The Tampa Bay Lightning hired Steve Yzerman as vice president and general manager on May 25, 2010, making him the sixth in franchise history. Entering his sixth season in Tampa Bay in 2015-16, Yzerman is responsible for all Lightning hockey operations, including the coaching and scouting staffs, player procurement and development, as well as minor league affiliations and operations. Also serving as alternate governor, he reports directly to owner and governor Jeff Vinik. Yzerman signed a four-year extension with Tampa Bay on April 7, 2014, keeping him with the Lightning through the 2018-19 season.
Yzerman has been meticulous in his approach to running the Lightning's hockey operations department, with an emphasis on drafting and development. Despite a run to the Stanley Cup Final in 2015 and the Eastern Conference Final in 2011, Yzerman has remained methodical in the process and refused to sacrifice sustained, long-term success for the sake of short-term goals. Instead he has focused on the draft and cultivating the team's young talent. That approach has started to pay off as home-grown players such as Tyler Johnson, Ondrej Palat, Nikita Kucherov, Alex Killorn, Nikita Nesterov, Andrej Sustr and others now form part of the nucleus that propelled the Lightning to the 2015 Stanley Cup Final and have Tampa Bay poised to be a contender for years to come.
Despite a young core, Yzerman added 2,710 games of regular season experience and 301 in the playoffs during the summer of 2014 with a number of key signings. He was also able to add veteran defenseman Braydon Coburn at the trade deadline to solidify the blue-line. The result was one of the most successful seasons in Lightning franchise history, reaching the 50-win plateau for the first time and establishing a new record with 32 home wins. Tampa Bay's success carried over to the playoffs, as the team went to its second Stanley Cup Final, eventually losing in six games to the Chicago Blackhawks. Yzerman was rewarded for his work and the team's success, being named the NHL's General Manager of the Year at the league's annual awards show in Las Vegas.
The Lightning enter the 2015-16 season with almost an identical roster as the one that brought them to within two wins from the franchise's second Stanley Cup a season ago but the organization's depth and commitment to player development is still apparent. Tampa Bay's top pick in 2013, Jonathan Drouin, has a year of NHL experience under his belt, goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy continues to learn the North American game, Vladislav Namestnikov is expected to play a bigger role and defenseman Slater Koekkoek continues to progress. Meanwhile highly-touted prospects Adam Erne, Anthony DeAngelo and Adam Wilcox prepare for their first full professional seasons. Both the present and the future look bright for the Bolts under Yzerman's leadership.
Prior to joining the Lightning, Yzerman, 50, spent four seasons as vice president with the Detroit Red Wings. During that time he worked closely with general manager Ken Holland, senior vice president Jim Devellano and then-assistant general manager Jim Nill on evaluating talent at both the professional and amateur levels. Yzerman is a four-time Stanley Cup Champion, winning three as a player (1997, 1998 and 2002) and another as a member of Detroit's management team (2008). Overall he spent 27 seasons with the franchise. He was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 2009, his first year of eligibility.
After retiring from the game, Yzerman became an integral part of Hockey Canada's management team. He served as general manager for Canada at the 2007 and 2008 IIHF World Championships, bringing home gold and silver respectively. He returned to the post at the 2013 tournament in Stockholm, Sweden and Helsinki, Finland. He then led Hockey Canada to a magical moment when his team defeated the United States in overtime to win the Gold Medal on home ice at the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver, where he served as executive director. He held the same position for the 2014 games in Sochi, Russia with a similar result, as Team Canada again took Gold. Yzerman also won an Olympic Gold Medal as a player with Canada in 2002.
Yzerman and his wife, Lisa, have three daughters.