As the NHL Awards near, SenShot continues to preview and predict the winners. We have looked at the Lady Byng, Bill Masterton, Frank Selke and the Bridgestone Mark Messier Leadership Award. Now we turn out attention to one of the newest awards, recognizing the men who make the big decisions regarding the direction of a franchise and the players that play for it, the General Manager of the Year.
AWARDED TO: “recognize the work of the league’s general managers”- NHL.com
VOTED BY: The League’s General Managers and a panel of print and broadcast media and NHL executives
AND THE NOMINEES ARE:
MARC BERGEVIN: The first year GM of the Canadiens, former player Marc Bergevin took control of the 15th place Canadiens in the off-season and turned the club around to win the Northeast Division and secure the #2 seed in the playoffs. Some of his more notable moves include the hiring of a former Habs coach Michel Therrien, drafting Alex Galchenyuk, holding firm on P.K. Subban‘s contract demands, and trading Erik Cole for former Hab Michael Ryder.
BOB MURRAY: Faced with the prospect of losing his two best players to unrestricted Free Agency, Bob Murray opened up the pursestrings and got Corey Perry and Ryan Getzlaf signed to long-term contracts. He brought 30 year old goalie Viktor Fasth to North America and brought in Sheldon Souray as the Ducks finished with the second best record in the Western Conference a year after missing the playoffs by 15 points.
RAY SHERO: Beginning with the moves at the draft last year (dealing Jordan Staal for Brandon Sutter and a draft pick) and culminating with the moves to bring in Jarome Iginla and Brenden Morrow for the stretch drive, Shero did what he though it would take to get the Penguins to the Stanley Cup. Obviously with hindsight being 20/20, it didn’t work out, but having the ability to make the moves without sacrificing too much of the Penguins future was a shrewd bit of managing.
AND THE WINNER IS…
SenShot selects Ray Shero as the GM of the Year. While I think I speak for the entire panel when I say the wrong Murray was nominated, Shero made headlines with his moves, and based on the regular season, is the winner. Bergevin did a great job, but the Canadiens had nowhere to go but up. Murray simply opened his owner’s wallet for the most part, and did what he had to do to avoid losing Getzlaf and Perry. Shero was proactive and went out and stole two stars from the rest of the league (most notably the Bruins), and since the voting was done before the Penguins’ 3rd round collapse, Shero will win the award.