The key to building a successful NHL franchise is a savvy general manager. Behind every Stanley Cup winner was a GM whose efforts—via trades, free-agent signings or draft picks—built a championship roster.
Those efforts aren't easy in today's NHL. In addition to maintaining a staff of trusted scouts and advisers, a general manager must ensure his payroll remains within the restrictions of the salary cap. He has to find and retain talent that not only suits his roster needs but also fits within the cap. There's player agents to negotiate with, the headache of salary arbitration and the threat of offer sheets. He must hire a coaching staff capable of molding his roster into a contender.
What follows is a ranking of the 10 best general managers in the NHL right now, and how their efforts have benefited their respective teams.