Steve Yzerman expected to join Red Wings next season

He will be replaced by assistant general manager Julien BriseBois. If Yzerman wants to come home right now, they would be out of their mind not to let Holland go and bring Yzerman on board to get the team back on the right track.

But early this afternoon, that mood turned somber as reports began surfacing that Yzerman informed the players that he would be stepping aside as the general manager of the Lightning, a role that he has held since 2010. Yzerman's family has remained in Detroit, and he commuted during his time on the job. But Yzerman is widely considered to be the NHL's best general manager, making the abrupt change all the more shocking.

That, coupled with Red Wings' GM Ken Holland inking a two-year extension last spring, will start the rumor mill that Yzerman could return to the organization where he spent all 22 seasons of his National Hockey League career. Since then, Yzerman, 53, has guided Tampa Bay to five postseason appearances in eight seasons, including three trips to the Eastern Conference final and one trip to the Stanley Cup final.

Regardless, this is a pretty stunning development in the hockey world given how well Yzerman has done in building a contender in Tampa.

Tampa Bay Lightning general manager Steve Yzerman gestures during a news conference before an NHL hockey game against the Toronto Maple Leafs in Tampa, Fla., on February 26, 2018.

Current Red Wings general manager Ken Holland signed a two-year deal this summer to remain at the helm.

May 29, 2015: The Lightning reach the Stanley Cup Final for the first time since 2004 with a 2-0 win against the New York Rangers in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Final. He's also had success developing homegrown talent, like Brayden Point and goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy, a Vezina Trophy finalist this past season.

BriseBois has always been target for GM roles around league.

"Over the course of the last couple of years, there's been moments to reflect on my situation", Yzerman said.

  • Stacy Allen