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Yzerman to lead rebuilding of Lightning

Tampa Bay LightningSteve Yzerman, who parlayed a Hall of Fame career into a notable stint as executive director of Hockey Canada, is the new general manager of the NHL’s Tampa Bay Lightning, charged with the huge task of rebuilding the once-notable franchise.

Yzerman most recently was a vice president of the Detroit Red Wings, the only team he played for during a 22-year career. The Canadian team won a gold medal in the 2010 Olympics under his guidance after he replaced Wayen Gretzky as head of Hockey Canada.

He will have the luxury of hiring his own coach, as owner Jeff Vinik fired both GM Brian Lawton and coach Rick Tocchet last month. The Lightning are six years removed from the only Stanley Cup in team history, and while many observers say there’s a solid core of players in Tampa, the standings don’t reflect that, as the team missed the playoffs again this past season.