NHL GM of the Year Finalists: Maloney, McPhee, Poile

The NHL has unleashed a new award upon us this year, with the NHL’s 30 general managers and a panel of executives and media voting on the NHL’s General Manager of the Year. Here are the 2010 finalists:

Don Maloney, Phoenix Coyotes

George McPhee, Washington Capitals

David Poile, Nashville Predators

You have to think that like Dave Tippett as the coach, the Coyotes’ Dan Maloney is a lock for this award. Not only was his team incredibly competitive after years of mediocrity but he made several big moves at the trade deadline that instantly made the Coyotes a better team. Poile deserves great credit as well, especially considering the budget he’s working with, but Maloney is likely going to be named the winner this year.

The NHL’s press release after the jump.

NEW YORK (May 6, 2010) — Don Maloney of the Phoenix Coyotes,
George McPhee of the Washington Capitals and David Poile of the
Nashville Predators have been voted finalists for the inaugural NHL
General Manager of the Year Award, the National Hockey League announced

Voting for this new award was conducted among the
30 Club General Managers and a panel of NHL executives, print and
broadcast media. The winner will be announced during the 2010 Stanley
Cup Final.

Following are the finalists, in alphabetical
order, for NHL General Manager of the Year:

Don Maloney, Phoenix

Maloney steered the Coyotes through an uncertain
and turbulent off-season, charting the course for the most successful
regular season in franchise history. His biggest move was hiring head
coach Dave Tippett, who guided the Coyotes to the Stanley Cup Playoffs
for the first time since 2002 by posting a 50-27-5 record for 107 points
and setting franchise records for wins and points in a season. With the
Coyotes already enjoying a breakout season, the acquisitions of
forwards Lee Stempniak and Wojtek Wolski plus defensemen Derek Morris
and Mathieu Schneider at the Mar. 3 trade deadline propelled the club to
even greater heights.

George McPhee, Washington Capitals

McPhee’s Capitals set a club record with 121 points (54-15-13) on
the way to the first Presidents’ Trophy in franchise history and their
third consecutive Southeast Division title. The Capitals tallied 313
goals, becoming the NHL’s highest-scoring club since 1995-96. The club’s
biggest free-agent signing last summer, forward Mike Knuble, tallied 29
goals and made a good fit on the top line alongside Alex Ovechkin and
Nicklas Backstrom. Organizational depth was highlighted by the
contributions made by several players recalled from the Capitals’ AHL
affiliate, the Hershey Bears, who also posted the top record in their
league (60-17-3).

David Poile, Nashville Predators

Under Poile’s leadership the Predators qualified for the Stanley Cup
Playoffs for the fifth time in the past six seasons with a 47-29-6
record for 100 points. More than half of the regular lineup was drafted
and developed by the organization, including core defensemen Shea Weber,
Ryan Suter, Dan Hamhuis and Kevin Klein. Leading scorer Patric
Hornqvist and starting goaltender Pekka Rinne were selected by Nashville
with the 230th and 258th overall selections in their respective draft
years. Poile entered an elite class on March 21 when the Predators
defeated St. Louis for his 1,000th regular-season win as a GM.

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    Preds place Salomaki on IR, recall Sissons

    Jake Allen, Miikka Salomaki
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    Nashville made a minor roster transaction on Thursday, putting forward Miikka Salomaki on IR while recalling fellow forward Colton Sissons from AHL Milwaukee.

    Salomaki, 22, was a fairly regular lineup presence through the of November, appearing in eight games while averaging just under 12 minutes per night. Despite his relatively small frame (5-foot-11, 198 pounds), he racked up 28 hits over that time and emerged as a decent energy guy for the Preds.

    As for Sissons, he’s about to get yet another crack with the parent club.

    Having spent most of the last two seasons in Milwaukee, Sissons — the 50th overall pick in 2012 — has seen some action with the Preds this year. He has one goal in five games with Nashville, and eight points in 12 games with the Admirals.

    Oilers say McDavid ‘ahead of schedule’ in broken clavicle recovery

    Connor McDavid
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    There hasn’t been much good news for the Oilers lately — Connor McDavid‘s hurt, Nail Yakupov‘s hurt, they’ve lost seven of their last nine — so what GM Peter Chiarelli had to say on Thursday qualified as very welcome news.

    “He’s ahead of schedule,” Chiarelli said of Connor McDavid and his broken clavicle, per Sportsnet. “He’s been in the pool, been lifting weights… There are no soft tissue injuries, which is important.

    “When you get a break like that, oftentimes there is accompanying soft tissue injuries. That slows down the recovery.”

    McDavid, who suffered the injury on Nov. 3 against Philly, was originally supposed to be sidelined until early March. But per Sportsnet’s Mark Spector, there’s cautious optimism the star rookie could be back in the Edmonton lineup by “mid-to-late January.”

    But even with that cautious optimism, there’s still a long way to go.

    McDavid has yet to resume skating and is still at his parents’ home in Newmarket, Ontario. That said, he’s expected to join Edmonton soon — when the Oilers take on the Leafs in Toronto on Monday — and, according to Chiarelli, will want to get back onto the ice way sooner than expected.

    “I can tell you that when it comes time,” he said, “[McDavid] is going to want to come back a lot earlier than what we forecast internally.”

    There’s another Radulov NHL comeback rumor making the rounds

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    It’s been roughly six months since the last one so yeah, time for an Alex Radulov update.

    Radulov, who’s spent the last four seasons playing for KHL outfit CSKA Moscow, has reportedly rejected the club’s contract extension offer and is ready to become a free agent, per Russian sports writer Slava Malamud.

    Sport-Express’ Igor Eronko also reported the Radulov news, tweeting the ex-Preds forward claimed “there’s nothing” regarding a new deal with CSKA, adding “I’m a free agent after this season.”

    Radulov, 29, is having another terrific offensive campaign in Russia, with 37 points in 32 games. This comes one year after he tore up the KHL in ’14-15, with 24 goals and 71 points in just 46 contests — one of the best offensive campaigns in league history.

    Rumors of Radulov returning to North America happen with the same frequency as Ilya Kovalchuk comeback rumblings, and always with the same outcome. But it’s hard to ignore them completely.


    Well, back in late May, Radulov’s agent told Championat Colorado had been in contact about an NHL return once Radulov’s deal with CSKA expired. Colorado, of course, is coached by Patrick Roy — the same guy that had great success coaching Radulov in the QMJHL.

    The two were, at one time, a dynamic force for the Quebec Remparts. During the 2005-06 campaign, Radulov scored a ridiculous 61 goals and 152 points in just 62 games, the nine more in four Memorial Cup contests, helping Roy capture his first and only championship as a head coach.

    Radulov, of course, hasn’t played in the NHL since an ill-fated reunion with Nashville in 2012, which included him getting suspended for a playoff game after breaking curfew.

    Malamud does note that, should Radulov try to return to the NHL, he’d do so as a unrestricted free agent — meaning he’s no longer Nashville property.

    Just a friendly reminder about Friday’s Bruins-Rangers Thanksgiving Showdown, on NBC

    Brad Marchand, Dan Boyle

    If you don’t spend tomorrow eye-gouging someone to save 50 bucks on an iRobot, why not spend it watching hockey?

    In case you didn’t know, tomorrow’s a pretty big day. Not only is there an Original Six matchup between the Bruins and Rangers — essentially kicking off the NHL on NBC national broadcast campaign — but there’s also an additional evening game, and a good one at that:

    Anaheim hosting the defending Stanley Cup champion Blackhawks, in a rematch of last year’s Western Conference Final.

    But before the Ducks and ‘Hawks do battle, the B’s and Rangers will get it on.

    This marks the second time in the last three years Boston and New York meet in the Thanksgiving Showdown. Back in ’13-14, the Bruins beat the Blueshirts 3-2, and this Farrelly Brothers commercial went to air:

    Tomorrow’s game promises to be a quality affair. The Bruins come in riding a four-game winning streak, which included Wednesday’s 3-2 OT win over Detroit. In that game, Jonas Gustavsson exacted a measure of revenge against his old Red Wings mates, stopping 32 of 34 shots for the win.

    The Rangers, meanwhile, come into Friday’s action looking for some redemption.

    Alain Vigneault’s club was waxed in Wednesday’s big test against top-seeded Montreal, dropping a 5-1 decision, at home, in front of the MSG faithful. The Rangers allowed five regulation goals for the first time this season, and saw All-Star netminder Henrik Lundqvist get yanked as a result.


    New York Rangers at Boston Bruins, 1 p.m. ET, NBC

    Chicago Blackhawks at Anaheim Ducks, 5 p.m. ET, NBCSN

    For online viewing information via NBC Sports’ Live Extra, click here.