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Lightning Hockey Operations

Steve Yzerman - Vice President & General Manager, Alternate Governor

Steve YzermanThe Tampa Bay Lightning hired Steve Yzerman as vice president and general manager on May 25, 2010, making him the sixth in franchise history. Entering his third season in Tampa Bay, Yzerman is responsible for all Lightning hockey operations, including the coaching and scouting staffs, player procurement and development, and minor league affiliations and operations. He signed a four-year contract extension on April 7, 2014. Also serving as alternate governor, he reports directly to Owner and Governor Jeff Vinik.

It did not take Yzerman long to settle into the position, with the Lightning posting an 84-61-19 record in his two seasons at the helm. The Lightning's 187 standings points during that time are the franchise's highest two-year totals since Tampa Bay's Stanley Cup Championship season. While the team was transformed on the business side under Vinik's guidance, Yzerman and the hockey operations department enacted one of their own on the ice during the 2010-11 season, his first at general manager. The campaign resulted in one of the most successful campaigns in franchise history, coming within one game of the Stanley Cup Final. He was recognized for his efforts, being named a finalist for the 2010 NHL Executive of the Year Award. The team posted 46 regular season wins, tying the franchise record for most in a season, while their 103 points were second-best. The team's memorable season continued in the playoffs as they won their first postseason series since 2004 and made it farther than any other Lightning team with the exception of the 2004 Stanley Cup Championship squad.

After narrowly missing the post-season in 2011-12 despite battling through a number of key injuries and other adversity, Yzerman reloaded his team during the summer of 2012. He began by addressing the team's major issues from the previous season, focusing heavily on keeping the puck out of the Lightning net. Yzerman's first move was to acquire goaltender Anders Lindback from the Nashville Predators without giving up any roster players in return. Lindback, 24, joins a young core with which he can grow. Yzerman then turned to free agency, signing highly-regarding free agent defensemen Sami Salo from the Vancouver Canucks and former Bolt Matt Carle from the Philadelphia Flyers. The signings immediately solidified the Lightning blue line, a group that already consists of Victor Hedman and Eric Brewer, and are expected to improve Tampa Bay's special teams. The Bolts enter the 2012-13 season with improved depth at forward as well, signing highly-recruited J.T. Brown out of the University of Minnesota-Duluth late in 2011-12, gritty B.J. Crombeen in free agency and trading for former fourth overall pick, Benoit Pouliot, from the Boston Bruins. Brown had an impressive NHL debut with the Lightning and Pouliot is coming off a career-high 16 goals and 32 points last year.

Prior to joining the Lightning, Yzerman, 46, spent four seasons as vice president with the Red Wings. During that time he worked closely with General Manager Ken Holland, Senior Vice President Jim Devellano and Assistant General Manager Jim Nill on evaluating talent at both the professional and amateur levels. Yzerman is a four-time Stanley Cup Champion, winning three as a player (1997, 1998 and 2002) and another as a member of Detroit's management team (2008). Overall he spent 27 seasons with the franchise. He was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 2009, his first year of eligibility.

Recognized as one of the best centers in NHL history, Yzerman retired on July 3, 2006 after a remarkable 22-year NHL career with the Red Wings. He played in 1,514 career games (13th all-time), scored 692 goals (eighth all-time) and tallied 1,063 assists (seventh all-time). Yzerman's 1,755 career points rank sixth in NHL history. He was drafted in the first round, fourth overall, in the 1983 NHL Entry Draft and went on to be Detroit's all-time leader in assists while ranking second in goals and points. Only Gordie Howe and Alex Delvecchio played more games with the Red Wings than Yzerman.

Even more impressive than his career statistics may be his 20-year run as captain in Detroit, the longest tenure in NHL and major sports history. Yzerman was named captain of the Red Wings prior to the 1986-87 season, making him the youngest captain in franchise history at 21-years-old. Yzerman made an impressive 20 playoff appearances as a player with the Red Wings, along with his three Stanley Cup Championships. On January 2, 2007, Yzerman's No. 19 was retired by the Red Wings at Joe Louis Arena, the sixth to hang in the rafters there. During his illustrious career Yzerman was selected to the NHL All-Star Game on 10 occasions.

After retiring from the game, Yzerman became an integral part of Hockey Canada's management team. He served as general manager for Canada at the 2007 and 2008 IIHF World Championships, bringing home gold and silver respectively. He has led Hockey Canada to back-to-back gold medal performances at the 2010 and 2014 Winter Olympics. Yzerman also won an Olympic Gold Medal as a player with Canada in 2002.

Steve and his wife, Lisa, have three daughters.

Julien BriseBois - Assistant General Manager, Tampa Bay Lightning

Julien BriseBoisJulien BriseBois enters his fifth season as assistant general manager of the Tampa Bay Lightning after being named to the position on July 16, 2010. He reports directly to vice president and general manager Steve Yzerman and assists him in all aspects of player personnel decisions, analytics, contract preparation and negotiation, as well as salary arbitration for the Lightning and the Syracuse Crunch of the American Hockey League, for whom he also serves as general manager. BriseBois also manages interpretation of the NHL’s collective bargaining agreement and the salary cap for Tampa Bay.

As general manager of the Lightning’s top affiliate, the Syracuse Crunch, BriseBois has been the architect of teams that reached the Calder Cup Finals in two of the previous three seasons, including winning the championship in 2012. With the Lightning’s emphasis on drafting and development, the Crunch play an integral role in Tampa Bay’s success. During BriseBois’ tenure overseeing the Lightning’s top minor league affiliate, they have produced two AHL most valuable players, a defenseman of the year and have graduated numerous key players including 2013-14 Calder Trophy Finalists Tyler Johnson and Ondrej Palat as well as head coach Jon Cooper. During the 2011-12 season, BriseBois’ Norfolk Admirals set a professional sports record with a 28-game winning streak that propelled Norfolk to the AHL’s best regular season record. The team’s regular season success continued in the playoffs as the Admirals went on to win the organization’s first Calder Cup, the first championship by a Lightning AHL affiliate. BriseBois was instrumental in helping build the organization’s depth with signings that proved instrumental to both the Lightning and the Admirals, demonstrated by nine players being recalled to Tampa Bay during the season. In 2010-11 the Hockey News recognized BriseBois as the top hockey executive under 40 years of age in their annual “Top 40 Under 40” listing.

Prior to coming to Tampa Bay, BriseBois, 37, spent nine seasons with the Montreal 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. In this capacity, BriseBois oversaw the Canadiens’ AHL affiliate, the Hamilton Bulldogs. The Bulldogs went on to win the 2007 Calder Cup during the first season under BriseBois’ direction. On August 23, 2007 BriseBois was named the general manager of the Ham¬ilton Bulldogs, making him the youngest in the AHL at the time. During that time he retained his position with the Canadiens.

A native of Greenfield Park, Quebec, BriseBois was employed by the Heenan Blaikie law firm before joining the Canadiens. 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 advisor in contract negotiations. BriseBois also participated in the reform of the Constitution and By-Laws of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League.

BriseBois is a graduate of the University of Montreal 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.

Pat Verbeek - Assistant General Manager, Director of Player Personnel

Pat VerbeekNHL veteran Pat Verbeek enters his third season with the Tampa Bay Lightning, his second as assistant general manager. He was hired by the Lightning as director of professional scouting on June 8, 2010 and then named assistant general manager on July 1, 2011. Verbeek oversees all of the team's professional scouting operations, aids in player procurement and reports directly to the general manager.

Before joining the Lightning, Verbeek, 48, spent four seasons as a pro scout with the Detroit Red Wings, assisting the management staff as the organization both built from within and made key acquisitions from outside to build a deep and talented roster. He scouted select teams at both the AHL and NHL levels, providing key information to the Detroit coaching and management staffs regarding potential trades and free agent acquisitions.

A native of Sarnia, Ontario, Verbeek played for five different teams during a 20-year NHL career. He appeared in 1,424 games with the New Jersey Devils, Hartford Whalers, New York Rangers, Dallas Stars and Red Wings, compiling 522 goals and 1,063 points. He is the only player in NHL history to total more than 500 goals and 2,500 career penalty minutes. Verbeek also won the Stanley Cup with Dallas in 1999.

Verbeek was originally drafted by New Jersey in the third round, 43rd overall, of the 1982 NHL Entry Draft.

Tom Kurvers- Senior Advisor to the General Manager

Tom KurversTom Kurvers enters his fifth season with the Tampa Bay Lightning, his second as senior advisor to the general manager after being originally hired on July 9, 2008. Kurvers served three years as assistant general manager from 2008-11 and also oversaw the Lightning's hockey operations department on an interim basis from April through May of 2010.

Prior to joining the Lightning Kurvers served three seasons as director of player personnel for the Phoenix Coyotes. As director of player personnel he oversaw all aspects of the team's scouting, including both the Coyotes' amateur and pro scouting departments. He spent a total of 11 years with the Coyotes, including one as a radio analyst and seven as a professional scout. He also served as interim assistant coach for the final two months of the 2003-04 season.

Kurvers played 11 NHL seasons from 1984-95, appearing in 659 regular season games, with 93 goals and 328 assists for 421 points. He also played in 58 NHL playoff games, recording eight goals and 30 points. He was a Stanley Cup Champion with the 1986 Montreal Canadiens.

Before joining the professional ranks Kurvers had an outstanding college career at the University of Minnesota – Duluth, setting numerous school records including most career goals by a defenseman (43), most career assists (152) and assists by a defenseman (career -149 and season - 58). In 1984, he was honored with the Hobey Baker Award, WCHA MVP and was named an All-American. Kurvers was named to the WCHA Top 50 of All-Time Team, and has been inducted into both the UMD and Bloomington Jefferson High School Athletic Hall of Fames.

Kurvers received his undergraduate Bachelor of Arts degree in communications from UMD in 1984. While an active NHL player he began graduate studies in 1991, completing courses in the off-seasons through 1996. Highlighted in the curriculum was an accredited seminar sponsored by the world renowned Aspen Institute. Upon retirement in 1997, he earned his Masters of Business Administration degree in sports management from the University of St. Thomas.

Tom, his wife Heather, daughters Madison, Rose, and sons Weston and Roman, reside in East Gull Lake, Minnesota.

Stacy Roest - Director of Player Development

NHL veteran Stacy Roest was named director of player development on July 1, 2013.

Roest, 40, works specifically with individual players in the Tampa Bay system on all aspects of the game, both on and off the ice. He also helps plan and run the team’s prospect and development camps during the offseason. Roest follows Lightning prospects and keeps track of their progress with their collegiate, junior and minor league teams.

The Lethbridge, Alberta native played in 244 career NHL games with the Detroit Red Wings and Minnesota Wild. He finished his NHL career, posting 28 goals and 76 points. Roest also skated in 309 career American Hockey League games, collecting 99 goals and 286 points. He finished his career playing for the Rapperswil-Jona Lakers, in Switzerland’s top league, from the 2003-04 season until he retired in 2012. Roest also represented Canada at the Spengler Cup seven times during his career, captaining the team twice.

Coaching Staff

Jon Cooper - Head Coach

Jon CooperThe Tampa Bay Lightning named Jon Cooper as the eighth head coach in franchise history on March 25, 2013.  Cooper joined the Lightning after having spent the previous three seasons behind the bench of Tampa Bay's top minor league affiliate, the Norfolk Admirals from 2010-12 and this season with the Syracuse Crunch, compiling a 133-62-26 (.661) record in 221 AHL games.

Cooper, 45, was awarded the Louis A.R. Pieri Memorial Award as the AHL's top coach last season after guiding the Admirals to the Calder Cup Championship. He led Norfolk to a 94-44-18 record in the regular season and a 17-7 mark in the playoffs during two seasons behind the bench. In 2011-12 the Cooper-led Admirals set franchise records with 55 wins and 113 points en route to the franchise's first Calder Cup Championship. Along the way Cooper and his team set a North American professional sports record, winning a remarkable 28 consecutive games. That season Norfolk earned the Macgregor Kilpatrick Trophy as the AHL's regular season points champion, while also capturing the league's East Division title.

This season Cooper has led the Crunch to a 39-18-8 record, the best in the AHL, despite a number of key players being recalled to the Lightning. Syracuse's 218 goals are also the most in the league. Of the Bolts' current roster, 10 players have played for the Crunch this season, already giving Cooper familiarity with a number of players. Cooper has also run the Lightning's development camps during his time in the organization.

Before joining the AHL ranks, Cooper also found success in the USHL with the Green Bay Gamblers, posting an 84-27-9 record in two seasons. Under Cooper's guidance the Gamblers posted back-to-back seasons with the best record in the USHL and won the 2010 Clark Cup. In 2008-09, Cooper's first season, Green Bay saw a 50-point improvement from the previous year, setting a USHL record for largest single-season improvement. He was rewarded with the 2009 and 2010 USHL General Manager of the Year Awards, as well as being named the 2010 USHL Coach of the Year.. 

A native of Prince, George, British Columbia, Cooper played high school hockey at Notre Dame in Wilcox, Saskatchewan. He then moved on to Hofstra University, where he played four seasons of division I lacrosse. Cooper also played one season on Hofstra's hockey team. He then went on to earn a law degree from Thomas M. Cooley Law School in Lansing, Michigan, eventually closing his practice in 2003 to pursue a career in coaching.

Cooper and his wife Jessie have three children: twin daughters, Julia and Josephine, and a son, Jonathan.

Rick Bowness - Associate Coach

Dan LacroixRick Bowness will enter his first season with the Lightning after being named to the position on June 3, 2013.

Bowness spent the previous seven seasons with the Vancouver Canucks, beginning his tenure there as an assistant and later being elevated to associate coach. The Canucks reached the Stanley Cup Playoffs in all but one of Bowness' time behind the bench, including an appearance in the 2011 Stanley Cup Final.

A native of Moncton, New Brunswick, Bowness has served on the coaching staff of six teams during his coaching career, the Winnipeg Jets (1984-89), Boston Bruins (1991-92), Ottawa Senators (1992-96), New York Islanders (1996-98), Phoenix Coyotes (1999-06) and the Canucks (2007-13), in varying capacities.  He was the head coach on five occasions, with the Jets in 1988-89, Bruins in 1991-92, Senators from 1992-96, Islanders from 1996-98 and in Phoenix in 2003-04.

Bowness began his coaching career with the Sherbrooke Jets of the American Hockey League, serving as a player/coach during the 1982-83 season.  He spent the following four seasons as an assistant coach for the Winnipeg Jets before returning to his hometown in 1987 to act as the coach and general manager of the Moncton Hawks of the AHL.  Bowness had his first NHL head coaching stint when he took over as interim head coach for Winnipeg for the final 28 games of the 1988-89 season.

The following year, Bowness joined the Bruins organization.  He coached the Maine Mariners of the AHL for two seasons before taking over as head coach in Boston for the 1991-92 season.  That year he led the Bruins to a 36-32-12 record and a trip to the Eastern Conference Finals. From there Bowness was named the first coach of the Ottawa Senators and spent three and a half years as head coach with the expansion franchise.  While the team struggled on the ice, Bowness was regarded for his positive style and was credited with the development of many of the Senators' young stars.  Bowness joined the Islanders on December 30, 1995 and worked two seasons as associate coach.  He took over head coaching duties in January of 1997.  Bowness then went on to coach in Phoenix for the following six seasons, including a stint as interim head coach in 2003-04.

Prior to beginning his coaching career, Bowness played seven seasons, from 1975-92, in the NHL as a right wing with the Atlanta Flames, Detroit Red Wings, St. Louis Blues and Winnipeg.  He appeared in 173 games, recording 18 goals and 55 points with 191 penalty minutes.  He was originally drafted by the Atlanta Flames in the second round, 26th overall of the 1975 NHL Amateur Draft.  

George Gwozdecky - Assistant Coach

George GwozdeckyGeorge Gwozdecky enters his first season with the Lightning after being named to the position on August 9, 2013. Gwozdecky most recently served as head coach for the University of Denver Pioneers men’s hockey team.

Gwozdecky, 60, spent 19 seasons at Denver as head coach, leading the Pioneers to back-to-back NCAA National Championships in 2004 and 2005 and earned National Coach of the Year honors in 1993 and 2005. With Gwozdecky behind the bench, Denver became a perennial Top 10 program that, in addition to two national championships, also won three WCHA regular season and four WCHA playoff titles. They are the only team in NCAA hockey to have recorded at least 20 wins in each of the previous 12 seasons. During his tenure with the Pioneers, Gwozdecky helped the team to 15 20-win seasons, nine with 25 or more and a pair of campaigns with at least 30.

Prior to coaching Denver, Gwozdecky was head coach for the Miami (Ohio) University Red Hawks. He served there for five seasons, winning the school’s first CCHA title and earning its first NCAA tournament bid. While at Miami he won the Spencer Penrose Award as National Coach of the Year as well as a pair of CCHA coach of the year honors. He was added to the Miami University “Cradle of Coaches” Hall of Fame in 2006. Before joining the Red Hawks he served as an assistant for the Michigan State Spartans following a stint as the bench boss at the University of Wisconsin-River Falls. Gwozdecky was a four-year letterman at the University of Wisconsin and graduated in 1978 with a degree in physical education. The forward was a member of the Badgers’ 1977 National Championship team.

A native of Thunder Bay, Ontario, Gwozdecky ranks 11th all-time in NCAA men’s hockey for wins with 593. Gwozdecky is also the only coach in NCAA hockey history to win a Division I National Championship as a player (Wisconsin, 1977), assistant coach (Michigan State, 1986) and as a head coach (Denver, 2004 and 2005). Gwozdecky was inducted into the Wisconsin Hockey Hall of Fame in 1994.

George and his wife, Bonnie, reside in Tampa and have a daughter, Adrienne.

Steve Thomas - Assistant Coach

Steve ThomasNHL veteran Steve Thomas became Assistant Coach after joining the Lightning organization in the summer of 2012 as player development coach.  He will monitor the development of the Lightning's prospects in the junior and college ranks, while also spending time on the ice during practice and in the management booth during games for both Tampa Bay and the Syracuse Crunch of the American Hockey League. He also helps run team development and rookie camps.   

A native of Stockport, Great Britain, Thomas played in 1,235, career NHL games during his 20-year career (1984-04) with the Toronto Maple Leafs, Chicago Blackhawks, New York Islanders, New Jersey Devils, Anaheim Ducks and Detroit Red Wings.  He amassed 421 goals and 933 points with 1,306 penalty minutes during his career.  Thomas also appeared in 174 career Stanley Cup Playoff games, recording 54 goals and 107 points.

Thomas has two children, daughter, Lauren, and son, Christian.

Frantz Jean - Goaltending Coach

Frantz JeanThe Lightning named Frantz Jean as goaltending coach on September 7, 2010.  Entering his third season, he works with all goaltenders in the organization. Jean has been involved in coaching for close to 20 years.

In his first two seasons with the Lightning, Jean guided the organization's goaltenders towards the 2012 Calder (AHL) and Kelly (ECHL) Cup Championships and the 2011 Eastern Conference Finals. While finishing the 2012 AHL playoffs with the best save percentage and goal-against average, Tampa Bay's prospect Dustin Tokarski also finished the 2011-12 season with the most wins in the AHL with 32. Both Norfolk Admirals goaltenders finished the 2012 playoffs in the Top 3 in save percentage and Top 2 in goals-against average. In the ECHL, Pat Nagle, finished the 2012 playoffs with the best goals-against average and best save percentage.

In 2011, the Lightning reached the Eastern Conference Finals while both Tampa goalies were in the Top 10 for save percentage and goals-against average.  

Prior to joining Tampa Bay Jean spent 12 years with the Moncton Wildcats of the QMJHL. During Jean's time with the Wildcats, the team allowed the least number of goals in the league on four occasions (1999-00, 2005-06, 2008-09, 2009-10).  Jean's goaltenders were named defensive player of the year or goaltender of the year on three occasions while one of his protégé was also named league most valuable player. Jean has had his goaltenders named to the first or second all-star teams on five occasions and six of his goalies have either been drafted or signed as a free agent in the NHL.

Jean was also selected twice to the Hockey Canada U-18 National Team coaching staff, winning two consecutive Gold Medals (2009 and 2010) at the Ivan Hlinka Memorial International Tournament.

Jean played major junior hockey with St. Hyacinthe and Victoriaville of the QMJHL, and after a tryout with the Montreal Canadiens in 1991, earned a scholarship to the Université de Moncton where he played for four and a half seasons with les Aigles Bleus, winning the 1994-95 national championship and being named to the 1992-93 AUAA First All-Star Team.

Since 2005, Jean also operates his own goaltending school, Pro Tek Goaltending, in five Canadian cities.

Frantz and his wife, Chantal, have one son, Neka, and reside in Tampa.

Nigel Kirwan - Video Coach

Nigel KirwanAn original member of the Lightning organization, video coach Nigel Kirwan is in his 21st year with the Lightning, 17th as a member of the coaching staff. He is responsible for breakdown of pre-scout and game film, formulation of scouting reports on opposing clubs and the creation of highlight and specialty film for use by the Lightning coaches and players. Additionally, Kirwan has previously coached Lightning prospects during team rookie and development camps.

Kirwan coached amateur hockey at various levels in both Canada and the United States for 17 years and is very active in youth hockey camps and clinics.  He has also served as the video coach for Team USA at the 2009 and 2008 World Championships in Switzerland and Canada respectively.

A native of Winnipeg, Manitoba, Kirwan attended the University of Western Ontario and the University of Tampa. He started with the Lightning as a member of the front office staff for four years before then-coach Terry Crisp hired him into his current position prior the start of the 1996-97 season.

Kirwan resides in Tampa.

Brian Garlock - Video Coordinator

Brian GarlockBrian Garlock enters his first season as video coordinator with the Lightning after spending two years under Jon Cooper at both the Syracuse Crunch and Norfolk Admirals. He worked with the Green Bay Gamblers and St. Louis Bandits of the United States Hockey League as an assistant coach, where he also worked under Cooper. Garlock hails from Big Rapids, Michigan, where he played on the Big Rapids High School Varsity team for four years. He is currently single and resides in Brandon.

Mark Lambert - Strength and Conditioning Coach

Mark LambertMark Lambert enters his second season with the Lightning as strength and conditioning coach. An industry veteran of 15 years, Lambert has worked with hundreds of athletes ranging from the amateur ranks to the professional tiers as well. With the Lightning, Lambert is responsible for overseeing all planning for in- and off-season player workout regiments to optimize performance.

Prior to joining Tampa Bay, Lambert served as the head strength coach at Axxeleration Inc., which specializes in enhancing the performance level of both collegiate and professional athletes, while also minimizing the risk of injury through the approach of testing muscular power, strength, strength ratios, body composition and muscle fiber dominance. Lambert is also no stranger to the game of hockey, having previously worked at various levels of the game including the CHL, college and midget hockey.

Lambert holds a bachelor's degree in physical activity from the Universite de Sherbrooke in Quebec. He went on to complete his master's degree in exercise physiology in 1999 after completing his thesis, titled "The Effects of Plyometric Training on Skating Acceleration and Speed in Hockey Players." Lambert also enjoys attending seminars and courses with various medical and training organizations to further his education and to gain both additional knowledge and a better understanding of his field.

A frequent author of numerous fitness-related news articles, Lambert also has previously given numerous lectures on nutrition and topics regarding personal health.

He is single and resides in Tampa.

Hockey Administration

Ryan Belec - Director of Team Services

Ryan BelecIn his 13th season with the Lightning and fifth as director of team services, Ryan Belec oversees Lightning team travel, including air and ground transportation, as well as hotel accommodations and team catering. Additionally, he is responsible for player reassignments and relocation.

Before being named director of team services, Belec served in the position of assistant to the general manager for eight seasons. He assisted the general manager with every aspect of hockey operations for the Lightning. He also served as vice president of hockey operations for the Johnstown Chiefs of the ECHL during the 2006-07 season.

A 2000 graduate of the Laurentian University School of Sports Administration in Sudbury, Ontario, Belec owns a Bachelor of Commerce degree in Sports Administration.

Belec and his wife, Jaime, reside in Tampa with their twin boys, Carson and Ryder.

Liz Sylvia-Koharski - Manager of Hockey Administration

Liz SylviaLiz Sylvia-Koharski is in her eighth year with the Lightning and will assist vice president and general manager Steve Yzerman with the administrative functions of hockey operations.

Sylvia-Koharski is responsible for all administrative procedures involved in maintaining player and coach contracts as well as the transfers and trades of players. In addition, Sylvia-Koharski prepares written agreements between the Lightning and its minor league affiliates while coordinating correspondence with NHL officers and team executives.

Prior to joining the Lightning, the Massachusetts native served as the executive assistant to the president and CEO of the American Hockey League. She held that position for six years after previously working with the AHL's Beast of New Haven.

Sylvia-Koharski is a graduate of St. Anselm College in Manchester, New Hampshire. Sylvia-Koharski, and her husband, Jamie, reside in Tampa.

Michael Peterson - Statistical Analyst

Michael Peterson enters his fourth season as statistical analyst for the Tampa Bay Lightning. He is responsible for assisting management and the coaching staff by providing analytical and statistical evaluation for hockey operations, contract valuation, as well as giving recommendations for the draft, free agency, trades and other areas as needed. Peterson also assists other departments with special statistical projects, including ticket sales, pricing and revenue. He reports to both the general manager and assistant general manager.

Prior to joining the Lightning, Peterson worked on a consultant basis with the Tampa Bay Rays and Cleveland Indians of Major League Baseball. He also served as an instructor at both DeVry University and Valencia Community College in Orlando, Florida.

A native of Midland, Texas, Peterson holds degrees in computer science and mathematics from Texas Tech University, from which he graduated Suma Cum Laude, as well as a MBA from the DeVos Sport Business Management School at the University of Central Florida. He also worked as a research and graduate assistant while at UCF.

Michael and his wife, Amanda, reside in Tampa.

Equipment Staff

Ray Thill  - Equipment Manager

Ray ThillIn his 14th year with the Lightning, equipment manager Ray Thill is responsible for all equipment maintenance, inventory and ordering.

Prior to joining the Lightning, Thill served as the equipment manager for the Detroit Vipers of the IHL for one season. Thill also spent four seasons on the equipment staff of the Chicago Wolves of the IHL, winning a Turner
Cup Championship with the Wolves in 1997-98. He also served as the equipment manager for Team USA at the 2008, 2009 and 2012 World Championships in Canada, Switzerland and Finland/Sweden respectively. Thill was also selected to participate in the 2012 NHL All-Star Game in Ottawa.

A native of Chicago, Thill and his wife, Leighann, reside in Tampa.

Rob Kennedy  - Assistant Equipment Manager

Rob KennedyRob Kennedy enters his sixth season as assistant equipment manager with the Lightning in 2011-12.

Prior to joining Tampa Bay, Kennedy spent the two seasons with the Florida Panthers organization after two years as the head equipment manager for the AHL's Cleveland Barons. Prior to joining the Barons he served as head equipment manager of the Muskegon Fury for three years, where he earned a Colonial Cup Championship in 2002.  Kennedy also won the IHL's Turner Cup with the Chicago Wolves in 2000 with Lightning Assistant Coach Daniel Lacroix.  He was also a member of the equipment staff for the 2012 NHL All-Star Game in Ottawa. Kennedy also served as an equipment assistant for Team USA at the 2012 IIHF World Championships in Finland/Sweden.

He and his wife, Heather, have a son, Quinn, and daughter, Allison.

Clay Roffer - Assistant Equipment Manager

Clay RofferClay Roffer enters his sixth season as assistant equipment manager for the Lightning.  He joined the Lightning three games into the 2007-08 season.

Roffer began the 2007-08 season with the Chicago Wolves in the Atlanta Thrashers organization before joining Tampa Bay.  He joined the Wolves during the 2006-07 Calder Cup Playoffs.  Prior to joining Chicago, Roffer served as the head equipment manager for the Bloomington Prairie Thunder of the United Hockey League and the Fayetteville FireAntz of the Southern Professional Hockey League for one season each.

A native of Miami, Florida, Roffer began his career in professional hockey in 1999 as a locker room attendant for the Miami Matadors of the ECHL.  He went on to serve as assistant equipment manager for the ACHL's Orlando Seals from 2002-04 and won the ACHL Championship with the Seals in 2004.  He also served on the training staff for the 2004 WHA2 All-Star Game and the 2012 NHL All-Star Game in Ottawa.

Roffer has a degree in business management and a minor in mass communications from the University of Central Florida.  He resides in Tampa with his wife, Jessie.

Medical Staff

Tom Mulligan - Head Athletic Trainer

Tom MulliganEntering his 11th year with the Lightning as head athletic trainer, Tom Mulligan oversees each aspect of the organization's medical and training operations.

Prior to joining the Lightning organization, Mulligan spent four seasons as the head athletic trainer and physical therapist for the Providence Bruins of the American Hockey League. While with the Bruins, Mulligan's responsibilities included all traditional athletic training duties as well as massages and strength and conditioning of all players.  He also served as the head athletic trainer for Team USA during the 2008 and 2012 IIHF World Championships in Canada and Sweden/Finland respectively. 

Mulligan is a 1997 graduate of Quinnipiac College in Hamden, Connecticut, earning a Bachelor of Science degree in Physical Therapy with a minor in Biology. While at Quinnipiac he served as a student athletic trainer for the men's ice hockey team for three seasons and also provided services to all other sports programs at the school.

A native of New Bedford, Massachusetts, Mulligan and his wife, Kellie, reside in Tampa, with their sons, Tyler
and Zach, and their daughter, Abigail.

Mike Poirier  - Assistant Athletic Trainer

Mike PoirierMike Poirier is in his fifth season as assistant athletic trainer for the Lightning.  He will assist Tom Mulligan with all medical and training operations.

A native of Smithfield, Rhode Island, Poirier joined the Lightning after serving as head athletic trainer for the Providence Bruins of the American Hockey League from 2002-08.  He joined the Bruins after spending the previous year as an athletic trainer with the National Football League's New England Patriots as they won Super Bowl XXXVI.

Poirier, 34, graduated from Tulane University in New Orleans, Louisiana with a B.S. in Exercise Science in 1999.  He earned his M.S. in sports administration from Mississippi State University in 2001 and also is a certified strength and conditioning specialist.  Poirier, who was a graduate assistant trainer with the MSU football team from 1999-01, also worked at the Patriots' training camps from 1996-2001.

Poirier resides in Valrico with his wife Mandy and their daughters, Emmie and Elle.

Christian Rivas - Massage Therapist

Christian RivasChristian Rivas enters his third season as massage therapist for the Tampa Bay Lightning. He joined the team prior to the 2010-11 campaign after arriving from the New York area, where he previously worked at PHP Hockey Performance Training Center in Darien, Connecticut as well as SPORTSLAB NYC in New York. While at PHP Hockey he worked alongside Lightning forward Martin St. Louis.

Rivas, a specialist in active release techniques (ART), worked previously with NHL, NFL, NBA and MLB players during their off-season training. He also has extensive experience in other soft tissue manipulation modalities, ranging from sports massage to osteopathic articular pumping, to name a few. Rivas' focus is to attempt to release areas of congestion, tightness and scarring of involved structures.

The New York native attended Sutherland Academy of Osteopathic Medicine in Ontario, Canada and the Academy of Massage Therapy in New Jersey. He is nationally certified to practice massage through NCBTMB, is a certified flexibility specialist and a specialist in ART, while also being licensed by the University of the State of New York Licensing Board.

Rivas served in the same position with Team USA at the 2012 IIHF World Championships in Finland/Sweden.

Christian resides in Tampa.

Dr. Ira Guttentag  - Medical Director

Ira GuttentagA leader in the area of Sports Medicine and Arthroscopic Surgery, Dr. Ira Guttentag is entering his 11th year as medical director of the Lightning. With his extensive surgical experience, Dr. Guttentag utilizes the latest technology in treating sports injuries in athletes of all ages and levels.

A graduate of the University of South Florida College of Medicine, Dr. Guttentag completed his orthopedic training at New York City's Montefiore/Albert Einstein Hospital. Dr. Guttentag moved to Tampa for a one-year fellowship at the Matthews Orthopedic Clinic in Sports Medicine and Knee and Shoulder Reconstructive Surgery and has since become a fixture in the area's medical community. Since moving to the Tampa Bay area, he has served as team physician for Saint Leo University, The Tampa Tritons and the Tampa Bay Firesticks and as assistant team physician for the Orlando Predators. Dr. Guttentag also acts as orthopedic consultant for many Pasco County High Schools.

Dr. Guttentag resides in South Tampa with his wife and three children.

Dr. Stan Watkins - General Practitioner

Dr. Robert Rosequist - General Practitioner

Dr. Charles Slonim - Oculoplastics

Dr. Gil Rivera - Team Dentist

Dr. Tim Bain - Team Chiropractor

Dr. Vince Caranante - Team Dentist

Dr. San Caranante - Team Dentist

Dr. Manuel S. Rose -  Team Radiology Consultant for the Tampa Bay Lightning

Manuel RoseDr. Rose enters his seventh season as Team Radiology Consultant and provides primary interpretation and second opinion interpretation of MRI's and CT exams performed on Lightning players. He is Board Certified by the American Board of Radiology and has over 20 years experience in Radiology and Musculoskeletal MRI, arthrography and radiological intervention.

He obtained his "Doctor of Medicine" degree from Brown University in 1986 and completed his Diagnostic Radiology Residency at Walter Reed Army Medical Center, while serving in the U.S. Army in Washington D.C. He later completed a visiting MRI Fellowship at the University of South Florida. Following residency he served as a radiologist at MacDill Air Force Base FL and then at Fort Jackson SC before settling in Tampa Bay.

He is a recognized leader in the radiology community and currently serves on the board of the Florida Radiological Society and councilor with the American College of Radiology. He is founder of Rose Radiology Centers, Inc.

Dr. Rose played college hockey for Tufts University (1978-1982) and currently still plays and coaches for recreation. He is a native of Massachusetts and currently resides in Clearwater with his wife Susan and two sons Marcus and Spencer.

Scouting Staff

Al Murray - Director of Amateur Scouting

Al MurrayAl Murray enters his third season with the Lightning after being named to the position of director of amateur scouting on August 16, 2010. Murray will oversee all amateur scouting operations, run the draft and report directly to the general manager.

Before coming to Tampa Bay, Murray served with Hockey Canada for three years as head scout of men's national teams. During his time with Hockey Canada, he was responsible for all player evaluations and selections for National Junior Team as well as the National Men's Under-18 Team. He also worked with regional under-17 programs. Murray won the Gold Medal at both the 2008 and 2009 World Junior Championships, and won gold at the 2008 World Under-18 Championship. He won championships with the National Men's Summer Under-18 Team at the 2008, 2009 and 2010 Ivan Hlinka Memorial Tournaments.

Prior to joining Hockey Canada, Murray spent 12 years with the Los Angeles Kings, serving as director of amateur scouting. In that position he was responsible for the team's amateur scouting operation, including scheduling, assignments, evaluation of talent and development of the final list of players leading up to the NHL Entry Draft. Before Murray was named to that position he spent six years as the Kings' western scouting coordinator.

Murray served as head coach of the University of Regina's men's hockey team from 1985-88. Before that he served as the development coordinator for the Ottawa District Hockey Association, one of Hockey Canada's 13 branches. Murray also spent time as the head coach of the Kemptville 73s (Junior B) and Ottawa Senators (Junior A). He also won a bronze medal as an assistant coach with the University of Ottawa men's team at the 1981 CIAU championship.

Murray lives in Regina, Saskatchewan with his wife, Lori, and their three sons, Matt, Jake and Troy.

Darryl Plandowski - Head Amateur Scout

Steve ThomasScouting veteran Darryl Plandowski enters his fifth season as head amateur scout. He aids in managing the team's amateur scouting staff and aids in draft preparation and execution.

Before joining the Lightning, he spent two seasons as an amateur scout for the Pittsburgh Penguins. Prior to that, he served eight years in the same capacity for the Buffalo Sabres. Before entering the NHL, Plandowski spent four seasons as a scout for the Seattle Thunderbirds of the Western Hockey League and two seasons as an assistant coach.

Plandowski played college hockey at Northern Michigan University from 1987 until 1991, recording 53 goals and 131 career points in 166 career games.

Plandowski and his wife, Jill, reside in Halifax, Nova Scotia and has three sons, Marshall, Oscar and Jack.

Mikael Andersson  - European Scout

John Burkart  - Amateur Scout

Michel Boucher  - Amateur Scout

Rob Kitamura  - Amateur Scout

Gerry O'Flaherty  - Professional Scout

Kari Kettunen  - European Scout

Jamie Pushor  - Professional Scout

Anton Routa  - European Scout

John Rosso  - Amateur Scout

Brian Putnam  - Amateur Scout

Chris Yzerman  - Amateur Scout

Brad Whelen  - Amateur Scout