Hall of Famer Steve Yzerman is the Tampa Bay Lightning’s new general manager, taking on the task of rebuilding a franchise that’s fallen on hard times since winning its only Stanley Cup six years ago.
The former Detroit Red Wings captain and executive was introduced yesterday as Brian Lawton’s replacement. Lawton and coach Rick Tocchet were fired April 12.
“This is a long-term project for me. I believe building a Stanley Cup caliber team takes time and there will be many decisions, some lengthy, that will be made over the course of time,’’ Yzerman said.
Since retiring in 2006, Yzerman has worked as a vice president for the Red Wings, the only team he played for in a 22-year career in which he scored 692 goals and won three Stanley Cups.
The Tampa Bay roster includes two stars from the 2004 Stanley Cup winner, Vincent Lecavalier and Martin St. Louis, as well as Victor Hedman and Stephen Stamkos, the top pick in the 2008 NHL draft who scored 51 goals this season to tie Sidney Crosby for the most.