For the second year in a row, the Jim Gregory General Manager of the Year Award belongs to the New York Islanders’ Lou Lamoriello. The long-time NHL executive is the first ever two-time winner of the award. Lamoriello beat out fellow playoff semifinalist Marc Bergevin of the Montreal Canadiens and Bill Zito of the upstart Florida Panthers for the honor this season. Bergevin actually outpaced Lamoriello in first-place votes by one, but had far fewer second-place votes.
Unlike most awards, the Jim Gregory Award is voted on after the second round of the playoffs as opposed to before they begin. As a result, his Islanders’ upset of the top-seeded Pittsburgh Penguins and favorite Boston Bruins to win the East Division, all without ever facing an elimination game, certainly came into play. As for the moves that earned Lamoriello the award this year, it started last season when he acquired Jean-Gabriel Pageau and Andy Greene. He was able to re-sign both of those players, who have played key roles all season. Lamoriello then added a pair of veterans again at the trad deadline this year, acquiring Kyle Palmieri and Travis Zajac from the New Jersey Devils. Palmieri has been one of the top goal scorers of the postseason to this point.
Lamoriello adds his second GM of the Year Award to a trophy shelf that already sports three Stanley Cups, a World Cup Gold Medal, a Lester Patrick Award, and induction into the Hockey Hall of Fame and United States Hockey Hall of Fame. He hopes to add a third Cup to the tally this postseason and, even at 78 years old, will try to catch David Poile for the most GM wins in NHL history.