The Tampa Bay Lightning announced on Monday that they have signed vice president and general manager Steve Yzerman to a four-year contract extension, chairman and governor Jeff Vinik announced.
“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, joined the team on May 25, 2010, as the franchise’s sixth general manager. In the past four years he has transformed the team, making it 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.”
Since bringing on the former Detroit Red Wings captain, the Lightning have reached the NHL playoffs two of his four years with the team. In 2011 they were in the Eastern Conference Final where they lost to Boston. The Lightning’s minor league affiliate, as the Norfolk Admirals, won the American Hockey League’s Calder Cup in 2012. The win came with current Lightning head coach Jon Cooper behind the bench. Many players from that roster are now part of the Lightning’s success in the 2013-2014 season.
Only four games remain in the 2013-2014 regular season, and the Lightning are 42-27-9 with 93 points. This puts them in third place in the Atlantic Division. Under Yzerman the team is 144-114-32.
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.
In 2009, Steve Yzerman was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame during his first year of eligibility. After retiring from hockey he joined Hockey Canada’s management team. He was executive in charge for both of the country’s gold medal wins at the 2010 and 2014 Winter Olympics.