American Hockey League
The Lightning entered into a multi-year affiliation agreement with the Syracuse Crunch of the AHL starting with the 2012-13 regular season. The Crunch play in the AHL's Eastern Conference East Division. Home games are played at Oncenter War Memorial Arena.
The Syracuse Crunch is entering into its 19th year of operation in the AHL and boast the longest, current independent ownership group led by Howard Dolgon. The Crunch has the sixth longest tenure of any AHL team. The Lightning will be the fourth primary NHL affiliate of the Crunch, who previously partnered with Vancouver (1994-99), Columbus (2000-09) and Anaheim (2010-12). Syracuse had a dual affiliation with Vancouver and Pittsburgh from 1997-1999.
Tampa Bay previously held their primary AHL affiliation with the Norfolk Admirals over the past five seasons. As the Lightning’s top affiliate, the Admirals captured the Calder Cup last week and also set a professional hockey record, winning 28 consecutive games to close out the 2011-12 regular season.
800 S. State Street
Julien BriseBois - General Manager
Julien BriseBois enters his third season as assistant general manger 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, contract preparation and negotiation, and 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 Norfolk Admirals, in 2011-12, BriseBois aided the team to their second consecutive appearance in the Calder Cup Playoffs after setting 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 BriseBois-led Admirals made the postseason for the first time in their affiliation with the Lightning. Also during that season, 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, 35, 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. 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 in the league at the time. 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 in 2009-10. In three seasons under his guidance Hamilton went 137-78-25.
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 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. BriseBois also sits on the AHL Competition Committee and the AHL CBA Committee.
Jon Cooper - Head Coach
Head Coach Jon Cooper joins the Syracuse Crunch after spending the past two seasons as head coach of Tampa Bay’s previous affiliate the Norfolk Admirals. Cooper recorded a 94-44-10-8 regular season and a 17-7 playoff record with the Admirals during those years.
In 2011-12, Norfolk set franchise records with 55 wins and 113 standings points on their way to capturing their first ever Calder Cup. They also set the North American Professional Hockey record by winning an incredible 28 games in a row smashing the previous mark of 18 set by, ironically, the Syracuse Crunch. During that 28 game run, the Admirals won 20 straight in regulation. After outscoring the opposition 273-180 in the regular season, the Admirals also captured the Macgregor Kilpatrick Trophy as the AHL’s regular season points champion while also earning the Frank S. Mathers Trophy as East Division regular season champions. On April 9, 2012, Cooper was named the winner of the Louis A.R. Pieri Memorial Award as the AHL’s outstanding coach, as voted by coaches and members of the media in each of the league’s 30 cities.
Prior to joining the Admirals, Cooper posted an 84-27-9 record over the previous two seasons with the Green Bay Gamblers of the United States Hockey League. In his two years at the helm, he led the Gamblers to two Anderson Cups as regular season championships (2008-09 and 2009-10) and a Clark Cup as playoff champions (2010). Cooper’s impact was immediate as he guided the Gamblers to the biggest one-year improvement in USHL history. Green Bay went from 32 points in 2007-08 to 82 points and the USHL’s best record, earning him the 2009 USHL GM of the Year Award. The following year, Cooper not only was again named USHL GM of the Year, but also took home the USHL Coach of the Year, as well.
Before joining Green Bay, Cooper spent five seasons as the general manager and head coach of the St. Louis Bandits of the North American Hockey League, recording a 223-93-17 regular season and postseason record. He led the Bandits to Robertson Cup Championships in 2007 and 2008 and was named NAHL Coach of the Year in 2005-06 and 2007-08.
In 2002, Cooper guided the Metro Jets of the Central States Hockey League to the Junior B (now Tier III) USA Hockey National Championship. Cooper is the only individual to head coach a national championship-winning team at all three tiers of junior hockey in the United States (Tier III - 2002 Metro Jets, Tier II - 2007 and 2008 St. Louis Bandits, Tier I – 2010 Green Bay Gamblers).
In his first season as a hockey coach, Cooper was named the 1999 High School Coach of the year by the Lansing State Journal after guiding Lansing Catholic Central to its first regional hockey title in 25 years.
Cooper has also coached internationally, most recently serving as the assistant coach for the USA U-18 team that competed in the 2008 Ivan Hlinka Memorial Tournament. He won a silver medal as head coach of the USA U-17 team that participated in the 2007 Five Nation’s Tournament. Cooper was named a finalist for the 2007 United States Olympic Committee’s Development Coach of the Year.
A native of Prince George, British Columbia, Cooper holds dual American and Canadian citizenship. He played hockey at Notre Dame in Wilcox, Saskatchewan, before moving on to Hofstra University. While at Hofstra Cooper played four seasons of Division I lacrosse and one season for the school’s hockey team while earning a bachelor’s degree in business administration. He went on to obtain his law degree from Thomas M. Cooley Law School in Lansing, Michigan. Cooper closed his law practice in 2003 to focus on his coaching career.
Cooper and his wife Jessie have three children: twin daughters, Julia and Josephine, and a son, Jonathan.
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