NHL GM Announces Surprise Resignation
Steve Yzerman announced Tuesday that he is stepping down as general manager of the Tampa Bay Lightning after building them into a perennial contender.
He handed the reins to longtime assistant Julien BriseBois just two days before training camp.
Yzerman will move to a senior adviser role working under BriseBois, and he said he was “100 percent committed” to the Lightning this season.
Owner Jeff Vinik joined both men at a news conference in Tampa, Florida.
Steve Yzerman stepped down as Lightning GM. What's next?
"Beyond this year, I don't have an answer for you." pic.twitter.com/DKuH9xAriE
— Brad Galli (@BradGalli) September 11, 2018
It was a surprising move for a powerhouse team in the league, one that reached the Eastern Conference final last season.
Yzerman, 53, spent the past eight seasons as Tampa Bay’s GM, a tenure that included five playoff appearances, three trips to the conference final and an appearance in the 2015 Stanley Cup Final.
He said he came to the decision in late July not to sign another contract as GM and that it took until now to iron out details on what to do next. Yzerman said BriseBois is “more than ready” to succeed him.
BriseBois, 41, had been an assistant to Yzerman since they joined the Lightning in 2010. For a number of years, he has been considered a future NHL general manager and takes over a team that should contend for years to come.
Tampa Bay is again one of the Cup favorites based on Yzerman’s stellar record of drafting, developing and acquiring players. He promoted Jon Cooper to head coach in 2013, re-signed captain Steven Stamkos and locked up defenseman Victor Hedman to a long-term deal in 2016. He also traded for J.T. Miller and Ryan McDonagh at last year’s trade deadline and got Nikita Kucherov signed to an extension this summer.
Yzerman, a Hall of Fame center with the Detroit Red Wings who won the Cup three times as a player, went into management immediately after retiring. He began his front office career as vice president of hockey operations under GM Ken Holland in Detroit and was part of a Cup winner in 2008 before getting the head job with the Lightning.
Holland signed a two-year contract extension at the end of last season to stay on as Red Wings GM.
Some reports indicated Yzerman will be returning to the Motor City after this season, an idea that excited many in Detroit.
When home comes calling, it’s tough to say no. Reports indicate Steve Yzerman will join the Red Wings after the season.
— Justin Granit WTSP (@JustinWTSP) September 11, 2018
Pertaining to @JoeSmithTB report of Steve Yzerman stepping down as GM in Tampa Bay, source tells Free Press Yzerman told Lightning players he was going home to Detroit. Has maintained area home while GM of Tampa Bay Lightning.
— Helene St. James (@HeleneStJames) September 11, 2018
Detroit sports fans need Steve Yzerman to come back more than they’ve needed anything in a long time.
— Jordan Strack (@JordanStrack) September 11, 2018
My take: Yzerman steps into advisory role with TBL until his contract up, then rides into Detroit's front office, shirtless on a white horse.
— Kyle M. (@KyleWIIM) September 11, 2018
Tampa Bay came two victories away from the second title in franchise history three years ago. Yzerman has also won Olympic gold medals in 2010 and 2014 as Canada’s GM.
The Western Journal has reviewed this Associated Press story and may have altered it prior to publication to ensure that it meets our editorial standards.
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