Yzerman Stepping Down as Lightning GM
Various sources today report Steve Yzerman is stepping down as general manager of the Tampa Bay Lightning. He will be replaced by assistant GM Julien BriseBois. He intends to remain with the organization as a special adviser. It’s believed he wishes to return to Detroit to spend more time with his family.
Yzerman’s decision comes on the eve of training camp. A press conference has been called by the Lightning for 4 pm ET today.
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
It’s believed Yzerman will fulfill the balance of his contract as a senior advisor in TB.
— Bob McKenzie (@TSNBobMcKenzie) September 11, 2018
For those speculating about Detroit, here’s what we know:
– Holland signed 2-year extension with the Red Wings in April
– per @JoeSmithTB, Yzerman has one year left on his deal w/TB
– There’s an internal appetite to sort out future roles for current Detroit management group
— Craig Custance (@CraigCustance) September 11, 2018
Steve Yzerman’s resignation in TB has everything to do with quality of life. Steve has always been completely committed to any task at hand. If not, he would feel guilty that he was taking Vinik’s money. Right now, being away from family and too much travel was taking a toll.
— John Shannon (@JSportsnet) September 11, 2018
SPECTOR’S NOTE: No one in the hockey world saw this coming. Indeed, the Lightning were keen to re-sign Yzerman to an extension before his current contract expires next summer.
While the skeptical might see the notion of him returning to Detroit to spend more time with his family as a well-worn cliche to hide ulterior motives, it appears this isn’t the case. Yzerman wouldn’t leave what he’s built in Tampa Bay unless it’s for a very good reason and there’s none better than family.
His return to Detroit has of course sparked speculation that he could join the Red Wings but the earliest that might happen is when his contract with the Lightning expires next summer. Bear in mind Ken Holland signed a two-year contract extension as Red Wings GM earlier this year. Maybe Yzerman joins them as assistant GM next summer and takes over for Holland in 2020. Maybe not.
BriseBois’ promotion means Montreal Canadiens fans can scratch him off their list of possible replacements for Habs GM Marc Bergevin. The LIghtning blog Raw Charge examines what the club can expect with BriseBois in the GM role.