At a news conference, the Lightning announced Yzerman will replace Brian Lawton, who was fired on April 13. Head coach Rick Tocchet was let go on the same day.
"My goal is to improve the Lightning, the playoffs are incredibly exciting," Yzerman said at the news conference. "Our goal is to make the playoffs, but our long-term plan is to draft well and develop well ... it's a very methodical process. My goal is to build for long-term success but to keep [the Lightning] competitive for the interim."
It was Yzerman who helped keep the Detroit Red Wings one of the NHL's most successful teams for over two decades.
Yzerman played 22 seasons for the Red Wings, with whom he was most recently vice president of hockey operations. The Red Wings are the only organization Yzerman has been involved with during his NHL career, having helped bring three Stanley Cups to Detroit.
Yzerman has been courted by Tampa Bay for the last week. Minnesota Wild GM Doug Risebrough, Nashville assistant GM Paul Fenton and television analyst Pierre McGuire also reportedly were considered for the position.
"We have a group of outstanding veteran players who are proven winners, who have won here in Tampa, and a group of young players as well, who have entered the NHL in the last couple years," Yzerman said." ... There is a core of players that you can build around for the future and be successful."