Steve Yzerman stepping down as GM of Lightning

Steve Yzerman is entering the final year of his contract with the Lightning. More

Steve Yzerman is entering the final year of his contract with the Lightning. More

In a stunning turn of events on the eve of training camp, Steve Yzerman is stepping down as general manager of the Tampa Bay Lightning after building them into a perennial contender.

Yzerman, who discussed his decision with the players Tuesday, has one year remaining on his contract and will continue to serve as a senior advisor.

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Julien BriseBois, who is the general manager of the AHL's Syracuse Crunch and the Lightning's assistant GM, will fill the position, the team announced Tuesday.

Yzerman's run as Tampa's GM includes winning the General Manager of the Year Award during the 2014-15 season.

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Yzerman played his entire career with the Red Wings, retiring in 2006 after 22 seasons. The Lightning are considered one of the favorites to hoist the Stanley Cup this season. He has always been considered a future National Hockey League general manager. For a number of years, he has been considered a future National Hockey League general manager and takes over a team that should contend for years to come. But early this afternoon, that mood turned somber as reports began surfacing that Yzerman informed the players that he would be stepping aside as the general manager of the Lightning, a role that he has held since 2010.

In 2010, the plan was for Yzerman to take over as Red Wings GM for Ken Holland, but when Holland was offered a promotion away from day to day operations, he refused to budge. He also traded for J.T. Miller and Ryan McDonagh at last year's trade deadline and got Nikita Kucherov signed to an extension this summer. For eight years, he commuted between there and Tampa, and while he was able to still do his job effectively, Yzerman said that when he and owner Jeff Vinik started to discuss extending his contract, continuing to be apart from his wife and three daughters weighed on him.

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