The NHL continued to reveal its contenders for their end-of-season awards with the announcement of its finalists for the GM of the Year Award. Getting the nod this year are George McPhee (Golden Knights), Kevin Cheveldayoff (Jets), and Steve Yzerman (Lightning).
At first glance, McPhee appears to be the overwhelming contender. Their story is well-documented as an expansion franchise that has shattered records all season long. They are the lone franchise in any of the four major North American professional sports to win their division in their inaugural year. And, of course, Vegas is still going strong in the playoffs.
As for Cheveldayoff, 2017-18 has been the year where his patience has been rewarded as Winnipeg is full of homegrown drafted and developed talent. While he typically has been viewed as hesitant to make a big move, that changed at the trade deadline when the Jets acquired Paul Stastny who has fit in quite well so far, collecting 28 points in 33 games (regular season and playoffs) heading into action on Wednesday night.
Meanwhile, the Lightning set franchise records in wins (54) and points (113) while taking home the Eastern Conference title. They’re also filled with players developed in-house although Yzerman made a pair of key trades in the past 12 months by acquiring Mikhail Sergachev from Montreal last offseason and adding Ryan McDonagh and J.T. Miller from the Rangers at the trade deadline.
Unlike the majority of the awards, these were voted on by a panel of NHL executives, all 31 general managers, and some media members at the conclusion of the second round of the playoffs. The winner will be named on June 20th.