Published: Wed, September 12, 2018
Sport | By Wendy Sparks

Steve Yzerman will step down as Lightning general manager

Steve Yzerman will step down as Lightning general manager

In a stunning turn of events on the eve of training camp, Steve Yzerman is stepping down as general manager of the Tampa Bay Lightning after building them into a perennial contender.

Yzerman told players of the decision Tuesday afternoon after their informal skate, a source told the Athletic.

The NHL also rewarded Yzerman for his hard work, naming the native of Cranbrook, B.C., its GM of the year. 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.

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Tampa Bay Lightning general manager Steve Yzerman gestures during a news conference before an NHL hockey game against the Toronto Maple Leafs in Tampa, Fla., on February 26, 2018.

The details surrounding why exactly Yzerman is stepping down remain a mystery, though there's no shortage of speculation already. The Lightning are considered one of the favorites to hoist the Stanley Cup this season.

Yzerman will move to a senior adviser role working under BriseBois and he said he was "100 per cent committed" to the Lightning this season.

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Julien BriseBois will take over as GM.

The Detroit team in April extended General Manager Ken Holland's contract for two years. Most recently, Yzerman made the blockbuster acquisition of Rangers captain Ryan McDonagh at February's trade deadline and inked Nitkita Kucherov to an eight-year, $76 million extension in July.

With how Detroit sports, especially the Red Wings, taking a serious dip over the last few years, bringing back a local legend in Yzerman who just so happens the consensus best general manager in the league is bound to bring back interest in a team that has a bleak future on paper.

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