Steve Yzerman stepping aside 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

Steve Yzerman will step down as Lightning general manager

Steve Yzerman has stepped down as general manager of the Tampa Bay Lightning, the team announced Tuesday.

Yzerman told players of the decision Tuesday afternoon after their informal skate, a source told the Athletic. He told them he'd be in an advisory role for the final year of his contract, with assistant GM Julien BriseBois taking over as GM.

Yzerman had served as the Lightning's GM since 2010.

Yzerman, a Hall of Fame centre with the Detroit Red Wings who won the Cup three times as a player, went into management immediately after retiring. The Lightning are considered one of the favorites to hoist the Stanley Cup this season.

Internationally, Yzerman was a member of Canada's gold medal-winning team at the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City. He was the general manager of Calder Cup champion Norfolk Admirals in 2011-12 and reached the final on two other occasions with the Syracuse Crunch, who replaced Norfolk as Tampa's AHL affiliate in 2012-13.

He was named NHL General Manager of the Year in 2015.

Yzerman will move to a senior adviser role working under BriseBois and he said he was "100 per cent committed" to the Lightning this season.

Yzerman's run as Tampa's GM includes winning the General Manager of the Year Award during the 2014-15 season. Most recently, Yzerman made the blockbuster acquisition of Rangers captain Ryan McDonagh at February's trade deadline and inked Nitkita Kucherov to an eight-year, $76 million extension in July. 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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