The NHL has announced that the Pittsburgh Penguins’ Ray Shero, Montreal Canadiens’ Marc Bergevin, and Anaheim Ducks’ Bob Murray are the three finalists for the GM of the Year Award.
Of the candidates, Shero was by far the most active on the trade front. He parted ways with Jordan Staal and acquired Tomas Vokoun over the summer. During the regular season, he took advantage of the Penguins’ flexible short-term cap position by adding Brenden Morrow, Douglas Murray, Jarome Iginla, and Jussi Jokinen to their roster.
The Penguins earned the first seed in the Eastern Conference despite losing Sidney Crosby, Kris Letang, James Neal, Evgeni Malkin, and Paul Martin for significant parts of the season.
Bergevin was named the Montreal Canadiens’ general manager a year ago and since then he’s hired head coach Michel Therrien and drafted Alex Galchenyuk. He also traded away struggling forward Erik Cole in order to reunite Michael Ryder with the squad that originally drafted him. Cole never turned his season around, but Ryder meshed well with the Canadiens, recording 21 points in 27 games.
Most importantly, Bergevin inherited a team that finished dead last in the Eastern Conference and led them to the second seed.
Murray’s accomplishments include revamping the Ducks’ blueline and getting Teemu Selanne to extend his NHL career. He also took a chance on Viktor Fasth, a 30-year-old goaltender with no prior NHL experience, and it paid off handsomely.
Murray didn’t make a big trade during the regular season like his fellow nominees, but he did ink Corey Perry and Ryan Getzlaf to eight-year contracts that run through the 2020-21 campaign.
Anaheim ended up with the second seed in the Western Conference after failing to make the playoffs in 2011-12.