Wednesday afternoon the NHL announced the three finalists for the 2019-20 Jim Gregory General Manager of the Year Award. The winner will be announced Saturday, Sept. 12, by NBC Sports, Sportsnet and TVA Sports during their pregame window for Game 4 of the Western Conference Final.
FROM NHL PRESS RELEASE
NEW YORK (Sept. 9, 2020) – Julien BriseBois of the Tampa Bay Lightning, Lou Lamoriello of the New York Islanders and Jim Nill of the Dallas Stars are the three finalists for the 2019-20 Jim Gregory General Manager of the Year Award, the National Hockey League announced today.
Voting for this award was conducted among the NHL general managers and a panel of League executives, print and broadcast media at the conclusion of the Second Round of the 2020 Stanley Cup Playoffs. The winner will be announced Saturday, Sept. 12, by NBC Sports, Sportsnet and TVA Sports during their pregame window for Game 4 of the Western Conference Final.
The NHL General Manager of the Year Award was first presented in 2009-10. It was renamed in 2019-20 in honor of Jim Gregory, the 2007 Hockey Hall of Fame inductee who served as Toronto Maple Leafs general manager and a League executive for four decades.
Following are the finalists for the Jim Gregory General Manager of the Year Award, in alphabetical order:
Julien BriseBois, Tampa Bay Lightning
BriseBois strengthened a Lightning team that had faltered in the First Round of the 2019 Stanley Cup Playoffs after posting an NHL record-tying 62 wins during the regular season, his first in charge. He brought several veteran players to Tampa Bay for a shot at postseason redemption in 2019-20, including defensemen Kevin Shattenkirk and Luke Schenn, and forward Pat Maroon, all signed as unrestricted free agents in the summer of 2019. He also re-signed two stars, forward Brayden Point and goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy, to multi-year deals. In the days leading up to the Feb. 24, 2020 trade deadline, BriseBois added forwards Blake Coleman and Barclay Goodrow (via trade) and defenseman Zach Bogosian (free agent). The Lightning have advanced to the Eastern Conference Final for the fourth time in six seasons. BriseBois, who had served as Lightning Assistant General Manager under Steve Yzerman for eight years prior to his promotion to GM in September 2018, is a first-time Jim Gregory finalist. He is vying to join Yzerman (2014-15) as the second Tampa Bay GM to capture top honors.
Lou Lamoriello, New York Islanders
The Islanders have continued their upward trajectory in the second season under Lamoriello, who joined the team as President of Hockey Operations in May 2018 and was named GM the following month. After last season’s gains, which included a 23-point improvement, the League’s top defensive record and a playoff series win under new head coach Barry Trotz, the Islanders have built on that success this season by advancing to the Eastern Conference Final for the first time in 27 years. Lamoriello signed free agent goaltender Semyon Varlamov and forward Derick Brassard last summer, as well as re-signing several core forwards including captain Anders Lee, Anthony Beauvillier, Jordan Eberle and Brock Nelson. He later acquired defenseman Andy Greene and forward Jean-Gabriel Pageau in February prior to the trade deadline. A three-time Stanley Cup champion and Hockey Hall of Fame inductee in the Builders Category in 2009, Lamoriello is in his 32nd season as an NHL general manager. He is a Jim Gregory finalist for the first time since the award’s inception in 2009-10 and is the first Islanders GM so recognized.
Jim Nill, Dallas Stars
During Nill’s successful seventh season as Dallas GM, the Stars improved their regular-season points percentage for a third consecutive year and have advanced to the Western Conference Final for the first time since 2007-08. Since acquiring forward Tyler Seguin in a blockbuster trade shortly after joining the club in 2013, Nill has put his stamp on the current Dallas roster through other trades (including goaltender Ben Bishop in 2017), draft picks and free agent signings. Two young stars of Dallas’ run to the Western Conference Final, 23-year-old forward Denis Gurianov and 21-year-old defenseman Miro Heiskanen, were first-round picks in 2015 and 2017, respectively. Nill’s moves to enhance the roster last summer included adding free agent veterans Joe Pavelski, Corey Perry and Andrej Sekera, plus recent Game 7 overtime/hat trick hero Joel Kiviranta from Finland in May 2019. He also re-signed defenseman Esa Lindell and Taylor Fedun, and forwards Jason Dickinson and Mattias Janmark. Nill is a Jim Gregory finalist for the second time, finishing third in balloting in 2015-16.