Hedgie Vinik Picks Hall Of Famer To Run Hockey Team

May 27 2010 | 3:57am ET

Hedge fund manager Jeffrey Vinik has installed Hockey Hall of Famer Steve Yzerman as general manager of the Tampa Bay Lightning, the team he bought in February.

“He had all the characteristics I’ve talked about that I and the Lightning organization are looking for,” Vinik, who runs Boston-based Vinik Asset Management, said at the press conference introducing Yzerman. “Leadership, integrity, hard work, loyalty and an intelligent, thoughtful approach to making decisions.”

Yzerman, who won four Stanley Cups in a 23-year playing career with the Detroit Red Wings, returned the compliments to his new boss.

“With each conversation Jeff and I had, I liked his plan,” Yzerman, who was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame last year, said. “In my opinion, I believe Jeff has a complete understanding of what has to be done here.”

Vinik said Yzerman will have “full rein” in picking a coach and rebuilding the club, which won the Stanley Cup six years ago but has missed the playoffs in each of the past three seasons.

Yzerman spent the last four years as a vice president of the Red Wings. It is believed Vinik offered him a five-year deal that will make him among the highest-paid general managers in the National Hockey League.

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