Steve Yzerman stepping down as Lightning GM

Tampa Bay Lightning general manager Steve Yzerman gestures during a news conference before an NHL hockey game against the Toronto Maple Leafs in Tampa Fla

The Athletic reported former assistant GM Julien BriseBois is expected to take over.

Steve Yzerman stepped down from his current role as the Lightning's GM in a surprise move Tuesday. To be more of a sounding board than a final say.

- The Steve Yzerman era is coming to an end for the Tampa Bay Lightning. That they announced it publicly now does too. It was widely believed that he'd be in line for a general manager job soon - just not this soon, and not in Tampa.

Yzerman, who oversaw the Lightning for an eight-year tenure that included a trip to the 2015 Stanley Cup Final, added he looks forward to working under BriseBois. "I wonder if this is a win for Tampa Bay, even with how successful Y was". "The mission is going to be the same".

Regardless, this is a pretty stunning development in the hockey world given how well Yzerman has done in building a contender in Tampa.

In the salary cap era, perhaps better than anyone, he's excelled at retaining top talent, such as captain Steven Stamkos, winger Nikita Kucherov and defenseman Victor Hedman, with team-friendly long-term deals.

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As a player, Yzerman spent 22 seasons with the Detroit Red Wings, retiring in 2006. The Hall of Famer joined the Red Wings front office, leaving in 2010 for the Lighting GM job. He still has one year left on his contract with the Lightning, and he accepted an advisory role with the team after resigning as GM.

Tampa Bay came two victories away from the second title in franchise history three years ago.

Yzerman had signed a four-year extension with Tampa Bay on April 7, 2014, which ran through the 2018-19 season.

BriseBois, 41, has been with the club since 2010 and, besides serving as Yzerman's assistant, has also been general manager of their American Hockey League affiliate Syracuse Crunch.

"We got to Game 6 of the finals and we've gotten to three Game 7s of the conference finals", he said. "If not this year, beyond".

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