The NHL continues to unveil award finalists ahead of this June’s NHL Awards in Vegas. Today: the General Manager of the Year.
Edmonton’s Peter Chiarelli, Nashville’s David Poile, and Ottawa’s Pierre Dorion are the three finalists. All three men lead their team’s to great seasons, and solid playoff runs, with Nashville and Ottawa currently in their respective Conference Finals.
Chiarelli made a blockbuster trade last June, trading Taylor Hall for Adam Larsson. He also signed Kris Russell and Matt Benning to finally stabilize the Oilers’ defense. Previous Chiarelli acquisition Cam Talbot started 73 games and was likely the best Oiler not named Connor McDavid. The Oilers improved to 103 points, and finished second in the Pacific Division. However, not all of Chiarelli’s decisions worked out: backup Jonas Gustavsson allowed 17 goals in seven appearances before hitting the waiver wire, and trade deadline acquisition David Desharnais scored just three goals and eight points in 31 games between the stretch drive and playoffs.
Poile has been involved in some major trades over the last few seasons, and perhaps none were bigger than the P.K. Subban for Shea Weber blockbuster last June. Our Seth Lawrence recently took a look at the win-win trades that Poile has made while building his Conference finalist. Besides Subban-for-Weber, Poile also traded Seth Jones for number one center Ryan Johansen and acquired sniper James Neal for Patric Hornqvist. Poile is the only GM in Predator’s history; he took the helm of the team in 1998. He has been nominated four times for the GM of the Year Award.
While Poile has been GM for 19 years, Dorion has only been at the helm of the Senators for 13 months. His biggest move was the Mika Zibanejad-for-Derick Brassard trade last summer. He’s also brought in Mike Condon, Alexandre Burrows, Viktor Stalberg, and Tommy Wingels as his team posted 98 points and their first Conference Finals berth since 2007.
Pittsburgh’s Jim Rutherford is the current holder of the award.