I don’t understand what Brisebois being AHL GM had to do with players like Kucherov, Palat, and Killorn developing. None of them spent more than a season there. Kucherov played 17 games lmao. There’s nothing that this guy gets credit for, unless you think adding Coleman and Goodrow were good moves. Unless they win cup, they weren’t. Even if they do win it all, you gave up 3 1st rd pics for them! (2 this year+last years pick/ Foote) Now you go into off season with no picks in 1st rd and not enough cap space to sign anyone. Coleman has a 1.8 million cap hit. Doesn’t sound like much, but that’s 2 players on elc’s.
I think it's more about the environment that the Lightning created in their minor league affiliate during that time. The Norfolk/early Syracuse years were run like a well-oiled machine in terms of on ice results. Having Cooper down there, and then having him up in the NHL, allowed a lot of these guys to transition seamlessly. I don't mean "developed" from a skill development perspective as much as I mean creating an environment where players were able to come in, play competitive pro hockey (even for a short period of time like Killorn and Kuch), and showcase to the big organization that they were ready for prime time.
I'll also respectfully disagree with you on Coleman. His cap hit is one of the most attractive things about him.