Apr 7, 2014, 4:00 PM EDT
The Tampa Bay Lightning gave GM Steve Yzerman a huge show of support on Monday, signing him to a four-year contract extension with one year remaining on his current deal.
“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,” Lightning owner Jeff Vinik said in a statement, announcing that Yzerman’s now signed through the 2018-19 campaign. “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.”
Yzerman, 48, took the Bolts’ GM gig in the spring of 2010 and has enjoyed a good amount of success in his first four years on the job. The Lightning have reached the playoffs twice — which included going to Game 7 of the 2011 Eastern Conference finals — and Yzerman has done well grooming and transitioning players through the club’s minor-league system (winning the Calder Cup with Norfolk in 2012.)
“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.”
Some other noteworthy moves from the Yzerman era:
– Signing current captain Steve Stamkos to a five-year, $37.5 million extension in 2011.
– Signing Valtteri Filppula to a five-year, $25 million deal this past summer.
– Buying out the remainder of Vincent Lecavalier‘s 11-year, $85 million contract.
– Dismissing Guy Boucher (who he hired shortly after taking the GM post) and replacing him with Jon Cooper, who has gone 47-35-12 in his first 94 games on the job.
Yzerman has also been lauded for his work as GM of the last two Canadian Olympic teams, which captured gold in both Vancouver (2010) and Sochi (2014). Yzerman has said he won’t be back as Canada’s GM in 2018.
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