Ranking the Worst General Managers in the NHL

Tom Urtz Jr.Contributor IAugust 7, 2013

Ranking the Worst General Managers in the NHL

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    NHL general managers are responsible for the day-to-day operations of a franchise and its players, and some such as Paul Holmgren and Jay Feaster are not very good at their job.

    There are a number of GMs who are inept when it comes to trades, free agency and drafting. It is a mystery that they still have a job.

    Here is one man's opinion on the worst GMs in the NHL. 


8. Darcy Regier

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    Some Buffalo Sabres fans were unhappy when Darcy Regier kept his job this year. After years of futility, they thought that (as one blogger put it) “the Michael Myers of the NHL” would be relieved of his duties.

    Regier has survived while owners have come and gone, but he shouldn't still be in charge. The Christian Ehrhoff, Ville Leino and Tyler Myers contracts are principal reasons why he should have been shown the door.

    This misappropriation of funds sets a bad precedent, and it rewards mediocrity. When the Sabres cut Lindy Ruff loose they should have got rid of Darcy as well because they won't start to improve until they make a clean sweep.


7. Kevin Cheveldayoff

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    Ryan Lambert of Yahoo! Sports raised a salient point about Kevin Cheveldayoff and the Winnipeg Jets in his most recent 'What We Learned' column.

    Lambert opined,  "Why are the Jets committing a little more than $45.4 million per season to 11 guys who have wholly failed to get them into the playoffs?" 

    It is a good question, and one that doesn't have a good answer.

    It is year three in Winnipeg for Cheveldayoff and the Jets, and it makes absolutely no sense to invest a sizable amount of money in a core that has failed to get the job done.

    Maybe management is banking on these young guns turning it around, but what happens if they don't? The long-term deals offer little flexibility, and could handcuff the team if they are forced to start from scratch.

6. Greg Sherman

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    With the recent hirings made by the Colorado Avalanche, Greg Sherman is still the GM, but he is basically Milton from Office Space.(Puck Daddy)

    He may not use a Swingline Stapler, but he has been reduced to a pencil pusher at this point.

    You can't blame management though; Sherman hasn't done a great job as the team's chief architect. His record speaks for itself, and he certainly is one of the NHL's worst general managers. (h/t The Hockey Writers  


5. Steve Yzerman

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    Steve Yzerman was an amazing player, but thus far he has been a terrible general manager. You can pick from a number of decisions he has made, but they all come back with the same result.

    Whether you use the premature firing of Guy Boucher, the signing of Valtteri Filppula or the trade for Ben Bishop; Yzerman is on the hot seat.

    If the Lightning don't make the playoffs this season, it is fair to say that he could be looking for a new job.

4. George McPhee

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    The Washington Capitals have crashed and burned over the past few years. The Capitals were once a powerhouse team with a group of stars.

    At this point it is a two-man show with Alex Ovechkin and Nicklas Backstrom. The most recent incarnation of the Capitals have not had success in the playoffs, and they can't attract or retain free agents.

    The team is an overall mess, and George McPhee has been at the center of it all. It is surprising that McPhee is still at the helm, because he hasn't been an asset for his franchise over the past few seasons.

    When asked how the team would replace Mike Ribeiro, "GMGM" said that that Brooks Laich would fill in. It was a puzzling answer, but one we should expect from a GM like George McPhee. 

3. Mike Gillis

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    Mike Gillis probably wishes that he traded Roberto Luongo when he had the chance. It has been two years since Luongo went on the block, and Gillis decided to hold out for better offers.

    Better offers never came, so the franchise was forced to make a decision. The Canucks made the choice to hold onto Luongo when they opted to trade Cory Schneider.

    It's a move that could backfire because Luongo isn't happy in Vancouver, and it appears that he is gearing up for a trade. 

    Alain Vigneault was also fired this offseason, and the former bench boss was a scapegoat for Gillis. The Canucks' roster Vigneault was given wasn't good enough to win, and that was Gillis' fault. 

    When you look at the roster, you will see some questionable signings made by Gillis that have not panned out. Most recently he grossly overpaid Jason Garrison, a defender with a booming shot who had a career year with the Florida Panthers.

    With so much on the line heading into the 2013-14 season, Gillis' time in Vancouver could be coming to an end very soon if the team fails to succeed.



2. Paul Holmgren

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    Paul Holmgren has been a terrible GM for the Philadelphia Flyers. He took a team that went to the Stanley Cup Final in 2010 and he has tore it apart piece by piece.

    He started the process when he traded Mike Richards and Jeff Carter for a group of prospects. Thus far the prospects have not progressed as planned, and the freed up cap space went to Ilya Bryzgalov.

    While Wayne Simmonds and Jabuk Voracek are good players, they weren't the centerpieces of the trade.

    Bryzgalov is no longer a Flyer, but he will be making a hefty sum of money to hang out in parks or on his couch at home.

    Even though the buyout is terrible, Holmgren used the CBA to his advantage by getting rid of Bryzgalov and Danny Briere, and it looked like he had learned from his past mistakes.

    But then that went down the tubes once Holmgren found his checkbook. The Flyers signed Vincent Lecavalier even though scoring hasn't been an issue for the team.

    The Flyers' GM has done a terrible job managing his assets and finances, and he could be out of a job very soon. To Flyers fans reading this; would you rather have Vincent Lecavalier or Mike Richards and Jeff Carter?

    The choice is clear, but it wasn't for Holmgren.


1. Jay Feaster

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    Jay Feaster has made a plethora of follies as the GM of the Calgary Flames, but his most recent one is a microcosm of his career to date.

    The Flames desperately wanted to acquire a No. 1 center, so they decided to offer sheet Ryan O'Reilly. In theory the move made sense, but clearly the Flames didn't do their homework.

    If the Colorado Avalanche decided not to match the offer sheet, the Flames wouldn't have been able to sign him. Due to a CBA technicality O'Reilly would have had to clear waivers, something he wouldn't have done.

    O'Reilly was still playing overseas after the lockout was over, so he wouldn't be able to clear waivers automatically. It could have been a colossal gaffe for the franchise, and the Flames are lucky that Colorado matched the offer.