TAMPA — Lightning general manager Steve Yzerman had the support of owner Jeff Vinik over the summer when he bought out then-captain Vinny Lecavalier, and on Wednesday when he traded captain Marty St. Louis.
It should be no surprise, then, the Lightning is talking with Yzerman about a contract extension.
Vinik declined Thursday to confirm or deny negotiations are taking place because commenting on such matters is "inappropriate."
He did say he is "100 percent behind Steve." In a conversation last month with the Tampa Bay Times, Vinik graded Yzerman an A-plus.
Yzerman, 48, hired in May 2010, is in the fourth year of a five-year deal.
Vinik said he had two "great meetings" with St. Louis, telling him "that my dream is that you finish your career here and you lead us to another Stanley Cup. But I understand Marty's reasons, and we wish him well. I hope things go great for him and his family up in New York."
Vinik praised Yzerman for what he got from the Rangers in the trade: right wing Ryan Callahan, a 2015 first-round draft choice and a conditional 2014 second-round choice.
"The exciting part of it is … we think we got a reasonably good deal," Vinik said. "Ryan Callahan isn't going to put up the points Marty does, but he's a great two-way hockey player and gives us grit, and we think he'll be a great addition to the team."
One Vinik wants Yzerman to continue leading.