I do not know if this is some kind of early (late?) April Fool’s joke, but according to TSN and The Athletic, Tampa Bay Lightning General Manager Steve Yzerman is stepping down from his position and will serve in some kind of senior advisory role with the team.
Taking over for Yzerman will be Julien BriseBois, who was previously the team’s assistant GM. BriseBois has been coveted by other clubs in the past to be their GM. It appears that he will now get his shot.
Why in the world is Yzerman stepping down? The Bolts have been an extremely successful franchise over the last few seasons.
They were the best team in the Eastern Conference last season, they went to the Conference Finals in 2015, 16, and 17, and they have an unbelievable roster heading into this season. In fact, it could be said that they have another excellent opportunity to win the Cup this year.
To me, at least, this move does not make any sense for Stevie Y. He has been the franchise’s best GM to date (he just has not won a Cup yet) and again, has his team close to winning their first Cup since 2004.
The only thing I could think of is that maybe he wants to return to the Red Wings in some capacity. Yes, Holland signed on to be the team’s GM for two more years in April, but maybe something is going on behind the scenes that no one knows about yet.
It’s certainly a puzzling situation for Yzerman. The Bolts are on the cusp of perhaps winning a Cup while the Wings have a lot to do before becoming contenders again if that is the route he wants to take.
On the other hand, Yzerman may just want to step away from a highly demanding job to spend more time with his family, who still reside in Michigan.
It will be interesting to see what Yzerman says at the team’s press conference taking place at 4:00 p.m. today.