Julien BriseBois of the Lightning, Lou Lamoriello of the Islanders, and Jim Nill of the Stars have been voted as the three finalists for the 2019-20 Jim Gregory General Manager of the Year Award.
Voting was conducted by the NHL’s 31 GMs, a panel of League executives, print and broadcast media following the end of the Second Round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs.
The winner will be announced Saturday, Sept. 12 during pregame coverage of Game 4 of the Western Conference Final.
The case for BriseBois: After the Lightning’s 2019 playoff upset, BriseBois added Kevin Shattenkirk, Luke Schenn, and Pat Maroon. He also kept Brayden Point and Andrei Vasilevskiy in the fold with new extensions. The February trade deadline was another opportunity to strengthen his Cup contending team. He did so by acquiring Blake Coleman and Barclay Goodrow via trade and veteran defenseman Zach Bogosian as a free agent. The end result was a 43-21-6 record and a .657 points percentage, tied for third overall at the time of the March NHL pause. In the postseason, Tampa has reached the Eastern Conference Final for the fourth time in six seasons.
BriseBois would be the second Lightning GM (Steve Yzerman – 2014-15) to win the award.
[NBC 2020 STANLEY CUP PLAYOFF HUB]
The case for Lamoriello: In Year Two under Lamoriello, the Islanders advanced to the Eastern Conference Final for the first time since 1993. Key acquisitions such as Semyon Varlamov and Derick Brassard have played roles in the team’s success in 2019-20. Keeping captain Anders Lee, Brock Nelson, Jordan Eberle, and Anthony Beauvillier has paid off as well. The GM would also bolster both ends of the ice by dealing for Jean-Gabriel Pageau and Andy Greene.
This is Lamoriello first time as a finalist since the award’s inception in 2009-10. He would be the first Islanders GM to win it.
The case for Nill: The Stars improved their regular season points percentage for a third straight year and reached the Western Conference Final for the first time since 2008. Nill added forwards Joe Pavelski and Corey Perry, plus Game 7 hero Joel Kiviranta last off-season, as well as defenseman Andrej Sekera. He also kept key pieces in Esa Lindell, Jason Dickinson, and Mattias Janmark with new extensions.
Nill is up for the award for the second time after finishing third in 2015-16.
MORE: 2020 NHL Awards: ProHockeyTalk’s ballot
Sean Leahy is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter @Sean_Leahy.