Tuesday, April 24, 2018
Tampa Bay Lightning

Being GM for team and country tough for Lightning's Yzerman

Given the drama that erupted around Lightning general manager Steve Yzerman as executive director of Canada's Olympic team, one might expect Tampa Bay owner Jeff Vinik to say "no way" when asked if he would allow Yzerman to take the job again.

But Vinik said he would not outright prohibit Yzerman from signing up.

"I wouldn't preclude the idea," Vinik said, though he added, "I'd have a discussion with him."

The point is moot, actually, as Yzerman, who led Canada to consecutive gold medals, said he will not be the boss of the 2018 team if the NHL decides to participate in the Games in South Korea.

Not because of the controversy and rancor that developed when then-Lightning captain Marty St. Louis was left off Canada's initial roster for last month's Games in Sochi, Russia, but because, Yzerman said, "It's time for me to step aside and give somebody else an opportunity."

Even so, the debate remains valid. Should a general manager head his country's Olympic efforts when personnel decisions could go against members of his NHL team?

"I think as a manager of a team, you really have to think about it," former Lightning and Flames GM Jay Feaster said. "At the end of the day, as much as you have pride in your country, your first obligation is to the team that's paying you. In retrospect, I ask: Is that why Steve stepped down at the end of these Olympics?"

"I don't think we'll see another GM doing that," Lightning captain Steven Stamkos said. "I don't think anyone realized the impact it can have on the relationship with your players on your team and your country."

And what an effect Yzerman had.

Canada's roster was debated ad nauseam by the media and fans, not because of who was included but who wasn't. The search for snubs was endless. St. Louis apparently was so disturbed at being left off the roster, it was the final push he needed to leave Tampa Bay — even after he later was added to replace the injured Stamkos.

None of that, though, Yzerman said, was the impetus for him to say after Canada won gold that he would not lead a team in 2018. In fact, he said, he made the decision two years ago when Hockey Canada president Bob Nicholson asked him to put together the team that would defend the 2010 gold medal won in Vancouver.

"I would love to go to Russia and try to win a gold medal and repeat as champion and try to win in a foreign land. That was my reason for doing it one more time," Yzerman said of leading the team in Sochi.

As for Canada's gold medal, Yzerman said, "I was thrilled to be part of it."

But he's done.

Comments
Bruins … Leafs … doesn’t matter. Lightning’s got this

Bruins … Leafs … doesn’t matter. Lightning’s got this

TAMPA — The Bruins and Maple Leafs play Game 7 Wednesday night in Boston.Let them.Let them beat each other's brains in for all the Lightning care. Let it go to overtime. Let it go to six overtimes. Lightning players and coaches will be watching...
Updated: 1 hour ago
How the Lightning did its best work on the Devils short-handed

How the Lightning did its best work on the Devils short-handed

TAMPA — The Lightning rolled past the Devils in five games of the Stanley Cup Playoffs quarterfinal series largely because the penalty kill became a beast, killing off 16 of 19, including the final 15 when down a man.Two of those three goals al...
Updated: 7 hours ago
Bruins’ Brad Marchand: ‘You have to be willing to do anything … in order to win’

Bruins’ Brad Marchand: ‘You have to be willing to do anything … in order to win’

Brad Marchand might be the ultimate pest, but he's not the original.Not even in his own family.The Boston Bruins left wing writes in a first-person story published last week in The Players' Tribune that he got his inspiration from his younger br...
Updated: 9 hours ago
Lightning wait goes on: Leafs top Bruins to force Game 7

Lightning wait goes on: Leafs top Bruins to force Game 7

TORONTO — Frederik Andersen made 32 saves as the Maple Leafs defeated the Bruins 3-1 to force a Game 7 in their first-round playoff series Monday night.William Nylander, Mitch Marner and Tomas Plekanec, into an empty net, scored for the Leafs, who tr...
Updated: 10 hours ago
The key to the Lightning’s success

The key to the Lightning’s success

This is quite the run the Lightning is on over the past five years.A playoff appearance in 2014. A trip to the Stanley Cup final in 2015. A return to the Eastern Conference final in 2016. A near-miss of the postseason last season. And now back in the...
Updated: 10 hours ago
Lightning Round 2 playoff tickets on sale Monday

Lightning Round 2 playoff tickets on sale Monday

Single-game tickets for the Lightning's Eastern Conference semifinal series go on sale to the general public at 1 p.m. Monday at nhl.com/lightning/tickets. The Lightning plays the winner of the Bruins-Maple Leafs series. Game 6 of that series is Mon...
Published: 04/22/18
Updated: 04/23/18
Lightning has answer for Devils and David Puddy

Lightning has answer for Devils and David Puddy

You knew those who work the scoreboard for the Lightning games at Amalie Arena would have an answer Saturday during Game 5 to the Devils using David Puddy during Game 4 at the Prudential Center. Puddy meets Homer Simpson. Actually, Puddy met Terry ...
Published: 04/22/18
Updated: 04/23/18
Andrei Vasilevskiy and the universal language of playoff hockey

Andrei Vasilevskiy and the universal language of playoff hockey

TAMPA — As usual, Andrei Vasilevskiy didn't speak in front of the cameras after the game. He has been like that since he hit the NHL. He still isn't comfortable with his English on TV.But Vasilevskiy spoke loudly and clearly in the first-round ...
Published: 04/22/18
Lightning-Devils: Grading Tampa Bay’s clinching 3-1 victory in Game 5

Lightning-Devils: Grading Tampa Bay’s clinching 3-1 victory in Game 5

TAMPA — Closers.That's what the Lightning looked like as it closed out the New Jersey Devils in five games with a 3-1 win Saturday.Nikita Kucherov's star power blazed again, the defense controlled the game and not even Jersey goaltend...
Published: 04/21/18
Updated: 04/22/18
Maple Leafs force Game 6 with Bruins

Maple Leafs force Game 6 with Bruins

BOSTON — Tyler Bozak and James van Riemsdyk scored 1:19 apart in the second period, and then the Maple Leafs killed off a 5-on-3 and three more power plays in a row to beat the Bruins 4-3 in Game 5 on Saturday night and avoid playoff eliminatio...
Published: 04/21/18