all aspects of contract preparation and negotiation, salary arbitration and player transactions for the Lightning and the Norfolk Admirals (as that team’s new General Manager), while also managing interpretation of the NHL’s collective bargaining agreement and the salary cap for Tampa Bay.
“We are thrilled to add Julien to the Lightning management team today,” Yzerman said. “He is regarded as one of the best young minds in the game and he should be a strong asset as we continue in our efforts to build a first class, professionally-run franchise. On behalf of the entire Lightning organization I would like to welcome Julien to Tampa Bay.”
BriseBois, 33, spent the previous nine seasons with the Canadiens after joining the organization on September 1, 2001 as Director of Legal Affairs. In July of 2003 he added Director of Hockey Operations to his duties before being named Vice President of Hockey Operations on July 24, 2006. On August 23, 2007 BriseBois was named the general manager of Montreal’s top affiliate, the Hamilton Bulldogs of the AHL, making him the youngest currently in the league. During that time he retained his position with the Canadiens. The Bulldogs improved in each year under BriseBois’ tenure, going from 36-34-10 in 2007-08 to 52-17-11 last year. In three seasons Hamilton went 137-78-25 under his guidance.
“I am excited to join the Lightning today and thank Steve for giving me this opportunity,” said BriseBois this afternoon. “The franchise is on the right track and I personally look forward to getting started in Tampa Bay and doing everything I can to help restore a winning feeling to the organization and its fans.
“I could not embark on this new challenge without thanking the Canadiens organization, in particular Mr. Pierre Boivin, Mr. Pierre Gauthier and Mr. Bob Gainey for the ongoing support and confidence.”
A native of Greenfield Park, Quebec, BriseBois was employed by the Heenan Blaikie Law Firm before joining Montreal. During that time he worked in the field of sports law, where he represented several NHL and Major League Baseball clubs in arbitration cases as well as acting as an adviser in contract negotiations. BriseBois also participated in the production of legal documents for the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League and other motor sports organizations.
BriseBois is a graduate of the Montreal University Faculty of Law and earned a master’s degree in business administration from the John Molson School of Business at Concordia University. He is a member of the Quebec Bar, the American Bar Association and the Sports Lawyers Association. BriseBois also sits on the AHL Competition Committee and the AHL CBA Committee.
Szczechura, 24, had five goals and seven points in 52 games last season for the Lightning. He had eight goals, 29 points in 35 games for AHL Norfolk.