The NHL’s GM of the Year award will now be known as the Jim Gregory GM of the Year Award.
Gregory passed away on Oct. 30 at the age of 83. Gregory was a longtime NHL executive, including serving as Toronto Maple Leafs GM from 1969 to 1979. Gregory was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 2007.
The name change was unanimously approved during the annual November GM meetings.
“This is a terrific tribute to a wonderful man by a group uniquely qualified to appreciate his many contributions to our game,” Gary Bettman said. “During his tenure as general manager of the Toronto Maple Leafs, Jim Gregory transformed the art of team-building. Through the many years he spent at the League, our general managers regularly sought his counsel. They universally revere his lifetime of service to the NHL.”
NHL.com notes that Gregory stood out for many reasons, including having an eye for international talent.
Gregory was a hockey ambassador around the globe and among the first NHL general managers to sign and import players from Europe — most notably, the legendary defenseman Borje Salming. Steeped in the game’s traditions, he was integral to the implementation of some of the League’s most transformational innovations — including the use of video to review goals and the expansion of the role of the Central Scouting Bureau.
The NHL’s GM of the Year award was first handed out in 2009-10. Boston Bruins GM Don Sweeney was the most recent recipient in 2018-19.