NEW YORK, N.Y. – Doug Armstrong of the St. Louis Blues, David Poile of the Nashville Predators and Dale Tallon of the Florida Panthers are the three finalists for the 2011-12 NHL general manager of the year award, the league said Tuesday.
The winner will be announced June 20 at the NHL awards in Las Vegas.
Armstrong led the Blues to a 49-22-11 record this season as the team captured its first Central Division title since 1999-2000.
Adding to a talented nucleus of Blues draft picks, Armstrong signed unheralded free agent goaltender Brian Elliott in the summer. Elliott went on to lead the NHL with a 1.56 goals-against average and .940 save percentage.
Armstrong also acquired veteran forwards Jason Arnott and Jamie Langenbrunner. After the Blues started the season 6-7-0, Armstrong made a coaching change by bringing in 500-game winner and Stanley Cup champion Ken Hitchcock, who led St. Louis to a 43-15-11 record.
A season after Nashville won its first-ever playoff series, Poile helped the Predators (48-26-8) earn a post-season berth for the seventh time in eight seasons.
Poile negotiated the late-season return of star forward Alex Radulov and also acquired forwards Andrei Kostitsyn and Paul Gaustad and veteran defenceman Hal Gill prior to the trade deadline.
Tallon’s off-season overhaul was a runaway success as the Panthers (38-26-18) captured the first division title in franchise history and earned a playoff spot for the first time in 12 years.
He named Kevin Dineen to his first NHL head coaching assignment last June and followed that up with a flurry of acquisitions that included forwards Kris Versteeg, Tomas Fleischmann, Sean Bergenheim and Tomas Kopecky, defencemen Brian Campbell and Ed Jovanovski and goaltender Jose Theodore.
The in-season acquisitions of veteran forwards Mikael Samuelsson, John Madden, Marco Sturm, Wojtek Wolski and Jerred Smithson also helped bolstered Florida’s playoff drive.