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
today.

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
Coyotes

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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    Habs place Redmond on waivers — again

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    A number of players found themselves on waivers Friday, including Montreal depth defenseman Zach Redmond.

    (CapFriendly has an extensive list of players on waivers, which you can check out here.)

    Redmond is in the final year of a two-year contract with the Habs, who already had a crowded blue line with eight defensemen signed for this season and Jakub Jerabek making the move from the KHL and looking to earn a roster spot out of camp.

    Noah Juulsen was also a prospect defenseman to watch in camp, however, he recently suffered a fractured foot and is out six weeks.

    Redmond, who was previously placed on waivers in January, split last season between Montreal and the Habs’ AHL affiliate in St. John’s, where he had 18 points in 26 games.

    Now 29 years old, Redmond has 130 games worth of NHL experience with Winnipeg, Colorado and Montreal.

    Report: Oilers and potential UFA Maroon talking extension

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    The Edmonton Oilers and forward Patrick Maroon are reportedly discussing an extension, according to TSN’s Ryan Rishaug.

    Maroon spent a good chunk of the season playing with Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl, and it showed in his numbers.

    The 29-year-old scored a career-high 27 goals (he had never scored more than 11 goals in a season) and 42 points in 81 contests.

    Maroon is in the final year of a three-year contract that came with an annual average value of $2 million. You’d have to think that he’s in line for a raise.

    “Obviously without those two I wouldn’t have the success I did, but sometimes you’ve got to give yourself some credit too,” Maroon said earlier this month, per NHL.com. “Those two are very tremendous players, and for me I’ve just got to keep doing what I’m doing to stay with them.

    “Obviously [Oilers coach] Todd McLellan had a really big part in that. He gave me an opportunity to play with those two. For me, I’ve just got to continue what I did last year, come [to training camp] in really good shape again, and hopefully good things fall into place again.”

    ‘We’ve got to get that out of his game’: Trotz wants Ovechkin to cut down on slashing penalties

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    As you may have noticed, the NHL is trying to crack down on players cheating on faceoffs and stick infractions.

    The first week of the preseason has been nothing more than teams getting a good look at their power play units because players still aren’t used to the way officials are calling the game.

    One of the players that has to adapt to the officiating is Capitals forward Alex Ovechkin, who took two slashing penalties against Montreal on Wednesday night.

    “Too many slashing penalties,” Caps head coach Barry Trotz said, per the Washington Post. “Ovi took two. We’ve got to get that out of his game.”

    Like all players, it’s something the Capitals captain will have to get used to before the regular season begins. But let’s be honest, there’s a good chance that these officials won’t be as strict on the stick or face-off infractions as the regular season goes on.

    Ovechkin isn’t the only star player that’s having an issue adapting to some of these stricter on-ice policies. Earlier in this week, Bruins forward Brad Marchand ripped the new face-off rule.

    “This faceoff rule’s an absolute joke,” Marchand said. “That’s how you ruin the game of hockey by putting that in there. They’re going to have to do something about that because we can’t play this year like that. That’s brutal.”

    We’ll see if the league actually sticks to its guns here. If they do, how long will it take the players to adjust?

    Housley focused on making Sabres ‘an aggressive team’

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    The Buffalo Sabres haven’t been a playoff team in quite some time, but the organization is hoping that their major offseason changes will help them take a few steps in the right direction.

    One of those major changes came behind the bench, as the team hired Predators assistant Phil Housley to be their head coach.

    Housley did some terrific work with defensemen like Ryan Ellis, Roman Josi, Mattias Ekholm and P.K. Subban last season. A big part of Nashville’s attack came from defenders pushing the pace from the back.

    “We want to be an aggressive team,” Housley said, per NHL.com. “I think everybody we’ve talked about playing aggressive offensively but we need to play aggressive defensively. I think defense gives you a chance to win every night and they’ll understand that we want to be fast and aggressive. The days are gone when a guy wants to make a breakout pass and the [defense] just watched the rush go up and play; they have to get up in the play not only to maybe join the rush and add to the attack, but to be in the offensive zone, being able to keep pucks in, or else you’re going to start playing defense.”

    The Sabres could use an offensive boost from their defense (or anyone really). Last season, Jack Eichel collected 57 points in 61 games, which comes out to an impressive 0.934 points-per-game. But Unfortunately for the Sabres, no player topped 60 points in 2016-17.

    Buffalo changed the look of their defense during the summer, as they acquired Nathan Beaulieu from Montreal and Marco Scandella from Minnesota. Both guys are capable of moving the puck, which should help Housley execute his plan.

    Also, it’ll be interesting to see if Housley can take Rasmus Ristolainen‘s game to the next level. The 22-year-old has surpassed the 40-point mark in each of the last two seasons. He’s also served as the big-minute guy on the Sabres blue line.

    “We’re here to learn from him and pick his brain, he was a [heck] of a player in his day,” defender Zach Bogosian said. “He gets the game. He’s played for a while, he’s coached for a while, he’s been around forever.

    “Guys are looking forward to playing that style.”