TAMPA BAY - The Tampa Bay Lightning solidified their hockey operations department today as vice president and general manager Julien BriseBois announced three internal promotions and added a former Lightning player to his staff in an operations role. Al Murray has been named to the position of assistant general manager - director of amateur scouting and Jamie Pushor has been elevated to assistant general manager - director of player personnel. Stacy Roest has been promoted to assistant general manager - director of player development, also assuming the role of general manager of the American Hockey League's Syracuse Crunch, the Lightning's top minor league affiliate. In addition, former Bolts forward and NHL veteran Mathieu Darche has joined the organization as director of hockey operations.
"As we look forward with an eye on the 2019-20 season and beyond, we are pleased to set our hockey operations management team with these appointments today," BriseBois said upon making the announcement. "Al, Jamie and Stacy have earned their respective promotions and we are confident that individually they will thrive in these new roles, ensuring our teams at the NHL and AHL levels will continue to function at the high level to which our fans have become accustomed. Mathieu is a welcomed addition in his operations role and we also expect him to contribute to the organization's success in many other ways. We welcome Mathieu and his family back to Tampa Bay."
Murray enters his 10th season as the Lightning's director of amateur scouting while assuming the title of assistant general manager. In his role, Murray oversees all amateur scouting operations along with the Lightning's draft preparation and execution, reporting directly to the general manager. With Tampa Bay, Murray has been lauded for his ability to find high-end prospects outside the first round, as evidenced by selecting 2019 Art Ross Trophy winner Nikita Kucherov in the second round and NHL All-Star Brayden Point in the third. That trend continued this season with former late-round picks Anthony Cirelli (3rd round) and Mathieu Joseph (4th round) having significant impacts on the Lightning in 2018-19.
Pushor is entering his ninth year with the Lightning after serving last season as the franchise's director of professional scouting. In his new role, Pushor will oversee the team's professional scouting operations, assignments and staffing at both the AHL and NHL levels. He joined the organization in August of 2011 as a professional scout. Pushor played 14 professional seasons, including 521 career NHL games and 404 AHL contests. He won the Stanley Cup as a member of the Detroit Red Wings in 1997.
Roest has worked extensively with the Syracuse Crunch since being named director of player development on July 1, 2013. Roest has been a vital member of Tampa Bay's player development process, both on and off the ice, during his time with the organization. He also has planned and ran the Lightning's offseason prospect and development camps while providing support and tracking the athletes' progress with their collegiate, junior and/or minor league teams. He spent seven seasons in the previous position before today's promotion to assistant general manager of the Lightning and general manager of the Crunch. He will remain focused on player development while also managing the minor league roster and Tampa Bay's professional relationship with the Crunch and its management team.
A veteran of 250 NHL games played with the Lightning, Columbus Blue Jackets, Nashville Predators, San Jose Sharks and Montreal Canadiens, Darche joins the Bolts after formally retiring as a player in 2013. He was heavily involved as part of the NHLPA negotiating committee during the 2012-13 work-stoppage, also serving on the negotiating committee of the Professional Hockey Players Association for the American Hockey League's collective bargaining agreement.
After retiring as a player, Darche worked for Delmar International, a Canadian customs broker with more than 1,000 employees worldwide offering complete cargo management supply chain solutions, in the position of vice president of sales and marketing. He also served five years on the board of Ronald McDonald House and six years as a television analyst on RDS. Darche graduated from McGill University in Montreal in 2000 with a commerce degree, majoring in marketing and international business, and was named to the school's sports hall of fame in 2015. In his new role with the Lightning, his primary focuses will be budgeting, negotiation and execution of player contracts, scheduling, cap tracking and more.