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Tampa Bay Lightning hand GM title to current VP Brian Lawton @NHLdotcom

TAMPA, Fla. - The Tampa Bay Lightning have added another title to Brian Lawton's portfolio.

The NHL team officially named him general manager on Wednesday. Lawton had served as Tampa's vice-president of hockey operations since June.

"When we hired Brian, his role was not fully defined during our time of transition," Lightning owners Oren Koules and Len Barrie said in a statement. "To Brian's credit, he led us from a hockey operations perspective through the ownership transition and has proven to be the insightful, steady, guiding force that we are confident will lead us on the ice to long-and short-term successes.

"We are excited to have him heading up the hockey operations department for us."

Jay Feaster resigned as the team's GM in July.

Lawton was behind many of the trades and free-agent signings Tampa made over the summer. He's happy to officially assume the GM duties.

"I appreciate Oren and Len for having the faith to bestow the title of general manager on me," said Lawton. "I realize that I am one of just 30 to hold the position and I will do everything I can to drive the Lightning to a high level on and off the ice. At the same time, I know that success in hockey is a team effort and I appreciate everyone here that is working, collectively, to bring us back to an elite level."

Prior to joining the Lightning, Lawton spent 14 years as a player agent. He's also a former first overall draft pick of the Minnesota North Stars.

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