Reigning GM of the Year Bob Murray is in the mix for the award again this year, along with Tampa Bay’s Steve Yzerman and Glen Sather of the New York Rangers.
Tampa Bay’s Steve Yzerman, Anaheim’s Bob Murray and the New York Rangers’ Glen Sather have been named finalists for the NHL’s General Manager of the Year Award.
Not surprisingly, all three GMs are still watching their squads in the Stanley Cup playoffs, after tremendous regular seasons.
Yzerman’s Lightning finished second in the Atlantic Division in 2014-15, posting 50 wins and a whopping plus-51 goal differential, the second-best rating in the league.
Yzerman’s biggest splash in the trade market happened at the trade deadline, when he dealt Radko Gudas and first- and third-round picks to Philadelphia in exchange for defenceman Braydon Coburn. He also shipped prospect Brett Connolly to Boston for a pair of second-rounders, allowed Evgeni Nabokov to go to San Jose to retire as a Shark and acquired Carter Ashton and David Broll from Toronto. Earlier in the year he dealt away Eric Brewer and Nate Thompson to Anaheim, and added Jason Garrison in a deal with Vancouver last summer.
His acquisitions shored up a strong core of players that includes superstar Steven Stamkos, goalie Ben Bishop, defensive stalwart Victor Hedman and great young finds in the likes of Ondrej Palat and Tyler Johnson, who are lighting it up in the playoffs.
Bob Murray and his Anaheim Ducks won the Western Conference this year with 109 points, but their success all season didn’t stop Murray from tinkering all the way through. He gambled correctly on Frederik Andersen in goal and let Jonas Hiller walk as a free agent over the summer. He also made his team scary up the middle in acquiring Ryan Kesler from Vancouver, and piled up his stock of defensemen through trades over the course of the season. He robbed Pittsburgh in acquiring young Simon Despres for Ben Lovejoy, and picked up Jiri Sekac in a deal with Montreal for Devante Smith-Pelly.
Murray’s Ducks have one of the best young bluelines in the league, and Andersen looks to be the real deal after a strong regular season and a great jump to the playoffs.
Veteran GM Glen Sather had another banner year in New York, where his Rangers squad won the Presidents’ Trophy with 113 points and a league-best plus-60 goal differential. Sather made all his deals at the deadline, including the blockbuster trade to acquire Keith Yandle from Arizona for John Moore, prospect Anthony Duclair and first-and second-round picks.
Sather also lured big, skilled college free agent Kevin Hayes to New York, adding him to a great mix of veterans and up-and-coming twenty-somethings in the Big Apple. He’s built a very strong team around all-world goalie Henrik Lundqvist, in hopes of winning while his best player is still in his prime.
Yzerman joined Tampa five years ago, Murray took over the Ducks in 2008 and Sather took the reins in New York in 2000.
GMs, broadcasters and print journalists vote on the award after the second round of the playoffs.
Murray won the award last year.