Tampa Bay Lightning: 50 Greatest Moments In Franchise History

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Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

30. Steve Yzerman Wins General Manager of the Year

Date: June 24, 2015

The Tampa Bay Lightning has been through their fair share of ups and downs over the course of their 23 year history, but there is no denying one of the greatest moments in Tampa Bay Lightning history is when former Detroit Red Wings center and Vice President Steve Yzerman was named Vice President and General Manager of the Tampa Bay Lightning.

Throughout the course of his time here in the Bolts Nation, Yzerman has worked tirelessly with his staff in order to cultivate a winning hockey franchise who will be sustainable for many years to come. While we wouldn’t always know exactly what Yzerman was playing at when he would make some of his decisions, it always seemed to turn out for the best.

This has led the Tampa Bay Lightning to have one of the best developmental systems in the National Hockey League. The Lightning’s American Hockey League affiliate, the Syracuse Crunch, is jam-packed with players who are ready and willing to make the jump to the Lightning’s main roster at a moment’s notice and keep the Lightning headed in the right direction.

As some of fans in the Bolts Nation are painfully aware, this is something that is being put to the test in the 2015-16 season with the ridiculous amount of injuries the Lightning are dealing with in their offensive structure.

Last season, the Tampa Bay Lightning did what some people thought was impossible. The Lightning proved all of their critics wrong and proved they were capable of playing on hockey’s highest level as they defeated the New York Rangers to become the Eastern Conference Champions and face off with the Chicago Blackhawks in the 2015 Stanley Cup Finals.

The Lightning’s success in both the regular and post season would lead to Steve Yzerman being named a finalist for General Manager of the Year at the 2015 NHL Awards. The General Manager of the Year is a category which is voted on by the 30 NHL General Managers, a panel of NHL Executives, and the print and broadcast media at the conclusion of the Second Round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

After the playoffs had come to a conclusion, the National Hockey League would hold the 2015 NHL Awards in Las Vegas, Nevada on June 24th. As Gary Bettman would take the stage with a young lady named Jordan to announce the winner, the name Jordan would read off the card would be that of Steve Yzerman. This would be his first General Manager of the Year Award.

Anyone who has been a fan of the Tampa Bay Lightning since Yzerman came to town knows all-too-well how valuable he is to the Tampa Bay Lightning organization. Yzerman’s current contract will see him in his current position until the conclusion of the 2018-19 season. Hopefully, we will see him continue on at the helm of the Tampa Bay Lightning for many more seasons to come.

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