Yzerman committed to Lightning this season

Grant SmithSep 12, 2018

He has always been considered a future National Hockey League general manager. Yzerman said the role will allow him to spend more time with his family. The Lightning are considered one of the favorites to hoist the Stanley Cup this season.

Julien BriseBois, general manager of the AHL's Syracuse Crunch and the Lightning's assistant general manager, will become the Lightning's GM, the team said Tuesday. The team has reached the conference final three times and the Stanley Cup final once during his tenure.

"We felt it was important to let everyone know what we were doing, end any potential speculation", Yzerman said.

Although Yzerman remains "100 percent committed" to his role for the upcoming campaign, it remains to be seen how much longer he'll hang around with the Lightning. The Bolts lost the 2015 Stanley Cup Final to the Chicago Blackhawks in six games.

That it didn't leak at all says a lot about how Lightning owner Jeffrey Vinik and Yzerman operate.

Tampa Bay is again one of the Cup favourites based on Yzerman's stellar record of drafting, developing and acquiring players.

Before taking on an executive role, Yzerman spent his entire National Hockey League playing career from 1983 to 2006 with the Red Wings and helped Detroit win three Stanley Cups between 1997 and 2002. The other signing Lightning captain Steven Stamkos to an eight-year, $68-million deal in 2016. Detroit extended longtime GM Ken Holland, 62, for two more seasons in April, despite the team missing the playoffs for a second straight season, and he's going into his 22nd year on the job. He began his front-office career as vice-president of hockey operations under GM Ken Holland in Detroit and was part of a Cup victor in 2008 before getting the head job with the Lightning.

Yzerman went to Tampa Bay with a five-year plan to win a Cup. Internationally, Yzerman was a member of Canada's gold medal-winning team at the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City. He leaves disappointed that didn't happen and hopeful it will under BriseBois.

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