Yzerman informed players of the decision Tuesday afternoon after the informal skate at the Ice Sports Forum in Brandon, the Athletic first reported.
Julien BriseBois, who has been serving as Yzerman's assistant general manager, will grab the reins ahead of the upcoming campaign. Yzerman, 53, spent the past eight seasons as Tampa Bay's GM, a tenure that included four playoff appearances and a trip to the 2015 Stanley Cup Final.
Yzerman's run as Tampa's GM includes winning the General Manager of the Year Award during the 2014-15 season.
The 2018-19 Lightning carry high expectations; they are believed to be one of the preseason favorites in the Eastern Conference and once again a legitimate Stanley Cup contender. He has always been considered a future National Hockey League general manager.
For years, there have always been rumors of Steve Yzerman returning to Detroit to be a general manager, but it is important to note that the current Detroit general manager Ken Holland just signed a two year contract extension with the team this offseason. Most recently, Yzerman made the blockbuster acquisition of Rangers captain Ryan McDonagh at February's trade deadline and inked Nitkita Kucherov to an eight-year, $76 million extension in July.
The details surrounding why exactly Yzerman is stepping down remain a mystery, though there's no shortage of speculation already. 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.
"We're going to play this year, and after that, I don't know", Yzerman said.