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Bergevin, Lombardi, Murray named GM of the Year finalists

May 23, 2014, 2:13 PM EDT

Ray Shero Getty Images

Montreal’s Marc Bergevin, Los Angeles’ Dean Lombardi and Anaheim’s Bob Murray have been nominated for the 2014 General Manager of the Year award, the NHL announced on Friday.

This marks Lombardi’s first time as a finalist and the second for Murray and Bergevin, who finished behind Pittsburgh’s Ray Shero for last year’s award.

The voting, conducted among the 30 club general managers and a panel of NHL executives, managed to overlook what GM Jim Nill did in Dallas this year. Despite orchestrating the Tyler Seguin blockbuster, drafting Valeri Nichushkin and overseeing the end of a five-year playoff drought, Nill wasn’t named one of the three finalists — which has to come as something of a surprise, especially given this was his first year in charge.

That said, perhaps Nill will be relieved he wasn’t among the nominees.

Of the four previous GM of the Year award winners — the honor was implemented for the 2009-10 campaign — two have lost their jobs. Vancouver’s Mike Gillis, who won in 2010-11, was dismissed from his gig in early April; Shero, who won the award last year, was fired shortly after Pittsburgh’s collapse to the Rangers in the second round of this year’s playoffs.

Here’s the rundown of the three finalists, per NHL.com:

Marc Bergevin, Montreal Canadiens

Bergevin guided the Canadiens (46-28-8, 100 points) to their second 100-point season since 1992-93, leading the team to the playoffs for the second time in as many years as general manager. He bolstered the offense with the summer signing of Daniel Briere and also added grit with the offseason acquisitions of Douglas Murray and George Parros. Bergevin then shored up the roster with midseason trades for Thomas Vanek, Mike Weaver and Dale Weise, all of whom played critical roles in the team advancing to the Eastern Conference Final for the second time in the past five seasons.

Dean Lombardi, Los Angeles Kings

Under the direction of Lombardi, the Kings (46-28-8, 100 points) earned their fifth consecutive playoff berth, recorded their fourth 100-point season in franchise history and made their third straight appearance in the Western Conference Final. He solidified the team’s blue line by re-signing defensemen Alec Martinez, Jake Muzzin and Slava Voynov and did the same up front by bringing back Dustin Brown, Kyle Clifford, Trevor Lewis and Jordan Nolan. Lombardi then kick-started the club’s offense with the addition of Marian Gaborik at the Trade Deadline; after being blanked six times in 63 games prior to his arrival, the Kings were not shut out once in the final 19 contests of the regular season with Gaborik in the lineup.

Bob Murray, Anaheim Ducks

Murray paved the way for the finest season in Ducks history, leading the team to its second straight Pacific Division title; the top record in the Western Conference for the first time in club history; and franchise records in wins (54), points (116), points percentage (.707), home wins (29) and road wins (25). He set the Ducks up for success by re-signing Matt Beleskey, Saku Koivu, Ben Lovejoy and Kyle Palmieri as well as enticing Teemu Selanne to return for one final season. Murray also traded for Mathieu Perreault during the preseason; added depth players in Mark Fistric, Tim Jackman, Stephane Robidas and Jakob Silfverberg; and oversaw the development of young goaltenders Frederik Andersen and John Gibson.

In case you’re wondering, the two GMs that won the award and are still employed are Phoenix’s Don Maloney and St. Louis’ Doug Armstrong.

  1. charlie24zz - May 23, 2014 at 2:16 PM

    I wonder who posters on this site think definitely SHOULDN’T win this award…hmmm….tough one

  2. Capt Jam - May 23, 2014 at 2:20 PM

    As an LA Kings fan, I’m happy to punt this award to Murray or Bergevin.

  3. patthehockeyfan - May 23, 2014 at 2:21 PM

    Considering Shero’s fate, I think this might be the first contest that no one wants to win.

  4. sixchr - May 23, 2014 at 2:34 PM

    Look, being a Bruins fan I despise that whole organization but I have to say Bergevin. What he did with that Canadiens team both in the offseason and at the deadline was impressive. The contrast in that second round between a GM who didn’t pull the strings to make moves (Chiarelli) and one who did (Bergevin) was clear cut.

  5. JoeAvg - May 23, 2014 at 2:35 PM

    Shero dug his own grave. Not sure that Jack Adams award winners fare much better in their immediate futures afterwards. Both positions are generally revolving doors, justifiably or not. Personally, I think there are too many awards that have popped up in the last several years anyway.

    • shoobiedoobin - May 23, 2014 at 3:45 PM

      This. GM of the year takes a huge dump all over the rest of the members of the front office who do tons of work to make one guy look better.

      But we’re a sensationalist society and it’s more thrilling to put one person on a pedestal, not a group.

    • c9castine - May 24, 2014 at 6:02 PM

      awarding GMs for their accomplishments nothing wrong with that but yeah your right.

      you can be a great GM and not last long somewhere and have things “fall apart” in a short span. same with coaches. just the nature of the beast. and vice versa

  6. 19to77 - May 23, 2014 at 2:58 PM

    Huh. Just realized there are three different Murrays in GM roles right now. Is he related to the other two?

    • esracerx46 - May 23, 2014 at 4:21 PM

      Tim Murray is the nephew of Bryan Murray. Bob Murray is unrelated to Tim, Bryan, and former LA Kings head coach Terry Murray.

  7. shoobiedoobin - May 23, 2014 at 3:23 PM

    Awards are the blind leading the blind even when the category is obvious. THIS one is just a popularity contest, more than any of them.

    Like any of these schmuck beat writers and garbage puck daddy columnists really know anything about how these teams operate.

    • JoeAvg - May 23, 2014 at 4:15 PM

      True of the traditional awards but this one is voted on by their peers and NHL executives. Despite it being one of the rewards I spoke of earlier, I’d rather win the Lindsey than the Hart.

      • shoobiedoobin - May 23, 2014 at 4:18 PM

        Execs and peers will know more.

        But I won’t ever completely buy that they are experts just because they work in the NHL. We think that idea is impossible but teams and front office members can be just as clueless about teams they don’t see often and their personnel. Go look at those “player voted polls” about NHL players-it reads like “well I dunno, I’ll vote for the first guy I think of or know about because I don’t care as much as the fans do”.

      • esracerx46 - May 23, 2014 at 4:28 PM

        So wait a minute. You think the fans know more about hockey general managers and players not on their favorite team than say guys whose job it is to know that kind of stuff? That’s absurd. Also, do you really think fans if they had a vote wouldn’t make it a popularity contest rather than vote for the best candidate? I appreciate your faith in humanity, but that’s idiotic.

      • esracerx46 - May 23, 2014 at 4:31 PM

        Its Lindsay. Sorry I had to.

      • JoeAvg - May 23, 2014 at 4:37 PM

        That’s OK. I’m always tempted to do the same thing.

      • shoobiedoobin - May 23, 2014 at 4:35 PM

        ^You asked if I felt a certain way and then insulted me for feeling that way.

        ……..lol. Never short on people jumping to the conclusions that allow them to rag on people the most.

        I said other GMs don’t know enough to make this kind of decision. What the hell would they know about the front office of a COMPLETELY DIFFERENT TEAM? The idea is to NOT know, lest your opponent have too much of an advantage.

        Unless you were talking about the player poll, in which case save it.

      • esracerx46 - May 23, 2014 at 4:40 PM

        See you have that filter that doesnt follow through with temptation. Its a nasty habit I have of correcting a meaningless error.

      • JoeAvg - May 23, 2014 at 4:43 PM

        All depends on what that temptation is my friend *grins*.

      • esracerx46 - May 23, 2014 at 4:47 PM

        Were not talking about the inner workings of a team. Were not talking about keeping secret that 5th round gem. If your team thought a player had more value you would have done more to get him. When were discussing GM of the year, its more or less the team that did the best job acquiring talent in a single year. I think that alone makes rival GMs very qualified for the award. Were not talking about business operations. What team paid the least via cash,draft, or trade to get the most.

      • JoeAvg - May 23, 2014 at 4:55 PM

        Which would be why Shero won it last year (Iginla, Morrow, Murry) even though he could never find that diamond in the rough come draft time. Which is one of the the main reasons he was shown the door.

      • shoobiedoobin - May 23, 2014 at 4:48 PM

        ^I asked you already, is that the official definition? Because if it is, the award is a joke.

      • esracerx46 - May 23, 2014 at 5:16 PM

        The official definition is the Gm who is judged to be the best amongst his peers. Since you were having so much trouble with that definition I felt compelled to give you mine.

      • shoobiedoobin - May 23, 2014 at 5:34 PM

        Asking a question doesn’t indicate having trouble young fella. I wanted to see if you just plain made yours up, because if I told you that you made it up in the beginning you would’ve argued it. It’s easier to just make you say it ;)

        The award is a joke if they’re basing it off of acquisitions. May as well vote on a trophy for best slap shot if we’re ignoring half of their job.

        There’s a reason this award didn’t exist before the “market & glamorize everything” era-it’s shallow and useless. It’s as stupid as the leadership award.

        May as well have Mr.Burns march out an inanimate carbon rod.

      • esracerx46 - May 23, 2014 at 5:50 PM

        The acquisition part of the job is the only one that really matters to the fans. Besides that you can’t quantify the other part. I think its funny youre obviously giving yourself a thumbs up on everyone of your comments just to make you feel good. Mr. Burns obviously shoved that carbon rod too far. If you’re calling me a “kid” doesn’t that make you a little old to be watching The Simpsons?

    • esracerx46 - May 23, 2014 at 4:23 PM

      40-member panel that included all 30 general managers, five NHL executives and five media members

      • shoobiedoobin - May 23, 2014 at 4:26 PM

        Still not buying that a GM from one team would know anything relevant enough about the front office of another team to make a decision like this. All they can do is judge this on the surface and that makes it a shallow, vapid meaningless award.

        They’ve clearly picked the wrong guy. I mean c’mon, Shero didn’t lose his job by surprise-you could tell he was overrated years ago if you actually kept perspective and didn’t give in to the hype.

      • esracerx46 - May 23, 2014 at 4:38 PM

        Look who’s judging now. I never liked Shero, but I don’t agree with him being fired. I believe he was fired because he extended Bylsma. He won the award because he acquired Iginla and Morrow without giving up a ton.

        Think of GM as a organization of the year. What team did the best job acquiring talent immediately prior to or during the season. Its a tip of the cap by rival GMs that are essentially saying you did a better job than me. I think they have the right people voting for this award. I think the only reason you continue to argue is you were wrong about who votes for it and are attempting to prove yourself right anyways. Or perhaps your GM wasn’t included. I’m curious however, if you had to pick 3 GMs for the award who would you pick? And what team do you root for?

      • shoobiedoobin - May 23, 2014 at 4:44 PM

        “Think of GM as a organization of the year.”

        Is that the actual definition? I wouldn’t want a fan to define something and possibly know more than one of the holy demigods. Besides, that’s precisely in line with how I defined this award as shallow and very surface oriented.

        I don’t care who votes for it, I’ve had this discussion before kid. The GMs who are going to be anything close to an expert about an opposing teams front office are going to be division opponents, to a lesser extent conference rivals and beyond that it’s just like player polls-no reason to know, too busy to care, they follow the same writers and read the same articles as us. Go ahead and argue, you’ve drawn your line in the sand whereas I never had to. I’m right.

      • esracerx46 - May 23, 2014 at 5:05 PM

        That was in response to your statement about it being unfair to have one guy get an award while multiple people were making decisions in a collaborative effort. While yes one guy gets an award, its a reflection of team decisions. And for the most part, those decisions go through the Gm. Hence the Gm of the year award.

      • shoobiedoobin - May 23, 2014 at 5:08 PM

        Asking for the third time-is that the official definition?

    • shoobiedoobin - May 23, 2014 at 5:51 PM

      Well considering my reference is likely from when you weren’t alive, I dunno about that.

      Why would the fans matter, they’re not voting. Stay focused kid.

  8. gbatap - May 24, 2014 at 10:41 AM

    No one in hockey will care less about the Jim Nill snub then Jim Nill.

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