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Lightning’s Steve Yzerman named top general manager

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This time, he won in a landslide.

Tampa Bay Lightning general manager Steve Yzerman was named General Manager of the Year in the NHL Wednesday evening, compiling 80 points in an easy win.

Yzerman, whose Lightning finished second in the NHL this season, won the award over Glenn Sather of the New York Rangers (49 points) and Bob Murray of Anaheim (36 points). It was the first time in the six-year history of the award a Lightning general manager has won the award.

Lightning coach Jon Cooper finished eighth in the voting for the Jack Adams Award for Coach of the Year.

This year, the rebuilt Lightning led the NHL in scoring and set franchise records with 50 wins and 108 points. In Yzerman’s first season on the job, the Lightning reached the Eastern Conference Finals. Since then, Yzerman has rebuilt the roster, with Steven Stamkos and Victor Hedman the only two holdovers on the team. He has rebuilt the farm system along the way.

Also, Yzerman is credited with getting players through the draft (Nikita Kucherov and Ondrej Palat), through free agency (Brian Boyle, Valtteri Filppula, Tyler Johnson and Anton Stralman) and through trades (Ben Bishop, Ryan Callahan, Braydon Coburn and Jason Garrison).

Only one problem, however. Who is going to break the news to Marty St. Louis?

Gary Shelton is one of the most recognized and honored sportswriters in the history of the state. He has won the APSE's national columnist of the year twice and finished in the top 10 eight times. He was named the Florida Sportswriter of the Year six times. Gary joined SaintPetersBlog in the spring, helping to bring a sports presence to the website. Over his time in sports writing, Gary has covered 29 Super Bowls, 10 Olympics, Final Fours, Masters, Wimbledons and college national championships. He was there when the Bucs won a Super Bowl, when the Lightning won a Stanley Cup and when the Rays went to a World Series. He has seen Florida, FSU and Miami all win national championships, and he covered Bear Bryant, Bobby Bowden and Don Shula along the way. He and his wife Janet have four children: Eric, Kevin, K.C. and Tori. To contact, visit garysheltonsports@gmail.com.

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