In case you missed it, yesterday afternoon Tampa Bay Lightning general manager Steve Yzerman announced he was stepping down from his position with the organization, but that he’d remain with the club in an advisory role. Assistant GM Julien BriseBois will take over as the team’s new GM.
We have named Julien BriseBois to the position of Vice President, General Manager, and Alternate Governor.
Steve Yzerman is stepping aside to become Senior Advisor to the General Manager.
Despite Yzerman announcing that he’s staying with the Lightning organization, Helene St. James of the Detroit Free Press reported that, in fact, Yzerman told members of the team that he was “going home” to Detroit.
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Pertaining to Joe Smith 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.
Now, the question is, “what exactly does ‘going home’ mean?” Is Yzerman joining the Detroit Red Wings? Or will he simply be working for the Lightning from his Detroit-area home? At the moment it appears like the former, but it’s interesting to note that Yzerman’s contract expires after this 2018-19 season and that he’ll be free to sign with any NHL team next summer including, of course, the Red Wings. In fact, Justin Granit of CBS Tampa is reporting just that.
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When home comes calling, it’s tough to say no. Reports indicate Steve Yzerman will join the Red Wings after the season.
For what it’s worth, Yzerman did not offer up any commitment to the Lightning beyond this season during the team’s press conference yesterday afternoon.
Steve Yzerman on future beyond this season: Says he’s 100% committed to his role as advisor with TBL. “After that, I don’t know.”
One thing’s for sure, the 53 year old Hall of Famer isn’t offering up any information just for the Hell of it. If we’ve learned nothing else about Yzerman during his eight year stint as the Lightning’s GM is that he runs a tight ship and does not suffer fools easily.
Yzerman was hired as the Lightning general manager in May, 2010 and almost immediately began an aggressive rebuild of the Lightning franchise, which included trading franchise icon Martin St. Louis and buying out former captain Vincent Lecavalier.
Yzerman has been nominated for the NHL’s General Manager of the Year Award twice, losing out to former Vancouver Canucks GM Mike Gillis in 2011 and winning the award in 2015. Under his guidance the Lightning have added players like Nikita Kucherov, Brayden Point, Ondrej Palat, Mikhail Sergachev, Ben Bishop, Ryan McDonagh and J.T. Miller either by draft or by trade. Yzerman is responsible for locking up superstars like Kucherov, Steven Stamkos and Victor Hedman to long-term deals at team friendly discounts.
Suffice it to say, Yzerman has done one HELL of a job during his time in Tampa Bay. The one thing he has failed to deliver however, is a Stanley Cup championship. The Bolts got all the way to the Stanley Cup Final in 2015, but bowed out to the Chicago Blackhawks. Just this past Spring, the Bolts were once again on the verge of another Cup Final, but a Game 7 Eastern Conference Final loss to the Washington Capitals dashed their hopes for at least another season.