No one in the hockey world saw this coming. The Tampa Bay Lightning was keen to re-sign Steve Yzerman to an extension before his current contract expires next summer, instead on Tuesday the GM has resigned and left his position to Julien BriseBois.
BriseBois got his start in hockey with the Montreal Canadiens during the 2001-02 season as their director of legal affairs. The Habs and their desperate fan base will have to forget BriseBois as the potential saviour that could have replaced GM Marc Bergevin…
Yzerman intends to remain with the organization as a special adviser, however, it was believed earlier today that he wishes to return to Detroit to spend more time with his family, which certainly sparked speculations on a potential association with the Red Wings. However, Yzerman confirmed first thing in his press conference that he is excited about his new advising role, since it means he will get to spend more time with his family. The poor man has been commuting from Detroit to Tampa Bay since taking the job in Florida.
"This change is important for me, which will allow me to spend more time with my family.” He said of Julien, “Is more than ready and deserves the opportunity. Done an outstanding job.”
“Over the course of the last couple of years, there have been moments to contemplate, over this summer, I had some time to think... and in late July, I decided this is what I want to do”
Still it is hard to quiet down the rumors of a return to Hockey Town, however the earliest that might happen is when his contract with the Lightning expires next summer. And let’s not forget that Ken Holland signed a two-year contract extension as Red Wings GM earlier this year. One option would be for Yzerman to join the Wings as assistant GM next summer and takes over for Holland in 2020. When homes is calling… it seems to make sense, but for now, the focus appears to remain the success of the Lightning.
“We’re going to play this year, and after that, I don’t know... I’m 100% committed to this role this year, beyond this year, I don’t have an answer."
BriseBois has some big shoes to fill and keep leading the team on the path that Yzerman has put them on, inching closer and closer to a Stanley Cup… He did start off by stating that it was business as usual in Tampa, and that everyone's responsibilities will remain the same.
“Everyone’s responsibilities will remain the same, the mission will be the same and that mission is to win a Stanley Cup. Nothing will be neglected in our pursuit of a Stanley Cup.”