Gillis, Poile, Yzerman named finalists for NHL GM of the Year award
Vancouver, B.C. -- Mike Gillis of the Vancouver Canucks, David Poile of the Nashville Predators and Steve Yzerman of the Tampa Bay Lightning are the three finalists for the 2010.11 NHL General Manager of the Year Award, the National Hockey League announced today.
Voting for this award was conducted among the 30 Club General Managers and a panel of NHL executives, print and broadcast media. The winner will be announced Wednesday, June 22, during the 2011 NHL Awards from the Pearl Concert Theater inside the Palms Hotel Las Vegas. The 2011 NHL Awards will be broadcast by VERSUS in the United States and CBC in Canada.
Following are the finalists, in alphabetical order, for NHL General Manager of the Year:
Gillis built the Canucks into the NHL's top team in the 2010.11 regular season as they captured the Presidents' Trophy with a franchise-record 117 points (54-19-9) and claimed the Northwest Division title for the third time in his three years in Vancouver. He strengthened the Canucks defensively over the off-season by adding blueliners Keith Ballard and Dan Hamhuis and shutdown center Manny Malhotra. Such was Vancouver's organizational depth that the club allowed the fewest goals in the NHL (185) despite suffering a rash of injuries throughout the season that sidelined each of their top five defensemen. Gillis further bolstered team depth at the trade deadline with the acquisition of forwards Chris Higgins and Maxim Lapierre.
Under Poile's direction the Predators (44-27-11) brought the Stanley Cup Playoffs to Music City for the sixth time in the past seven seasons, finishing fifth in the West after the most competitive Conference race in League history. Yet again, more than half of the lineup was drafted and developed by the organization, including the top four scoring defensemen, Shea Weber, Ryan Suter, Cody Franson and Kevin Klein. Goaltenders Pekka Rinne and Anders Lindback were selected with the 258th and 207th overall selections in their respective draft years. To this nucleus Poile added their leading scorer in 2010-11, Sergei Kostitsyn, in a trade last June and two-way center Mike Fisher at the trade deadline.
Yzerman was hired as Lightning general manager last May and presided over a club that made a 23-point improvement over 2009.10, posted the second-best record in franchise history (46-25-11) and earned a berth in the Stanley Cup Playoffs for the first time since 2007. Among the rookie NHL GM's notable moves were hiring head coach Guy Boucher three weeks into his tenure and adding key veterans to his lineup at different stages. Defenseman Pavel Kubina was signed at the start of the free agency period last July, followed later in the month by forward Simon Gagne; goaltender Dwayne Roloson arrived via trade midway through the season and defenseman Eric Brewer was obtained at the trade deadline.