But the move has already stoked speculation that Yzerman will eventually become the Red Wings' next general manager.
The Athletic reported former assistant GM Julien BriseBois is expected to take over.
"I feel this change in role is important for me to allow me to spend more time with my family and to still make sure the Lightning is managed to the level everyone has come to expect", Yzerman said.
Tampa Bay themselves has not confirmed the news yet but they have a press conference scheduled for 4 pm EST for a "major announcement" with owner Jeff Vinik, Yzerman and BriseBois all in attendance. Yzerman's family has remained in Detroit, and he commuted during his time on the job.
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Yzerman has been highly successful as general manager of the Lightning, as they've appeared in four Eastern Conference Finals as well as the Stanley Cup Finals in 2015, losing to Chicago. He is considered to easily be one of, if not the best general manager in the entire league with how he turned the Lightning around from basement dweller to a Stanley Cup contender year after year.
Yzerman said he was "100 percent committed" to the Lightning this season. He has always been considered a future National Hockey League general manager.
"We're going to play this year, and after that, I don't know", Yzerman said. He also traded for J.T. Miller and Ryan McDonagh at last year's trade deadline and got Nikita Kucherov signed to an extension this summer.
Before coming to Tampa Bay, Yzerman spent 22 years as a Hall-of-Fame player in Detroit and almost four years in the front office of the Red Wings. He still has one year left on his contract with the Lightning, and he accepted an advisory role with the team after resigning as GM. He began his front-office career as vice-president of hockey operations under GM Ken Holland in Detroit and was part of a Cup victor in 2008 before getting the head job with the Lightning. The Lightning was hoping to sign Yzerman to a contract extension until Tuesday's stunning news.