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Position: D
Shoots: Right
Height: 6’2″
Weight: 200
Birth Date: 1/27/1971
Birth Country: Canada (Montréal)
Year Drafted: 1989
Round Drafted: 2
Overall Choice: 30
Salary 2003/04: $4,000,000.00

HW 2004 Mid-Season Scouting Report

From the moment Gainey opened his mouth and berated the booing fans, there has been a turn-around in Breezer’s game. It’s been slow, and has been supplemented with much support and guidance from the coaching staff, but he’s gone from being an offensive defender with little regard for his own zone to a smart player who plays within his means. Rarely now do we see the panicked or rushed pass from his own zone resulting in a turnover and scoring opportunity for the other team. Now we get the simple pass and effective transition from a player who’s finally bought into the system.

Defensively Breezer has always been better than any statistics might have indicated. The problem was his focus: too often he was trying to be the offensive catalyst or was more concentrated on fulfilling his hefty paycheck instead of doing the little things that make a good defender. Now he angles his man out, throws the occasional smart check with his newly buffed up body, or poke checks not wildly but accurately. He may not be the strongest in front of the net, but he’s smart and plays a good balance game with the opposition and is able to clear the front that way.

With the puck, he’s no longer an offensive threat, however he’s an ultra-accurate passer and a smart, experienced player who knows when to pinch and when to get out of Dodge. He does have a strong shot, though we’ve not seen much of it this year. I believe we’ll see more as time goes on and as he continues to adapt to his new style of play; particularly since opponents will be keying on Souray as the main threat instead of him.

And while his adaptation to the new system and his new game have taken time, they look to be at a point where everyone is comfortable with his game. At times he still looks lax, particularly on the power play when moving the puck up, but I think that’s less intensity related as it is more confidence in his abilities.

High contract aside, I think Breezer is going to be with us for a while. Although his trade value is probably at the highest point in about four years, he’s the best we’ve got on the right side and would be a good person for youngsters to learn from as time goes on. He’s no longer the deficiency at the back, and with the fans and management behind him, his confident and strong play is something that we will need in the coming months, and potentially years.

Patrice Brisebois was drafted 30th overall in the 1989 Entry Draft by the Montréal Canadiens. On January 27, 1991, he made his NHL debut with an assist. He played nine more games with the Canadiens that spring and scored one more assist. In 1991-92, Patrice played 26 games for the Canadiens and scored his first goal on February 22 against the Penguins’ Tom Barrasso. In the playoffs, Patrice scored six points in 11 games as the team reached the second round. In 1992-93, Patrice joined the Canadiens full time and scored 31 points in 70 games. In the playoffs, he helped the team win both the Prince of Wales Trophy and the Stanley Cup.

In 1993-94, Patrice scored 23 points in 53 games for the Canadiens. In the shortened 1994-95 season, Patrice scored 12 points in 35 games on the blueline. The following season, he led all team defencemen with 36 points. In 1996-97, Patrice was limited to just 49 games, but he still scored 15 points. In 1997-98, he co-won the Jacques Beauchamp Molson Trophy for his dominant role with Canadiens without winning any other awards. He had finished second amongst team defencemen with a career-high 27 assists and 37 points.

In 1998-99, Patrice was limited to just 54 games, but still averaged 22:26 minutes of ice time per game and tallied 62 hits and 80 blocked shots. In 1999-2000, he again played just 54 games, but this time led all team defencemen with 35 points. He played 23:14 minutes per game, knocked 82 hits and blocked 79 shots. In 2000-01, Patrice played 77 games and led all Canadiens’ defencemen with 36 points. He averaged more than 24 minutes per game and tallied 99 hits on the year.

Source: The National Hockey League Players Association