Not long after reports indicated that Steve Yzerman would be stepping down as general manager of the Tampa Bay Lightning, reports began to surface that the plan was for him to come back home to the Detroit Red Wings following the conclusion of this season, as he's still under contract with the Lightning through this year.
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. Then-owner Mike Ilitch reportedly wanted to move Holland to an executive role to make room for Yzerman, but Holland declined the promotion.
- The Steve Yzerman era is coming to an end for the Tampa Bay Lightning.
"With some time to reflect, to do the job the way it needs to be done - the way I feel it needs to be done - and ultimately to be with my family as well, it's becoming hard to do, hence the decision", Yzerman told reporters at a press conference in Tampa. Yzerman said BriseBois is "more than ready" to succeed him. The Lightning lost to the Washington Capitals, the eventual Stanley Cup champions, in the Eastern Conference final. Yzerman's family has remained in Detroit, and he commuted during his time on the job.
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Yzerman will assume an advisory role while Julien BriseBois takes over the general manager post.
"We're going to play this year, and after that, I don't know", Yzerman said.
Before coming to Tampa Bay, Yzerman spent 22 years as a Hall-of-Fame player in Detroit and almost four years in the front office of the Red Wings. 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.
Among the major personnel moves under Yzerman's tenure included the trade of franchise talisman Martin St-Louis to the New York Rangers in 2014 and the re-signing of Steven Stamkos to an eight-year, $68 million deal in 2016.