Lightning suffer another post-season loss

by Gary Shelton on April 20, 2019 · 0 comments

in general, Tampa Bay Lightning

Yzerman changed his colors on Friday.

Saturday, 2 a.m.

Shocked, I tell you. I'm shocked.

Steve Yzerman is going home to the Red Wings. Why, that's stunning. Heck, we've only had seven months to get used to the idea. Think Yzerman had time to pack?

The least surprising headline of the year happened Friday when Yzerman announced he was going to take the general manager's job with Detroit. Heck, most people figured that was going to happen when Yzerman stepped down last September.

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In other words, you can consider it just another post-season loss by the Lightning.

Yzerman's contract with the Lightning expired when they were eliminated in the first round of the Stanley Cup playoffs earlier this week. He built Tampa Bay into a perennial contender in eight seasons as general manager, making three trips to the Eastern Conference final and advancing to the 2015 Stanley Cup Final where the Lightning lost to Chicago.

“We’d like to say a huge ‘Thank You’ to Steve Yzerman for all his contributions to the Tampa Bay Lightning over the last nine years," owner Jeff Vinik said.  "Steve literally transformed the organization’s hockey operations, from our professional and amateur scouting departments, to the front office, to our coaching and locker room staffs, to our major and minor league rosters.  He built one of the finest organizations in the NHL and led us to the playoffs in six of the nine years he was with us, including three Conference Finals and one Stanley Cup Final.  While we are disappointed to see Steve leave for our rival Detroit Red Wings, he leaves our franchise in good shape under the extremely capable leadership of Julien BriseBois, as we continue to pursue that elusive Stanley Cup.

“Personally, I will miss Steve’s knowledge, experience, intelligence, camaraderie and friendship.  I wish Steve and his family well upon his return to Detroit; may he build the second-best team in the NHL!”

Yzerman sounded glad to have his new home.

“It’s been an interesting morning, actually,” Yzerman said. “Leading up to coming here this afternoon, reality starts coming in – I have to be on my game here. I’m excited to be back.

“Truthfully I’ve been in Detroit for the last (few weeks), nobody really knows who I am or recognizes me. That’s been nice.”

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