The NHL announced the finalists for the General Manager of the Year award and the Vancouver Canucks’ very own Mike Gillis made the final cut.
He’ll join the Nashville Predators’ David Poile, who was a finalist last year as well, and rookie general manager Steve Yzerman of the Tampa Bay Lightning who made the cut after his first full year of running the Lightning franchise.
All three men are worthy of being named finalists for the award that will be awarded at the NHL Awards in Las Vegas on June 22.
Poile has been named a finalist in both seasons the award has been in existence and he’s deserved both nods as he’s helped build a team that’s made the NHL playoffs six out of the last seven seasons in a non-mad hockey location. He’s built his team through the draft, resulting in long-term franchise players such as Ryan Suter, Shea Weber and Pekka Rinne, and he’s added key pieces through trade such as Mike Fisher and Sergei Kostitsyn.
Yzerman helped build a Tampa Bay team that made a return visit to the playoffs since the 1997 season. A few of his key moves since his playing days in Detroit include acquiring a starting goaltender in Dwayne Roloson and spurning well known and experienced coaches and instead naming newcomer Guy Boucher head coach, who led the team to a 5th place finish in the Eastern Conference.
Vancouver’s Gillis doesn’t need his accomplishments listed here as most Canuck fans are quite aware of what he’s done. But let’s list them anyway. He helped the Canucks achieve their best regular season finish ever, put together a roster that won 54 games, and win the President’s Trophy. Not bad for a year’s work.
Yzerman, Polie and Gillis will have a chance to be named the second ever NHL general manager of the year because last year’s inaugural winner, Don Maloney of the Phoneix Coyotes wasn’t named a finalist this time around.