TAMPA, FL (via Tampa Bay Lightning Communications) – The Tampa Bay Lightning have signed vice president and general manager Steve Yzerman to a four-year contract extension, chairman and governor Jeff Vinik announced today. Yzerman, who has one more year remaining on his initial contract with the club, is completing his fourth season as the organization’s lead hockey operations executive.
“Since the day Steve agreed to serve as our vice president and general manager, he has worked tirelessly to transform our hockey department and establish the groundwork for sustained success”, said Vinik in making the announcement. “We are very pleased with Steve’s job performance thus far, and I am fully confident Steve remains the right person to continue to lead us.
“Organizationally, we remain committed to playing at the highest levels each season - regularly competing for the Stanley Cup - and I am very pleased that Steve has elected to be our leader for the next several years.”
Yzerman, 48, was introduced as the Lightning’s vice president and general manager on May 25, 2010, making him the sixth general manager in franchise history. In his four seasons managing the Lightning’s hockey operations department, Yzerman has completely transformed the team, establishing it as one of the league’s model franchises for drafting and developing players.
"I'm grateful for the opportunity to continue the process we started four years ago and would like to thank Jeff Vinik for entrusting me with the responsibility of leading the Tampa Bay Lightning,” Yzerman said. “I'm very excited about what lies ahead for our organization and truly enjoy working with a fantastic group of people in Tampa Bay."
The Lightning have now reached the NHL Playoffs in two of his four seasons with the club (2011 and 2014), reaching the Eastern Conference Final in 2011. The franchise’s minor league affiliate at the time, the Norfolk Admirals, won the American Hockey League’s Calder Cup in 2012 under current Lightning head coach Jon Cooper. Many of the players on the Calder Cup Championship roster are now forming the young nucleus that is propelling the Lightning to success in 2013-14.
With four games remaining in the 2013-14 regular season, the Lightning are 42-27-9 for 93 points, good for third place in the Eastern Conference’s Atlantic Division. With Yzerman as the franchise’s general manager, the Lightning are now 144-114-32 in just under four full seasons and the team is recognized for having one of the strongest young organizational talent pools in the game.
Prior to joining the Lightning, Yzerman spent 27 seasons with the Detroit Red Wings as a player, captain and front office executive. He is a four-time Stanley Cup Champion, winning three as a player in 1997, 1998 and 2002 and another as a member of Detroit’s management team in 2008. Yzerman ranks sixth in NHL history for points with 1,755, seventh in assists with 1,063, eighth in goals with 692 and 13th in games played with 1,514.
He spent 20 seasons as the captain in Detroit and was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 2009, his first year of eligibility. After retiring as a player, Yzerman became an integral part of Hockey Canada’s management team, serving as executive director for Team Canada at the 2010 Vancouver and 2014 Sochi Winter Olympic Games, guiding his home country to gold medal wins in each of the tournaments.