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Jay Feaster, middle, stepped down as general manager of the Tampa Bay Lightning on Friday. ((Scott Audette/Associated Press))

Jay Feaster, the man who helped build the Tampa Bay Lightning into Stanley Cup champions, resigned as the club's general manager on Friday.

Feaster leaves his post with three years remaining on his contract. There was no indication of what kind of compensation package, if any, Feaster would receive from the club.

"For the past two weeks I have watched from the sidelines as (vice-president of operations) Brian Lawton (and owners) Len Barrie and Oren Koules executed to perfection the gameplan they shared with us prior to the NHL draft in Ottawa," Feaster said in a release.

"During that time it became apparent to me that this new ownership group did not need my advice or expertise, and I came to the conclusion that it was time to move on."

Feaster, who turns 46 later this month, joined the Lightning in October 1998 as assistant general manager to Jacques Demers and later to Rick Dudley.

He was promoted to general manager in February 2002 and served as the club's GM for five full seasons (in addition to the 2004-05 lockout season).

Under Feaster, the Lightning became an NHL powerhouse built on the talents of a core of players, including forwards Vincent Lecavalier, Brad Richards and Martin St. Louis, and defenceman Dan Boyle.

His teams made the playoffs four times, posted 207 wins and compiled a .547 winning percentage — both franchise bests for a GM — while winning Southeast Division titles in 2002-03 and 2003-04. Tampa Bay won the Stanley Cup in 2004, the same year Feaster was named the Sporting News' NHL executive of the year.