Yzerman steps down as Bolts GM

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He'll reportedly stay in Tampa through this season in an advisory role, while assistant GM Julien BriseBois will take over. The Lightning was hoping to sign Yzerman to a contract extension until Tuesday's stunning news.

The Lightning will announce at a 4 p.m. news conference that Steve Yzerman will step down as general manager. They've made the Eastern Conference Final in three of the last four seasons, reaching the Stanley Cup Final in 2015.

Muliple reports have indicated that Yzerman informed the Tampa Bay Lightning that he'll be stepping down as general manager, a position he's held in Tampa Bay since 2010.

"With some time to reflect, to do the job the way it needs to be done - the way I feel it needs to be done - and ultimately to be with my family as well, it's becoming hard to do, hence the decision", Yzerman told reporters at a press conference in Tampa. Detroit is in rebuilding mode, while Tampa Bay has become a perennial contender and will again be a championship favorite this season.

Former Red Wings GM Jimmy Devellano, who current serves as the team's senior vice-president, said on Tuesday he was totally surprised by Yzerman's decision to abandon his post in Tampa Bay.

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Before taking on an executive role, Yzerman spent his entire National Hockey League playing career from 1983 to 2006 with the Red Wings and helped Detroit win three Stanley Cups between 1997 and 2002.

April 7, 2014: Yzerman signs four-year contract extension with Lightning that runs through 2018-19 season. BriseBois had a significant role in working with the organization's prospects, as he oversaw the Lightning's American Hockey League affiliate.

"We felt it was important to let everyone know what we were doing, end any potential speculation", Yzerman said.

The plan is the 41-year-old BriseBois who had been an assistant to Yzerman since they joined the Lightning in 2010.