Lightning announce four-year contract extension for Yzerman
TAMPA, Fla. — Steve Yzerman will remain the Tampa Bay Lightning’s vice president and general manager through at least the next five years.
Jeff Vinik, Tampa Bay’s chairman and governor, announced a four-year contract extension for Yzerman on Monday. Yzerman, who has one year left on his current deal, is about to complete his fourth season as the Lightning’s top hockey operations executive.
"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 in a statement. "I’m very excited about what lies ahead for our organization and truly enjoy working with a fantastic group of people in Tampa Bay."
Yzerman, 48, has served in his current role since being introduced on May 25, 2010, as the team’s sixth general manager. Tampa Bay has reached the postseason in two of his four seasons, in 2011 and 2014.
The Lightning advanced to the Eastern Conference finals in 2011. They are 144-114-32 during Yzerman’s time in the franchise, including a record of 42-27-9 for 93 points this year.
Yzerman, a four-time Stanley Cup champion, spent 27 seasons with the Detroit Red Wings as a player, captain and front-office executive. He won three Stanley Cup titles as a player (1997, 1998 and 2002), in addition to claiming another as part of Detroit’s management in 2008.
Inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 2009, he also served as Team Canada’s executive director for the 2010 Vancouver and 2014 Sochi Winter Olympic Games. Both those runs resulted in gold medals.
"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," Vinik said in a statement. "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.
"Organizationally, we remain committed to playing at the highest levels each season — regularly competing for the Stanley Cup — and I am very pleased that Steve has elected to be our leader for the next several years."
Meanwhile, Vinik also announced Monday that chief operating officer Steve Griggs was named president of the Lightning and Tampa Bay Times Forum. Griggs joined the Lightning in 2010, shortly after Vinik bought the franchise and the leasehold rights to the Tampa Bay Times Forum.
As a team release described, Griggs "managed a leadership team that has rebranded the organization and substantially grown revenues, while helping create a guest experience in Tampa Bay that is recognized nationally."
"Steve has done a wonderful job for us over the past three-plus years, working with CEO Tod Leiweke and our leadership team to transform the business and develop the brands of the Tampa Bay Lightning, Tampa Bay Times Forum and the Tampa Bay Storm," Vinik said in a statement. "I am very pleased to name him president today and I look forward to our continued growth as a company and a leader in the Tampa Bay community. The development of our Lightning team on the ice, in conjunction with the growth of our business, undoubtedly positions our organization for a very bright future."