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Reports: Steve Yzerman to be named new Tampa Bay GM

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After weeks of speculating, it is expected that Steve Yzerman will be named as the new general manager of the Tampa Bay Lightning today. According to a number of media reports, there will be a press conference this afternoon to make the formal announcement.

Yzerman’s name has always been associated with the vacant job in Tampa, and the way he continuously dodged all questions or was continuously vague in his answers further fueled speculation that he was the number one candidate and that he was seriously considering the offer.

Yzerman, like Joe Nieuwendyk, has taken a path straight to the top since retirement as he hopped on with the Red Wings front office in 2006.

The Tampa Bay Lightning, looking for a new start after firing their coach and general manager in April, as well as all of the ownership issues of the past few seasons, have to be ecstatic to have a person of Yzerman’s character and ability representing their team. He was Executive Director of Team Canada for the 2010 Olympics and has been learning the ropes of the management business under perhaps the best GM in the NHL, Ken Holland.

The Lightning and the fans should not expect an immediate turnaround, as he has a lot of problems to sort through and a lot or rebuilding to get started. There are a number of highly-paid, aging veterans on the team, yet there are still some shining positives to focus on. Steven Stamkos is the obvious one, and perhaps Yzerman can be the one to snap Stamkos out of the “selfish” mold he’s been put into.

The press conference is scheduled for 3 p.m. this afternoon.