Lightning hire former Habs executive Julien BriseBois to be assistant GM

Montreal Canadiens fans are going to start developing a complex when it comes to the Tampa Bay Lightning and general manager Steve Yzerman. First it was Yzerman hiring former Hamilton Bulldogs head coach Guy Boucher away to be the new head man of the Lightning and now Yzerman’s new assistant general manager is a guy that Canadiens fans will know pretty well themselves as Erik Erlendsson from Bolts Report tells us.

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.

Obviously Yzerman is doing all he can to fill positions as best he can and he’s picking from some of the best, brightest and youngest minds around. Julien BriseBois is just 33 years-old and Guy Boucher is just 38 himself. Experience is clearly not the issue with Yzerman, just the best and the brightest minds and BriseBois is recognized as one of the best and brightest minds around and a guy who is savvy with numbers. BriseBois will likely fall in line as Yzerman’s capologist.

Another aspect to BriseBois’s resume is that he’s also a lawyer, having worked in sports law. A capologist lawyer savvy with numbers… Yeah, I think he’ll come in handy while negotiating with players worried about a potential work stoppage after the 2011-2012 season.

After years of mismanagement and salting the earth by previous owners Len Barrie and Oren Koules, new owner Jeff Vinik has already provided more support and stability to a franchise that was spiraling out of control fast. It’s crazy to think it was just six years ago the Lightning won the Stanley Cup, but two owners later here we are. Whether Yzerman’s executive youth movement pays off remains to be seen, but there’s hope in western Florida for the first time in a long time.

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    Video: Ovechkin rocks custom skates for Russian Heritage Night

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    As promised, Capitals star Alex Ovechkin rocked a pair of custom skates in honor of Russian Heritage Night on Thursday.

    On his right skate, he paid tribute to the United States with a custom design, and paid tribute to his home nation on his left skate while taking the pre-game warm-up prior to facing the Columbus Blue Jackets.

    He’ll be auctioning off the skates, as well.

    From CSN Mid-Atlantic:

    The skates were painted by noted custom shoe artists Nick Avery and Polo Kerber, whom Ovechkin personally selected. The skates feature the U.S. and Russia flags as well as the Capitol Building and Moscow’s St. Basil’s Cathedral.

    Video: Crosby slash leaves Methot’s finger bloodied and injured (Updated)

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    Sidney Crosby has made news lately for his goal scoring and his use of the stick.

    He speared Sabres forward Ryan O’Reilly below the belt the other night, and on Thursday he delivered a slash to Senators defenseman Marc Methot, who has since not returned to the game.

    The slash rendered a finger on Methot’s left hand bloodied and injured. It certainly didn’t look good as Method (calmly) skated to the bench.

    There was no call on the play.

    Updated: Methot won’t return to this game.

    Show me the money! Nylander sets Leafs rookie record with latest assist

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    Toronto’s talented rookies were back at it again Thursday, as William Nylander and Auston Matthews combined to set up the Maple Leafs’ first goal versus the New Jersey Devils.

    Nylander added the second assist on the power play goal, giving him 35 helpers on the season.

    That’s significant for a couple of reasons: He extends his point streak to 10 games, which sets a new Leafs rookie record. And the assist reportedly secured him another entry-level bonus:

    Not bad.

    Gibson (lower-body injury) will play again this regular season, says Carlyle

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    The Anaheim Ducks have been without goalie John Gibson for almost two full weeks because of injury, but head coach Randy Carlyle provided reason for optimism on Thursday.

    Per reports, Gibson took part in practice and Carlyle has said that his No. 1 netminder will play again during the regular season. Anaheim has nine games remaining on its schedule.

    That’s good news for Anaheim heading into the post-season.

    While Gibson has been out, Jonathan Bernier has stepped beyond his back-up role and provided solid goaltending for the Ducks during the stretch drive — which should also be a bonus for this club with the playoffs quickly approaching.

    Bernier has wins in six of his last seven starts. In nine games this month, he has only twice allowed three goals or more.

    The Ducks have fought their way back into contention for the Pacific Division with a recent surge that has coincided with San Jose’s current skid — only four wins in their last 10 games and four straight losses.

    Related: Career back on track, Bernier hopes he can re-sign in Anaheim