NHL: Power Ranking the League's General Managers
The men who are coaching and playing in the NHL definitely do not have it easy.
They make big money to entertain millions of people and lead their team as far into the playoffs as possible. If things are going great, everyone is happy.
But when things are not so great, fans get upset, and that is when it is time to make adjustments.
Enter the general manager.
General managers, or GM's, are at the top of the food chain for every NHL team. They are the ones who hire and fire coaches, sign key players to contracts and try to shake things up at the trade deadline. The success or failure of a team ultimately rests on their shoulders.
Whether the current NHL general managers have been with their team for six months or six years, it is never too early to start tracking their success.
I based these rankings on several factors, including:
Team success (Stanley Cups, division titles and conference titles)
Drafted players who are on current NHL rosters and their success
Free agent signings
Re-signing key players
Coaching hiring and firing
So without further ado, here are the power rankings for all 30 NHL general managers.
30. Dale Tallon: Florida Panthers
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Tallon was hired by the Florida Panthers in May 2010 after four seasons as the General Manager of the Chicago Blackhawks.
He came in with the tough task of re-building a Panthers squad that has not made the playoffs since 2000, but his first offseason was definitely not the most impressive.
At the NHL entry draft, Tallon traded Panthers defenseman Keith Ballard to the Vancouver Canucks and acquired Michael Grabner and Steve Bernier. Grabner was subsequently traded to the New York Islanders after not playing a game for the Panthers, while Bernier has four points and a plus-1 in seven games.
Ballard was a consistent 20-30 point scorer for the Panthers in the two seasons he was in Sunrise, posting 62 points in 164 games.
Also traded out of Florida were forwards Nathan Horton and Gregory Campbell, who were sent to the Boston Bruins in exchange for Dennis Wideman. Horton is a top forward who had 295 points in 142 games, while Campbell posted 85 points in 363 games.
Although the trade undoubtedly hurt Florida even more, Wideman currently has three points and a plus-three rating in six games.
Tallon also signed Darcy Hordichuk, who previously played for the Panthers from 2002-2004. In that time, he posted four points and a minus-11 in 60 games to go with 173 penalty minutes. He currently has no points and an even rating in three games.
Chris Higgins was signed as a free agent after playing in Calgary last year. Unfortunately, his statistics have dropped the last two years, and he currently has no points and two penalty minutes in six games.
Finally, Tallon acquired prospect Mike Santorelli from the Nashville Predators. Santorelli has two points and a plus-3 rating in six games..
To add insult to injury, Florida currently has a record of 3-4-0 with six points for fifth in the Southeast Division and 14th in the Eastern Conference.
If Tallon planned on having the Panthers make the playoffs this year, he is not yet on the right track to make it happen, and that's why he is on the bottom of this list.
29. Steve Tambellini: Edmonton Oilers
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Tambellini has been the Oilers general manager since July of 2008.
The Oilers have not been in the playoffs since their 2006 loss in the Stanley Cup Finals, and while Tambellini appears to be getting the pieces, the players are performing below expectations.
A short time ago, it was announced that this year's first overall pick, Taylor Hall, would spend the entire season in the NHL. However, that has not been working out so far, as Hall has just one point and a minus-4 rating in seven games. Right now, that is not looking like a good decision.
This offseason, Tambellini went out and acquired Kurtis Foster from the Tampa Bay Lightning. Last year, Foster had 42 points in 71 games, but this year, he has managed just two points and a minus-4 rating.
Tambellini also traded a sixth round draft pick to the Chicago Blackhawks to sign Colin Fraser. However, Fraser only has one point and a minus-one rating so far.
In 2009, Tambellini went out and signed Stanley Cup winning goaltender Nikolai Khabibulin. Unfortunately, Khabibulin suffered a back injury last year and played just 18 games. He had a record of 9-9-2 with a .909 save percentage and 3.03 GAA.
Khabibulin was also charged with drunk driving in February and was sentenced to 30 days in jail at the end of August. His sentence is currently under appeal, but he still has not shown any improvement in six games played this year. He has a record of 2-4 with a .901 save percentage and a 3.21 GAA.
Tambellini also made a coaching change this year and promoted Tom Renney, who was an associate head coach in 2009-2010, to head coach. But right now, the move is not working out. Edmonton currently has a record of 2-4-1 for five points and fifth in the Northwest Division, and they are currently last in the Western Conference.
Since the Oilers are re-building and have the young talent, it may seem like we should hold out before rating Tambellini so low. However, fans and management want to see success immediately, and it is not happening right now. The Oilers are in the same position they were in at the end of last season.
28. Glen Sather: New York Rangers
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I'm sure some Rangers fans reading this will probably say that No. 28 is too high of a ranking for Sather. I have yet to come across a Blueshirts fan who likes the guy.
After all, not many of the GM's on this list have had their team's season ticket holders hold a rally to cry for their firing outside their home arena.
Sather came to New York in 2000 and immediately displeased Rangers fans by trading away top players in Adam Graves and Brian Leetch. Graves was traded for Mikael Samuelsson, who posted 38 points in 125 games.
Brian Leetch was sent to the Toronto Maple Leafs for Jarkko Immonen and Maxim Kondratev, who defined underperforming in their brief time in Rangers uniforms. Immonen had eight points in 20 games, while Kondratev had three points in 29 games.
Sather also acquired Pavel Bure in 2002. Bure, one of the best forwards of the 1990s, was on the decline by the time he came to the Rangers. He still posted 50 points in 51 games, but played just 39 games in 2002-2003 due to an injury and missed the entire 2003-2004 season with the same knee injury.
Sather outdid himself in 2008 when he signed defenseman Wade Redden to a six-year, $39 million contract. Redden's performance went downhill after that, as he put up 26 points in 2008-2009 and 14 points last year. This year, he was placed on waivers and is currently playing with the Hartford Wolfpack, the Rangers' AHL affiliate, and has six points in eight games.
The signing of Chris Drury, the current Rangers captain, is also looking like a significant mistake. Drury has been regressing since coming to New York and had 32 points and a minus-10 rating last year. He is in the middle of a five year, $35.25 million contract. He is currently on injured reserve with a broken finger.
However, there have been some bright spots at the draft.
Michael Del Zotto was drafted in 2008 and made his debut in 2009-2010 with 37 points and a minus-20 rating. While his defensive play was disappointing, his offensive play was enough to land him on the 2010 All-Rookie team. He currently has three points and a plus-four rating through the Rangers' first eight games.
Marc Staal has improved his point totals every year since debuting in 2007-2008 with 10 points. He had 27 points and a plus-11 rating last year and currently has three points and a plus-two rating. Staal was also signed to a five-year, $19.875 million contract extension before the season began.
Henrik Lundqvist was drafted in 2000 and is making a name for himself as the Rangers' franchise goaltender. In 338 games through the end of last season, he has a record of 177-110-44 with a 2.33 GAA and a.918 save percentage.
Lundqvist holds the Rangers record for most wins by a rookie goalie. He won 30 games in the 2005-2006 season. He is also the only NHL goalie to have five straight 30-win seasons to start his career. His record currently stands at 3-2-1 with a .912 save percentage and 3.00 GAA.
In 2009, Sather fired Tom Renney and replaced him with John Tortorella, who won a Stanley Cup as coach of the Tampa Bay Lightning in 2004. The Rangers made the playoffs, but they dropped a 3-1 series lead to the Washington Capitals in the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals.
Sather's teams have missed the playoffs more than they have qualified for them. The Rangers have missed the playoffs five times under Sather's control and made it four times.
The Rangers currently have a record of 4-2-1 for nine points. That is good enough for third in the Atlantic Division and seventh in the Eastern Conference.
27. Scott Howson: Columbus Blue Jackets
Scott Howson has been in charge of the Blue Jackets since June 2007.
Although the Jackets did not make the playoffs in his first season as General Manager, they looked to be heading in the right direction in 2008-2009. That year, Columbus earned its first playoff appearance in franchise history with a record of 41-31-10 for 92 points. Unfortunately, they were swept by the Detroit Red Wings in the Western Conference Quarterfinals.
At the draft table, Howson has had limited success. He drafted forward Nikita Filatov in 2008, and Filatov has only put up eight points in 28 games since being drafted.
Last season, Filatov had somewhat of a falling out with the Jackets. He stated he was unhappy with his role on the team and also expressed his displeasure with then head coach Ken Hitchcock's system. He played overseas in 2009-2010, but agreed to return to the Blue Jackets for training camp for the 2010-2011 season. He also expressed his excitement to play for newly appointed head coach Scott Arniel.
However, Filatov remains a disappointment on the score sheet so far. He has two points and a minus-2 rating through eight games.
Jakub Voracek has turned out better after being drafted in 2007. He has had two 30-point seasons since joining the team, but has just three points and a minus-two through the beginning of this season.
Howson has had slightly better luck with trades.
In 2009, he acquired forward Antoine Vermette from the Ottawa Senators. Vermette posted 13 points and a plus-five rating in 17 games after being traded and had 65 points in 82 games last season. He has four points and a minus-three so far.
Howson acquired R.J. Umberger from the Philadelphia Flyers in 2008. Umberger is a current alternate captain and has 101 points in 164 games with Columbus. He has five points and a plus-four this year.
When it comes to free agency, it seems like all Howson can get is a bunch of guys not worth talking about. He had an especially poor offseason this year, signing players with limited or no NHL experience and under-performing players.
The Blue Jackets are looking to get back into the playoffs after missing them again last season. They currently have a record of 5-3-0 for 10 points and fifth in the Central Division. They are in eighth place in the Western Conference.
26. Chuck Fletcher: Minnesota Wild
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Fletcher took over as general manager in May of 2009 after serving as assistant general manager of the Pittsburgh Penguins.
Fletcher signed Mikko Koivu to a seven-year extension. Koivu has played his entire NHL career so far with the Wild. As of the end of last season, he had 255 points in 362 games. He currently has nine points through the Wild's first eight games.
Fletcher also signed John Madden, a three-time Cup winner with the New Jersey Devils and Chicago Blackhawks. Madden has played in nearly 800 NHL games, but has just two points and a minus-three rating to start the season.
This past offseason, Fletcher signed Matt Cullen, who has played in over 800 NHL games with the Anaheim Ducks, Florida Panthers, Carolina Hurricanes, New York Rangers and Ottawa Senators. Cullen won the 2006 Stanley Cup with the Hurricanes and is a consistent 40-point scorer. He has started the season with nine points and a minus-two rating.
In July 2009, Martin Havlat was signed to a six-year deal with the Wild. In his first year, he posted 54 points, but had a poor defensive performance with a minus-19. This year, he has six points with an even rating.
In November of last year, Fletcher traded Benoit Pouliot to the Montreal Canadiens for Guillaume Latendresse. Latendresse had 37 points in 55 games after being traded and finished the 2009-2010 campaign with a career high of 40 points and 27 goals in 78 games. He has started this season with six points and a plus-2 and scored the first goal of the campaign with a tally over the Carolina Hurricanes in the NHL Premiere in Europe.
Minnesota missed the playoffs in 2009-2010, and things have been turbulent again to start 2010-2011. The Wild have a record of 3-3-2 for eight points and are fourth in the Northwest Division and 13th in the Western Conference.
There is also some speculation that head coach Todd Richards is on the hot seat, but it appears Fletcher is not ready to pull the trigger on replacing him.
25. Joe Nieuwendyk: Dallas Stars
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Nieuwendyk is currently in his second season as the Stars' general manager, having been hired on May 31, 2009.
One of Nieuwendyk's first moves was hiring Marc Crawford as the new head coach. Crawford won the Jack Adams award in 1995 as head coach of the Quebec Nordiques and then won the Cup with the Colorado Avalanche in 1996. Crawford has coached over 1,000 NHL games and is the Vancouver Canucks' all-time leader in coaching wins. He won 246 games from 1999-2006.
Nieuwendyk also gave contract extensions to several key players such as Stephane Robidas. Robidas has been in Dallas since 2002 and has 154 points in 483 games. His current plus-8 rating is ranked second in the NHL.
Loui Eriksson, who is in his fifth season on the Stars, has improved every year for the last three years. He went from posting 19 points in 2006-2007 to finishing the 2009-2010 campaign with 71 points. He has seven points in eight games and also has a plus-8.
Steve Ott is the only player who is not playing up to expectations. His production dropped off after he signed his contract extension; he had 36 points and a minus-14 last year. He currently has two points and an even rating.
Nieuwendyk also acquired Kari Lehtonen from the Atlanta Thrashers. Lehtonen played 12 games last year as a backup to Marty Turco, who was the Stars' long time franchise goaltender.
In Lehtonen's 12 games, he had a 6-4 record with a .911 save percentage and 2.81 GAA.
Now that he is the starting goaltender, he has gotten a chance to improve. He is currently 5-3 with a .918 save percentage and 2.70 GAA. He is ranked third among NHL goaltenders in wins.
Last year's team missed the playoffs. However, they currently sit in second in the Pacific Division with a record of 5-3-0 for 10 points, which puts them in eighth place in the Western Conference.
24. Rick Dudley: Atlanta Thrashers
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Rick Dudley is currently in his first season as the Thrashers General Manager. He was hired in April 2010 after stints as General Managers with the Panthers and Senators.
Dudley made four big moves this offseason. He worked with the Chicago Blackhawks to acquire Dustin Byfuglien, Brent Sopel, Andrew Ladd and Ben Eager. All four have played key roles with the Thrashers to start the season:
Ladd is currently Atlanta's leading scorer with 10 points and a plus-four rating in nine games.
Eager is the team leader in penalty minutes with 29 penalty minutes.
Sopel currently has a plus-3 rating and is ranked second on the Thrashers in that category.
Byfuglien is tied with Anthony Stewart for third in scoring for the Thrashers. Both players have seven points through the first nine games.
Dudley also signed goaltender Chris Mason, who previously played with the St. Louis Blues. Mason is currently 4-4-1 with a .904 save percentage and 3.59 GAA. He is under a two-year contract with Atlanta.
Atlanta currently sits in third place in the Southeast Division with a record of 4-4-1 for nine points. They are in ninth place in the Eastern Conference and are looking to make the playoffs for the first time since 2007.
23. Doug Armstrong: St. Louis Blues
Armstrong took over as General Manager of the St. Louis Blues this past July after serving as Vice President of Personnel.
He made an impact on the team right away, trading for goaltender Jaroslav Halak, who had a remarkable playoff run with the Montreal Canadiens. After the trade was complete, he signed Halak to a four-year contract worth $15 million.
Halak has lived up to his billing so far. He has a record of 4-1-1 over six games, including one shutout. He has a .929 save percentage and 1.81 GAA. His save percentage and GAA are ranked seventh in the NHL, while his four wins are ranked seventh.
Armstrong also gave Alexander Steen a four-year contract extension. Steen was traded to St. Louis from Toronto in 2008 and had 24 points in 61 games after being acquired. Last year, he had the best year of his career, posting 47 points and a plus-6 rating in 68 games.
This year, Steen has three points and an even rating after seven games.
Armstrong then re-signed forward Erik Johnson to a two-year contract. Johnson, who missed the entire 2008-2009 season recovering from a knee injury, improved on his 2007-2008 totals upon his return for the 2009-2010 campaign. He registered 39 points after having 31 points in 07-08. So far, he has three points and an even rating in seven games.
The Blues currently have a record of 4-1-2 for 10 points and fourth place in the Central Division. They are in sixth place in the Western Conference.
22. Steve Yzerman: Tampa Bay Lightning
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Yzerman was named General Manager of the Tampa Bay Lightning in May 2010 and had a strong first offseason.
First, Yzerman traded defenseman Matt Walker to the Philadelphia Flyers in exchange for forward Simon Gagne.
However, Gagne has struggled in his first year with the Bolts. He has no points and a minus-eight rating in six games and is currently on the injured reserve with a stiff neck.
Yzerman also signed Dominic Moore, who spent last season with the Montreal Canadiens. Moore was given a two-year deal for $2.2 million and has started off this year with five points and an even rating.
After Antero Nittymaki left for the San Jose Sharks, Yzerman replaced him with Dan Ellis, who was a solid backup for the Nasvhille Predators. Ellis was given a two-year deal and has a record of 2-2-1 with a .897 save percentage and 2.95 GAA.
Yzerman brought back defenseman Pavel Kubina, who played with the Bolts from 1998-2006 and was a member of the 2004 Stanley Cup championship team. Right now, he has five points and an even rating.
Yzerman made a coaching change and hired Guy Boucher in June of this year. Boucher was the head coach of the Hamilton Bulldogs of the American Hockey League last year. He led Hamilton to a record of 52-17-3-8 for 115 points and first place in the North Division. As a result of his efforts, he was named the AHL Coach of the Year.
Tampa is currently on track to a great season. They are first in the Southeast Division with a record of 6-2-1 for 13 points and are ranked second in the Eastern Conference.
21. Bryan Murray: Ottawa Senators
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Murray took over as General Manager of the Senators in June 2007 after Ottawa finished a season that saw them go to the Stanley Cup Finals. Murray was the head coach of that squad.
In February 2008, Murray stepped back behind the bench when he fired then head coach John Paddock. Paddock had a record of 36-22-6 through that point of the 2007-2008 campaign, but a dismal February performance led Murray to pull the plug.
However, Murray fared no better than Paddock. The Senators put up a 7-9-2 record the rest of the way and lost to the Pittsburgh Penguins in the first round of the playoffs.
Currently, two of Murray's draft picks are on the Senators roster. Zack Smith, who was selected in 2008, has three points and a minus-4 through 21 NHL games. He currently has no points and a minus-5 in five games.
Erik Karlsson has 30 points in 69 games, but has managed just four points and a minus-4 in nine games.
Murray has given extensions to two of Ottawa's stand out forwards in Daniel Alfredsson and Jason Spezza.
Alfredsson received a four-year extension in 2008 with a no-movement clause to ensure he will retire as a Senator. He is the longest serving active captain in the NHL and has held the Ottawa captaincy since 2000. He had two 70-point seasons after signing his extension and recently posted his 1,000th career point against the Buffalo Sabres, pushing his point total this year to 10 points through nine games.
Spezza got a seven-year extension in November 2007. He finished the 2007-2008 campaign tying his career high in goals scored and setting a new personal high in points with 92.
Unfortunately, his production declined in the two seasons after that. He had 73 points in 2008-2009, but managed just 57 points in 2009-2010. He has five points and a plus-1 in five games, but is currently on the injured reserve with a groin injury.
Murray also acquired Pascal Leclaire from the Blue Jackets in 2009. Leclaire did not play after being traded, but had a 12-14-2 record last year with a 3.20 GAA and a .887 save percentage. Right now, he is 0-2-1 with a .903 save percentage and 3.24 GAA. Like Spezza, he is out of the lineup with a groin injury.
This past offseason, Murray signed defenseman Sergei Gonchar to a three-year contract. Gonchar recently played in his 1,000th NHL game and has five points and a minus-six through the first nine games.
Ottawa is struggling as of right now. They have a record of 3-5-1 with seven points and sit in fourth place in the Northeast Division. They are in 12th in the Eastern Conference. They are hoping to not only get into the playoffs, but to advance past the first round for the first time since their Finals appearance in 2007.
20. Darryl Sutter: Calgary Flames
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Sutter started off his career with the Flames as head coach and general manager in 2002. In 2006, he stepped down from the coaching job to focus on his management duties.
Under Sutter's guidance, Calgary went to the Stanley Cup Finals in 2004, where they lost to the Lightning in seven games. They won the Northwest Division in the 2005-2006 season with a record of 46-25-11.
In 2003, Sutter acquired goaltender Mikka Kiprusoff, who is the Flames' franchise goalie. In the last five seasons, Kiprusoff has played at least 70 games every year. He has already played in eight games this year and has a 5-3 record with a .916 save percentage and 2.35 GAA.
Sutter signed Rene Bourque in 2008. Bourque had been with the Blackhawks prior to being signed by the Flames. He has improved every year since coming to the Flames, with 40 points in 2008-2009 and 58 points last season. Right now, he is second on the team in scoring with eight points.
Sutter was also responsible for drafting defenseman Dion Phaneuf, who is currently on the Toronto Maple Leafs. Phaneuf, who joined the Flames in 2005-2006, posted four 40-point seasons and had more than 100 penalty minutes in two seasons. He also represented the Flames in the NHL All-Star Game in 2007 and 2008.
However, Sutter was not a loser in the Phaneuf trade. He acquired Matt Stajan, Ian White and Niklas Hagman, all of who have been solid since they moved to Calgary.
Stajan had 16 points in 27 games after being traded. He currently has six points and a plus-2 in seven games.
White had 12 points and a plus-seven in 27 games after coming to the Flames. Right now, he has four points and a minus-2 in nine games.
Hagman had 11 points in 27 games last year and has contributed four points in nine games so far.
Calgary is already showing improvement over last year's disappointing season where they failed to make the playoffs. They are 6-3-0 for 12 points and first place in the Northwest Division and are in second in the Western Conference.
19. Bob Murray: Anaheim Ducks
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Murray took over as Ducks general manager in November of 2008 in the middle of the 2008-2009 season.
That year, the Ducks upset the top-seeded San Jose Sharks in the 2009 Western Conference Quarterfinals. They then took the 2008 Stanley Cup Champions Detroit Red Wings to seven games in the Conference Semifinals, but were ultimately eliminated that round.
Murray's biggest move was acquiring Saku Koivu from the Montreal Canadiens. Koivu was the long-time captain of the Canadiens and consistently puts up 50-point seasons. In his first year in Anaheim, Koivu had 52 points in 71 games.
This past summer, Murray gave forward Bobby Ryan a five-year contract extension. Ryan had two straight 50-point seasons and currently has nine points in 10 games.
Meanwhile, Cam Fowler, the Ducks' first round pick in the 2010 NHL Entry Draft, has stayed on the Ducks roster so far. He has three points in six games.
Anaheim is trying to get back to the playoffs after not qualifying in 2009-2010. Right now, they have a 4-5-1 record for nine points and are in fourth place in the Pacific Division and 12th in the Western Conference.
18. Garth Snow: New York Islanders
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Snow, a former Islanders goaltender, was named General Manager in July 2006.
Just two months after being hired, Snow signed goalie Rick DiPietro to one of the NHL's worst contracts to date when he gave DiPietro a 15-year contract.
Since signing the contract, DiPietro has played in just 218 games. He dealt with several injuries including a concussion, hip and knee surgeries and post-surgical swelling in his knee. He missed the second half of the 2008-2009 season and the end of the 2007-2008 and 2009-2010 seasons.
Luckily, DiPietro is currently healthy and can help save the contract from being a total failure. He will need to step it up though. Through five games, he is 2-1-2 with a .882 save percentage and 3.31 GAA.
Snow has been successful in the draft. Three of his draft picks (Josh Bailey, John Tavares and Nino Niederreiter) have come right into the NHL.
Bailey had 25 and 35 points in his first two NHL seasons and currently has six points and a plus-three rating.
Tavares had 54 points in 2009-2010 and was second in the NHL in rookie scoring. This year, he has eight points and a minus-five rating. Despite suffering a concussion, his sixth goals are ranked sixth in the NHL.
Niederreiter was drafted in the first round of this past year's draft. He is off to a slow start with two points and a minus-one in nine games.
Snow has also made room on the Islanders for three veteran players.
Bill Guerin was the Islanders captain until he got traded to Pittsburgh for a conditional draft pick in 2009. Guerin played in 142 games with the Islanders and had 80 points.
Doug Weight, the current Islanders captain, is a 2006 Stanley Cup champion. He registered his 1,000th point on January 2, 2009 and had 55 points in 89 games with the Islanders in the 2008-2009 and 2009-2010 seasons. This year, he has six points and a plus-two in eight games.
Dwayne Roloson was signed in 2009 and has been to a Stanley Cup Final with the Oilers. Last year, he played in 50 games and posted a 23-18-7 record with a .907 save percentage and 3.00 GAA.
This year, he has played in four games and has a 2-2 record. He has posted a .925 save percentage and 2.23 GAA.
This past offseason, Snow signed James Wisniewski, who spent last season with Anaheim. Wisniewski currently has 11 points in seven games. His nine assists are ranked fifth, while his point total is ranked eighth.
Snow is looking to get the Islanders back into the playoffs for the first time since 2007. As of right now, they have a 4-3-2 record for 10 points and second place in the Atlantic Division and sixth place in the Eastern Conference.
17. Greg Sherman: Colorado Avalanche
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Sherman was named General Manager of the Avalanche in June 2009 after spending seven years as Assistant General Manager.
Under Sherman's guidance, the Avs had a 26-point improvement from the 2008-2009 season, when they went 32-45-1-4 with 69 points. In 2009-2010, they finished 43-30-4-5 with 95 points and a berth in the 2010 Stanley Cup playoffs.
Sherman made this possible by dismissing head coach Tony Granato and promoting Joe Sacco from the Lake Erie Monsters, Colorado's AHL affiliate. Sacco was named a finalist for the Jack Adams.
Matt Duchene, a 2009 draft pick for Colorado, came right into the NHL and posted 55 points and a plus-one rating in 81 games. He was also nominated for the Calder Trophy. Right now, he has eight points in nine games.
Ryan O'Reilly also made a name for himself last year. He had 26 points and a plus-4 in 2009-2010 and has started the 2010-2011 season with three points and a plus-3 in nine games.
Colorado is currently in third place in the Northwest Division with a 4-4-1 record and nine points. They are also in 11th place in the Western Conference.
16. Don Maloney: Phoenix Coyotes
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Maloney was named the Coyotes General Manager in May of 2007.
Although the Coyotes did not make the playoffs for his first two years at the reigns, things changed in 2009-2010.
The Coyotes set new franchise records for wins and points in a season by going 50-25-7 and finishing with 107 points. Maloney hired Dave Tippett as head coach, and Tippett won the Jack Adams Award for his efforts behind the bench.
As a result of the Coyotes turn around amidst an uncertain ownership situation, Maloney was awarded the NHL's inaugural General Manager of the Year Award.
Not long after his hire, Maloney claimed Ilya Bryzgalov off waivers from Anaheim. During his first three seasons with the Coyotes, Bryzgalov posted a record of 94-73-17 with a 2.57 GAA and .916 save percentage. He was the runner-up for the 2010 Vezina Trophy after breaking the franchise record for wins with 42. He also tied the team record for shutouts in a season by posting eight last year.
Bryzgalov currently has a record of 2-1-3 in seven games with a .921 save percentage and 2.65 GAA.
Maloney signed Taylor Pyatt to a one-year contract in 2009. Pyatt, who previously played with the Vancouver Canucks, had 23 points and a plus-three in the 2009-2010 season after tallying 19 points in 2008-2009.
Pyatt received a new two-year contract after this past season and has three points and a plus-one in eight games.
Lee Stempniak was acquired from Toronto last year and put up 18 points and a plus-10 rating in 18 games after arriving in Phoenix. He signed a two-year contract extension this past offseason and currently has five points and a plus-2 in eight games.
Maloney also signed veteran forward Ray Whitney, who spent the last several years with the Carolina Hurricanes. Whitney has two points and a minus-1 rating through six games.
At the 2009 trade deadline, Maloney acquired Scottie Upshall from the Flyers. Upshall had 13 points and a plus-two rating in 19 games after arriving in Phoenix. He has 32 points in 49 games in 2009-2010 and currently has four points and a plus-one in eight games.
The Coyotes are currently 2-3-3 with seven points and are in last place in the Pacific Division. They also sit in 14th place in the Western Conference.
15. Brian Burke: Toronto Maple Leafs
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Burke was hired as Toronto's general manager in November 2008 and is currently under a six-year contract as GM.
So far, Burke has made two major trades in his time as GM.
In September 2009, he acquired Phil Kessel from the Boston Bruins and signed him to a five-year, $27 million contract.
Kessel posted 55 points in his first season in Toronto and recently recorded his 100th NHL goal. He has nine points and a plus-2 in Toronto's first eight games, and his seven goals are ranked third in the NHL. He is currently the Maple Leafs' scoring leader.
On January 31, 2010, Burke acquired Dion Phaneuf from Calgary in exchange for Matt Stajan, Ian White and Niklas Hagman. Phaneuf was named the Leafs' captain in June 2010, but his statistics have been declining since the 2007-2008 season. He posted just 10 points and a minus-2 in 26 games after being traded, and he has started the season with four points and a minus-5 rating.
Burke also signed Tyler Bozak, an undrafted center, in April 2009. Bozak made his debut in 2009-2010 and scored 27 points in 37 games. Right now, he has four points and a minus-2 rating in eight games.
Burke has also brought in two capable netminders. Jonas Gustavsson signed a one-year contract in 2009. Last year, he tied the Leafs' franchise record for the longest winning streak by a rookie goaltender by posting seven wins in March. He finished the year with a 16-15-9 record with a .902 save percentage and 2.87 GAA.
As a result of his performance last year, he signed a two-year contract in Apirl and currently has a 1-1 record with a .912 save percentage and 2.52 GAA.
Last January, Burke acquired Jean-Sebastien Giguere from the Anhaeim Ducks. Giguere had shutouts in his first two games after coming to Tornto, becoming the first first goalie in Toronto history to accomplish this feat.
Giguere played 15 games after being traded and posted a record of 6-7-2 with a .916 save percentage and 2.49 GAA. He had started the season 4-8 with a .900 save percentage and 3.14 GAA.
So far, Giguere is off to a 4-1-1 start with a .908 save percentage and 2.30 GAA.
Burke also re-signed forward Nikolai Kulemin to a two-year deal for $2.35 million a year. Kulemin made his Leafs debut in 2008-2009 and had 31 points in 73 games. Last year, he improved on his total with 36 points in 78 games. He has started the season with six points and a plus-two rating.
Burke is hoping the Leafs can get back to the postseason for the first time since 2004. Right now, they have a record of 5-2-1 for 11 points and first place in the Northeast Division. They also sit in first place in the Eastern Conference.
14. Pierre Gauthier: Montreal Canadiens
Gauthier took over as the Canadiens' General Manager last season when Bob Gainey resigned.
Gauthier made an unpopular move in the offseason when he traded goaltender Jaroslav Halak to the St. Louis Blues. Halak played in 101 regular season games for Montreal and posted a 56-34-7 record with a 2.62 GAA and .919 save percentage.
However, Halak will be remembered for being the anchor of Montreal's Cinderella story in the 2010 playoffs. He had a 9-9 record with a 2.55 GAA and .923 save percentage as the Canadiens defeated the heavily favored Capitals and Penguins to advance to the Eastern Conference Finals.
In exchange for Halak, Gauthier acquired Blues prospect Lars Eller. Eller had two points in seven games with the Blues, but has posted just one point and a minus-two in nine games to start the year in Montreal.
Gauthier chose to stay with Carey Price as the Habs' starting goaltender and signed him to a two-year contract last month. As of the end of last season, Price had played 134 games with the Canadiens and had a record of 60-48-18 with a 2.73 GAA and a .912 save percentage. He had a 5-11 playoff record with a 3.17 GAA and a.894 save percentage.
Currently, Price has a record of 5-2-1 with a .918 save percentage and 2.23 GAA. His five wins are ranked first in the NHL.
Gauthier also traded Sergei Kostitsyn to Nashville. Kostistyn had documented off-ice issues last year, which peaked when he was asked not to be on the ice during a morning practice for the playoffs.
In exchange for Kostitsyn, Gauthier picked up forward Dustin Boyd, who had 62 points and a minus-11 rating in 210 NHL games. Right now, Boyd has one point and a minus-2 rating through six games.
In the offseason, Gauthier re-signed forward Tomas Plekanec to a six-year contract. Plekanec posted the best season of his career last year with 70 points, which was nearly double his point total from 2008-2009.
Montreal is currently sitting in first place in the Northeast Division with a record of 5-2-1 for 11 points, which also puts them in first place in the Eastern Conference.
13. Mike Gillis: Vancouver Canucks
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Gillis took over as General Manager of the Canucks for the 2008-2009 season. That year, the Canucks won the Northwest Division with a record of 45-27-10 for 100 points.
One of Gillis' first moves was to offer Mats Sundin a two-year, $20 million contract. However, Sundin did not sign immediately, choosing to hold out and consider retirement. However, in December, he agreed to a one-year contract worth $8.6 million. Sundin willingly took less money so the Canucks could have more cap space.
He ended up posting 28 points in 41 games and eight points in eight playoff games, and he retired after the 2008-2009 campaign.
Gillis also gave Henrik and Daniel Sedin new five-year, $30.5 million deals. Henrik won both the Art Ross and Hart Trophies this past season after posting 112 points. He is also the current Canucks captain.
In September 2009, Gillis signed Roberto Luongo to a 12-year deal. Luongo has a record of 115-86-26 for his career in Vancouver and averages a 2.39 GAA and a .917 save percentage. He holds several Canucks franchise records, including:
Most wins in a season (47 wins in 2006-2007)
Most shutouts by a goaltender in one season (nine shutouts in 2008-2009)
24 shutouts all-time
Luongo has also represented the Canucks in three NHL All-Star Games.
In March 2010, Gillis signed forward Ryan Kesler to a six-year contract extension. Last year, he set a new career high in points with 75 and was named a Selke Trophy nominee.
The Canucks alternate captain has improved his point totals every year for the last three years and currently has four points and a minus-1 in nine games.
Manny Malhotra was signed to a three-year, $7.5 million deal this offseason and currently has five points and a plus-2 in nine games. He is one of the Canucks alternate captains and has also played with the Rangers, Stars and Blue Jackets.
Gillis also signed Cory Schneider to back up Luongo. Schneider got a two-year extension in June and has played in 10 games between 2008-2009 and 2009-2010. He has a 2-5 record in those games with a .896 save percentage and 3.59 GAA.
However, Schneider has already gotten into two games this year. He is undefeated and has a .968 save percentage with a .86 GAA.
In the offseason, Gillis signed Dan Hamhuis to a six-year contract. Hamhuis previously posted 161 points in 483 games with Nashville and has started the season with one point in five games.
In 2009, Gillis gave forward Alexandre Burrows a four-year, $8 million contract extension. Burrows has 170 points in 288 games and has improved his point total every year since 2006-2007. In 2009-2010, he had 67 points. He has also posted three seasons of 100 or more penalty minutes.
Last year, Gillis ordered Canucks players to boycott CBC after the station did a piece on Burrows surrounding a controversy he was having with NHL official Stephane Auger. Burrows believed Auger was out to get him and said as much to the media.
CBC did a piece showing Burrows' various transgressions throughout his career and made comments about his character. Gillis thought the piece was in poor taste and did not want his players speaking to CBC reporters. Eventually, the team and the television station made peace, and Gillis again allowed the Canucks to give interviews to CBC.
Burrows has yet to play this season because he is recovering from surgery to repair a torn labrum.
The Canucks currently have a record of 4-3-2 for 10 points and second in the Northwest Division. They are ranked ninth in the Western Conference.
12. Dean Lombardi: Los Angeles Kings
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Lombardi has been the Kings General Manager since April 2006.
Lombardi got off to a strong start at the draft table by drafting goaltender Jonathan Bernier in the 2006 NHL Entry Draft. Bernier, who is currently on the Kings' roster as backup to Jon Quick, played nine games with Los Angeles starting in the 2007-2008 season. He posted a 5-4 record with a .908 save percentage and 2.76 GAA.
This year, Bernier has gotten into two games and has posted a record of 1-1 with a .918 save percentage and 2.50 GAA.
In 2007, Lombardi selected Wayne Simmonds. Simmonds made his NHL debut in 2008-2009 and posted 23 points and a minus-8 rating.
But in 2009-2010, Simmonds significantly improved to post 40 points and a plus-22 rating. He has started off the 2010-2011 season with four points and a plus-1 rating in nine games.
Up-and-coming defenseman Drew Doughty was selected in 2008. In his first two seasons, he has tallied 86 points and a plus-three in 163 games. After posting a dismal minus-17 in his 2008-2009 debut, Doughty managed a plus-20 rating in 2009-2010.
When the Kings went to the playoffs for the first time since 2002, Doughty posted seven points in six playoff games. He currently has one point and a plus-2 through five games this year.
The draft is not the only area Lombardi has succeeded in during the Kings' re-building effort.
In 2007, Lombardi signed forward Dustin Brown to a six-year contract extension. Brown is the youngest captain in Kings franchise history and has put up at least 40 points every year for the last four years. He has six points and a plus-2 in nine games so far and has 25 penalty minutes.
In the 2009 offseason, Lombardi signed defenseman Rob Scuderi to a four-year contract. Scuderi was fresh off a 2009 Stanley Cup win. He came to his new team and posted 11 points and a plus-16 in 73 games, but he is off to a slower start this year with no points and a minus-3 in nine games.
This past summer, Lombardi signed Willie Mitchell. Mitchell is a veteran of nearly 600 NHL games with the Devils, Wild, Stars and Canucks. He is under a two-year contract and currently has three points and a plus-four in the first nine games.
Despite some slow starts by key players, the Kings are still a top team in the Western Conference. They are currently at 6-3-0 for 12 points and first place in the Pacific Division and third place in the Western Conference.
11. Paul Holmgren: Philadelphia Flyers
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Holmgren took over as the Flyers' general manager in November 2006 on an interim basis before being named the permanent GM in March 2007. He has previously been in the Flyers organization as a player and a head coach.
One of Holmgren's draft picks, James van Riemsdyk, is currently setting himself apart on the Flyers roster. He made his debut in 2009-2010 with 35 points in 78 games. He has posted three points and a plus-2 rating to start the season.
During his tenure, Holmgren has given contract extensions to two key players: Mike Richards and Jeff Carter.
Richards received a 12-year contract extension in December 2007. He ended up finishing that season with 75 points, and upon being named captain before the 2008-2009 season, he had 80 points. He represented the Flyers at the 2008 NHL All-Star Game and has seven points and a minus-2 so far this year.
Carter got a three-year contract extension in 2008. After signing his new contract, he posted 84 points in the 2008-2009 campaign, but dropped off in 2009-2010 with 61 points. This year, he has six points and a minus-2 through nine games .
In the 2007 offseason, Holmgren signed forward Daniel Briere to an eight-year contract that included a no-trade clause. Briere had 72 points in his first season with the Flyers, but only played 29 games in 2008-2009 due to injury. He still posted 25 points, a respectable number for the amount of games he played in.
Last year, Briere led all participants in the 2010 playoffs in scoring. He posted 30 points and set Flyers and league records for most points in a single playoff year.
Briere has started the season with eight points in nine games, and his six goals are ranked ninth in the NHL. He also has three power play goals.
In the 2009 offseason, Holmgren acquired defenseman Chris Pronger from the Anaheim Ducks. Pronger won the 2007 Stanley Cup with the Ducks and was also a 2006 Cup Finalist with the Oilers.
Pronger had 55 points and a plus-22 rating last year. He missed the start of this year recovering from knee surgery and has one point and an even rating in six games.
Last year, Holmgren fired head coach John Stevens as the Flyers sat in 10th place in the Eastern Conference in December. Holmgren then brought in Peter Laviolette, who was the coach of the 2006 Stanley Cup champion Hurricanes.
Under Laviolette's leadership, the Flyers made the playoffs on the last day of the regular season and went on a remarkable run to the Stanley Cup Finals, where they fell to the Chicago Blackhawks in six games.
Philadelphia is currently in fourth place in the Atlantic Division with a record of 4-4-1 with nine points. They are in eighth place in the Eastern Conference.
10. David Poile: Nashville Predators
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Poile has been the Predators' General Manager for 13 years, making him the sixth longest tenured GM in the NHL. He is third all-time in wins by a general manager with 1,0005.
Under Poile's leadership, the Preds have won at least 40 games every year for the last five years.
As a result of his efforts, Poile was awarded the 2001 Lester Patrick Trophy, which is awarded to an individual who makes significant contributions to United States hockey.
He was also named the Executive of the Year by The Sporting News in 2007. That season, the Predators had 51 wins and 110 points.
Several of Poile's draft picks have become key players on Nashville's current roster.
Martin Erat, who was drafted in 1999, has been with the Predators since the 2001-2002 season. He has 355 points in 557 games and has three points in five games to start the 2010-2011 campaign. He was signed to a seven-year contract extension in 2008.
Erat holds Predators records for games played by a rookie (80), assists by a rookie (24) and points by a rookie (33).
Patric Hornqvist was drafted in 2005 and played his first full season with the Predators last year. He tied for the team scoring lead with 51 points and had 30 goals.
Cal O'Reilly, who was also drafted in 2005, made his debut in 2008-2009 and had 16 points in 42 games from 2008-2010. He has started off this season with six points and a plus-1 in eight games.
Pekka Rinne was selected in 2004 and was drafted to become the Predators' main goalie. As of the end of the 2009-2010 season, he accumulated a record of 64-32-1 with a .916 save percentage and a 2.43 GAA. He currently has a record of 2-0-2 with a .955 save percentage and a 1.58 GAA. His save percentage is ranked third, and his GAA is ranked fourth.
Shea Weber was drafted in 2003 and is the current team captain. He is in his fifth season in Nashville and had 171 points in 328 games after last season. He was signed to a three-year contract in 2008 and responded with a career season in 2008-2009, posting 53 points. He has five points in eight games so far.
Poile also had Jason Arnott from 2006 until this past season. Arnott posted three 50-point seasons from 2007-2009 and set a Nashville record for goals in a season in 2008-2009 when he had 33 goals.
Defenseman J.P. Dumont originally signed a two-year contract in 2006, but he was awarded a four-year extension in 2008. As of last season, he had 248 points in 318 games and currently has five points and a plus-5 in eight games.
The Predators are currently on top of the Central Division with a 5-0-3 record and 13 points. They are also first in the Western Conference.
9. Doug Wilson: San Jose Sharks
Doug Wilson started his tenure as San Jose Sharks General Manager prior to the 2003-2004 season.
In seven seasons, Wilson has won a President's Trophy (2009) and four Pacific Division titles (2004 and 2008-2010). The Sharks have also had two appearances in the Western Conference Finals (2004 and 2010).
At the draft, Wilson selected Logan Couture in 2007. Couture made his NHL debut last year and scored nine points and posted a plus-4 rating in 25 games. He also had four points and a plus-1 rating through 15 playoff games.
This year, Couture has started off with three points and a plus-1 in seven games.
Jamie McGinn was selected in 2006 and made his debut in 2008-2009 with six points and a minus-6 in 35 games. However, he improved in the 2009-2010 season with 13 points in 59 games and has started the season with one point and a minus-1 in seven games.
Devin Setoguchi, drafted in 2005, made his Sharks debut in 2007-2008 and had 17 points and a plus-6 rating in 44 games. In 2008-2009, he seat a career high with 65 points and a plus-16 rating. He now has two points and a minus-6 rating in eight games.
Marc-Edouard Vlasic, also selected in 2005, came right to San Jose after playing in the QMJHL. He had 26 points and a plus-13 in his rookie season and had the best offensive output of his career in 2008-2009 when he had 36 points and a plus-15 rating.
Last year, Vlasic did his best defensively when he had a plus-21 rating to go with his 16 points.
Vlasic was signed to a four-year contract extension in 2008 and has no points and a minus-5 in eight games so far.
Wilson has made waves in free agency as well. He re-signed Patrick Marleau three times throughout his career, and Marleau is currently in a new four-year contract. Marleau is the Sharks all-time leader in points with 693 and the all-time leader in goals with 320. He has 10 points and a minus-3 rating so far in 2010-2011.
Wilson's biggest move was acquiring Joe Thornton from the Bruins in 2005. Thornton had 125 points in 2005-2006 and became the first player to win the Art Ross Trophy in a season in which he was traded. He also won the Hart Trophy that year.
Thornton recently signed a new three-year extension worth $21 million and is the current Sharks captain. He has 12 points and a minus-5 in eight games and has represented San Jose in three NHL All-Star Games.
In 2009, Wilson got Dany Heatley from the Ottawa Senators. Heatley had 82 points in 82 games in his first regular season in San Jose and also had 13 points in 14 playoff games. He is currently under a six-year contract.
Wilson also hired Todd McLellan to be the Sharks' head coach in the 2008-2009 season. McLellan guided the team to a 53-18-11 record, which gave the Sharks the Presidents Trophy. McLellan was also a finalist for the Jack Adams Award.
The Sharks have made the playoffs every year since Wilson was named GM. They currently sit at 4-3-1 for nine points and third in the Pacific Division, and they are in 10th place in the Western Conference.
8. Darcy Regier: Buffalo Sabres
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Regier has been the Sabres GM since 1997. In his first 10 years as GM, the Sabres went to the Stanley Cup Finals once (1999) and the Eastern Conference Finals twice (2006 and 2007).
Regier has also been credited with building a strong farm system in Buffalo, as many of his draft picks have become key players for the Sabres.
One of Regier's most successful picks is goaltender Ryan Miller. Miller has won at least 30 games every year he has been in the NHL full-time and also won the Vezina Trophy in 2010.
Prior to joining Buffalo full-time, Miller played for the Rochester Americans, who used to be affiliated with the Sabres. In the 2002-2003 season, Miller set the AHL's all-time goalie wins record by putting up 41 wins.
However, he is struggling this season with a record of 3-5-1 in nine games. He has a .910 save percentage and 2.58 GAA.
Tyler Myers was drafted in 2008 and won the 2010 Calder Trophy after posting 48 points and a plus-13 in 82 games.
Like Miller, Myers is off to a slow start this season. He has four points and a minus-9 rating through Buffalo's first 10 games.
Derek Roy was drafted i 2001 and has had 20-point seasons every year through the last four years. He is currently Buffalo's leading scorer with 11 points through 10 games.
Regier has also drafted many up-and-coming players.
Tyler Ennis was the 2009-2010 AHL Rookie of the Year after posting 65 points in 69 games with the Portland Pirates, Buffalo's current AHL affiliate. He is currently tied for first in rookie scoring with seven points in 10 games.
After a strong season last year, Buffalo is off to a slow start. They are 3-6-1 with seven points and are in last place in the Northeast Division. They are ranked 13th in the Eastern Conference.
7. Peter Chiarelli: Boston Bruins
Peter Chiarelli has been the Bruins' General Manager since May 2006 and is under contract through the 2013-2014 season.
In 2008-2009, Chiarelli was voted the NHL Executive of the Year by The Sporting News. That year, the Bruins had a record of 53-19-10 for 116 points, which earned them the regular season Eastern Conference Title.
Chiarelli's latest moves included acquiring Nathan Horton and Gregory Campbell from Florida in exchange for Dennis Wideman. Horton is currently Boston's leading scorer with nine points in six games.
In the 2010 NHL Entry Draft, Chiarelli used the second overall draft pick to draft Tyler Seguin, who was the most sought after pick after Edmonton's Taylor Hall. However, Seguin has managed only three points and a minus-2 in six games.
In 2006, Chiarellie acquired Marc Savard, who has posted three straight seasons of at least 70 points. Last year, he still posted 33 points despite missing half of the season with injuries. He has not played in 2010-2011 due to post-concussion syndrome.
Chiarelli gave goaltender Tim Thomas a four-year contract extension in 2009. That same year, he won the Vezina Trophy after posting a 36-11-7 record with five shutouts. He tallied a .933 save percentage and 2.10 GAA.
Thomas is currently 4-0 with one shutout and is first in save percentage (.978) and GAA (0.75). His four wins are ranked seventh.
Currently, the Bruins are 4-2-0 with eight points and are third in the Northeast Division. They are in 10th place in the Eastern Conference.
6. George McPhee: Washington Capitals
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McPhee was hired to manage the Washington Capitals in June 1997. In his first year as General Manager, the Capitals went to the Stanley Cup Finals, where they were swept by the Red Wings, who repeated their 1997 Stanley Cup championship.
McPhee has also put the pieces in places for the Capitals to win four Southeast Division titles (2000, 2001, 2008 and 2009).
Through recent draft years, McPhee has acquired several players that have become stars for the Capitals.
His most notable draft pick is Alexander Ovechkin, who was taken first in the 2004 Entry Draft. He has won several NHL awards since making his debut in 2005-2006, including:
Calder Trophy (2006, posted 106 points)
Rocket Richard Trophy (2008, posted 65 goals)
Art Ross (112 points)
Lester B. Pearson/Ted Lindsay Award (2008-2010)
Hart Memorial Trophy (2008 and 2009)
Ovechkin has also had four 100-point seasons (2006 and 2008-2010) and is the current Capitals captain. He got the "C" last year after Chris Clark was traded to the Blue Jackets.
He also has several Capitals records, including:
Most goals in a season (65 goals in 2007-2008)
Four seasons of 50 or more goals (2006 and 2008-2010)
Points in a season by a rookie (106 points, set in 2006)
His NHL records include:
First player to win the Art Ross, Rocket Richard, Hart Trophy and Pearson Award in one season
Regular season point total by a rookie
To reward Ovechkin for his efforts, McPhee signed him to a 13-year contract extension in 2007-2008.
Ovechkin has started off the 2010-2011 season with nine points in nine games.
Nicklas Backstrom, who was drafted in 2006, scored 69 points in his rookie year in the 2007-2008 season. He improved for the next two years, including finishing fourth in scoring in 2009-2010 with 101 points. Right now, he has six points and a minus-1 through eight games.
Backstrom was the runner-up for the Calder Trophy in 2008, which he lost to Patrick Kane of the Blackhawks. In 2007-2008, he set a Capitals record for most assists in a season by a rookie with 55.
Mike Green was drafted in 2004 and has also been on the upswing every year since 2006-2007. Last year, he had his best season to date with 76 points and a plus-39 rating. He was signed to a four-year extension in 2008 and has been nominated for the Norris Trophy twice.
Green also holds the NHL record for longest goal scoring streak by a defenseman. He scored a goal in eight straight games in the 2008-2009 season and finished with 73 points in 68 games. He currently has one point and a plus-five rating in six games.
Alexander Semin was drafted in 2002 and has posted three 70-point seasons since joining the league in 2006-2007. Last year, he received a one year contract extension. He has eight points and a plus-4 in nine games so far.
2008 draft pick John Calrson made his debut last season and had six points and a plus-11 in 22 games. He currently has six points and a plus-four through nine games.
Michal Neuvirth, also selected in 2006, has been playing outstanding with Semyon Varlamov out of the lineup with an injury. Between 2008-2010, he played 22 games and tallied an 11-5 record with a .903 save percentage and 2.87 GAA. Right now, he is 6-2 with a .929 save percentage and a 2.18 GAA. He is first in the NHL in wins and sixth in save percentage.
McPhee also turned around the Capitals' season in 2007-2008 when he dismissed Glen Hanlon and promoted Bruce Boudreau from the Capitals' AHL affiliate in Hershey, Pennsylvania. The Caps were 6-14-1 when Boudreau took over and finished with a 43-31-8 record. Boudreau won the Jack Adams for his guidance, but the Capitals lost to the Flyers in the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals.
McPhee's teams have only gotten past the first round of the playoffs once since the 1998 Finals appearance. Last year, they were dealt a crushing defeat when they dropped a 3-1 series lead in the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals and were eliminated by the Montreal Canadiens.
The Capitals are 6-3-0 and hold second place in the Southeast Division. They are in fourth place in the Eastern Conference.
5. Stan Bowman: Chicago Blackhawks
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Stan Bowman was named the Hawks' General Manager on July 14, 2009, not long after the Blackhawks went to the Western Conference Finals.
Bowman had been with the Hawks in various positions since 2001 and has been successful as a general manager.
In the 2009 offseason, Bowman signed Marian Hossa, who was a veteran of NHL games with Atlanta, Pittsburgh and Detroit. Hossa had been to the 2008 and 2009 Cup Finals with Pittsburgh and Detroit, but was coming up short.
However, he finally got his Stanley Cup last year. In the regular season, he posted 51 points and a plus-24 rating, then had 25 points in 22 playoff games.
Hossa has 11 points in 11 games this year. His point total is eighth in the NHL, while his seven goals are ranked third.
Bowman made up for the loss of Antti Niemi to San Jose by signing Marty Turco, the long-time goaltender for the Stars. Turco currently has a record of 5-2-1 with a .927 save percentage and and a 2.44 GAA. His five wins are ranked third, and his save percentage is ranked eighth.
Bowman was the Blackhawks' assistant general manager when several key players such as Jonathan Toews, Patrick Kane and Patrick Sharp were brought into the organization.
Despite the fact that Bowman had to let go of several players from the 2010 Cup champion squad to save salary cap space, the Blackhawks have a record of 6-4-1 for 13 points and second place in the Central Division. They are in fourth place in the Western Conference
4. Ray Shero: Pittsburgh Penguins
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Ray Shero was named the Penguins General Manager after the 2005-2006 season.
At that year's draft, Shero selected Jordan Staal, who made his NHL debut the following season.
Staal only missed one regular season game from 2006-2010 and posted 168 points in 327 games. He had two 40-point seasons and received a four-year, $16 million contract extension in January 2009. He holds the NHL record for most shorthanded goals by a rookie, scoring seven in the 2006-2007 season.
Shero has also locked-up several other players to long-term contracts. They include:
Marc-Andre Fleury, the team's starting goaltender, was signed to a seven-year contract extension in 2008. The contract is worth $35 million and includes a limited no-trade clause.
However, Fleury's contract is looking questionable as his regular season statistics are on the decline. He is also off to a slow start in 2010-2011 with a record of 1-4 and a .861 save percentage and 3.41 GAA.
Brooks Orpik received a six-year extension in the summer of 2008 and has improved over the last two years. Last year, he had the best offensive production of his career with 25 points. Despite missing the start of the season recovering from abdominal surgery, he has one point and a plus-1 in four games.
Sidney Crosby, the Penguins' current captain and first overall draft choice in 2005, got a five-year, $43.5 million extension in July 2007. He has won the Rocket Richard Trophy (2010-51 goals), the Art Ross Trophy (2007-120 points), the Hart Trophy (2007) and the Mark Messier Leadership Award (2010).
Crosby has put up four 100-point seasons since coming to Pittsburgh and has 12 points in 10 games so far this season. His six goals are ranked sixth in the league, and his 12 points are ranked third.
Kris Letang received a four-year extension in March. He has posted 79 points in 217 games for Pittsburgh, including a 33 point season in 2008-2009. He currently has nine points and a plus-7 in 10 games. His seven assists and plus-7 are both ranked seventh in the NHL.
In 2009, Shero pulled off several moves to turn around the Penguins' season and eventually win them a Stanley Cup.
Shero started off by acquiring Chris Kunitz from Anaheim in exchange for Ryan Whitney.
Kunitz was a 2007 Cup winner with the Ducks and put up 18 points in 20 games after being acquired. He then had 14 points in 24 playoff games.
Kunitz is still a member of the Penguins and had 32 points in 50 games last year. He also posted 11 points in 13 games. He currently has five points in 10 games.
Shero also gave up a conditional draft pick to acquire Bill Guerin from the Islanders. Guerin had 12 points in 17 games after coming to the Penguins and had 15 points in 24 playoff games. He stayed on for the 2009-2010 season and had 45 points in 78 games and nine points in 11 playoff games.
Shero also dismissed Michel Therrien and promoted Dan Bylsma from the Penguins' AHL affiliate in Wilkes-Barre/Scranton. Bylsma led the Penguins to an 18-3-4 finish to the regular season and the fourth seed in the Eastern Conference.
After the 2009 Cup, Shero signed Brent Johnson to back-up Fleury. Johnson had a 10-6-1 record in 2009-2010 with a .906 save percentage and 2.76 GAA. He was signed to a two-year extension in the 2010 offseason and has performed well so far through Fleury's struggles, posting a 4-0-1 record with a .951 save percentage and 1.39 GAA. He is ranked fourth in save percentage and third in GAA.
The Penguins have not missed playoffs since Shero took over. They currently have a record of 5-4-1 for 11 points and are in first in the Atlantic Division. They are in third in the Eastern Conference.
3. Jim Rutherford: Carolina Hurricanes
Rutherford is the only general manager in history of the Hurricanes franchise.
Under his leadership, the Hurricanes have been to the Stanley Cup Finals in 2002 and 2006. Although they lost to the Red Wings in 2002, they defeated the Oilers in 2006 for their first and only Cup in franchise history.
As a result of his efforts those years, Rutherford was named Executive of the Year by The Hockey News. He was also named the 2006 Executive of the Year by The Sporting News.
In 2003, Rutherford drafted Eric Staal with the second overall pick. Staal has scored at least 70 points in five of his six seasons in Carolina, including a 100-point season in 2005-2006. He is the current captain of the Hurricanes, a title he took over in January 2010. He currently has six points and a minus-2 in eight games.
Brandon Sutter was drafted in 2007. He had six points and a minus-1 in 50 games in the 2008-2009 season. However, in 2009-2010, he played in 72 games and posted 40 points and a minus-one.
Cam Ward was drafted in 2002 and made his debut in 2005-2006. He had a record of 14-8-2 in the regular season with a .882 save percentage and a 3.68 GAA.
However, Ward shined in the playoffs, where he had a record of 15-8 with a .920 save percentage and 2.14 GAA. That effort earned him the Conn Smythe Trophy.
Ward has started the season with a record of 4-3 to go with a .925 save percentage and 2.68 GAA. His four wins are ranked seventh in the NHL.
Rutherford's best pickup has been forward Jussi Jokinen, who came to the Canes in a 2009 trade with the Lightning. He doubled his point total from 27 points in 2008-2009 to 65 points in 2009-2010. He has a six points and a minus-5 in eight games so far this year.
Jamie McBain is another draft pick who has done well for the Canes. He has 10 points in 14 games in his NHL debut last year, along with a plus-6 rating. He currently has two points and an even rating in eight games.
Carolina is in fourth place in the Southeast Division with a record of 4-4-0 for eight points. They are in 11th place in the Eastern Conference.
2. Lou Lamoriello: New Jersey Devils
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Lamoriello is currently the longest tenured General Manager in the NHL. He has been serving as the Devils GM since 1987.
In his 23 years in the role, Lamoriello has won three Stanley Cups (1995, 2000 and 2003), four Eastern Conference championships and eight Atlantic Division titles.
Several of the players Lamoriello has drafted have become not only key Devils players, but also NHL legends.
Martin Brodeur was drafted in 1990, and it goes without saying that he is arguably the greatest goaltender in the NHL. His awards and honors include:
Three-time Stanley Cup winner
Four-time Vezina Trophy winner (2003, 2004, 2007, 2008)
10-time NHL All-Star
Multiple NHL and Devils franchise records
Scott Niedermayer was taken in the 1991 draft. He was a member of all three Stanley Cup teams and also won the 2004 Norris Trophy. He represented the Devils in three All-Star Games (1998, 2001, 2004). Niedermayer retired from hockey this past summer.
Patrik Elias, selected in 1994, is the all-time Devils leading scorer with 754 career points. He is tied for the NHL record for overtime goals with 15 and has the Devils single season points record (he scored 96 points in the 2000-2001 season). He also holds the Devils record for most points in a playoff season (23 in 2000-2001) and most career playoff points with 117.
Lamoriello has also acquired other key players throughout his tenure. The most recent is forward Ilya Kovalchuk, who was traded to New Jersey from Atlanta last season. He put up 27 points and a plus-9 in 27 games after being traded and also had six points in five playoff games.
Over the summer, Lamoriello signed Kovalchuk to a 17-year contract worth $102 million. However, the NHL overturned the contract, saying it was in violation of the CBA. Lamoriello re-negotiated with Kovalchuk for a 15-year, $100 million deal.
Lamoriello acquired current Devils captain Jamie Langenbrunner from Dallas in 2002. Langenbrunner was a part of the 2003 Cup run, where he led the league in scoring with 18 points in 24 games. He also won a Stanley Cup with Dallas in 1999 and is in a five-year contract.
Currently, the Devils are off to a slow start, which is not good for a team trying to make it past the first round of the playoffs. They have a 2-7-1 record with five points and are in fifth place in the Atlantic Division. They are also in last place in the Eastern Conference.
1. Ken Holland: Detroit Red Wings
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What hasn't Ken Holland done since he's been General Manager of the Detroit Red Wings starting in 1997?
Stanley Cups? He has three (1998, 2002, 2008).
Presidents Trophy? He has four (2002, 2004, 2006, 2008).
Central Division titles? He has nine (1999, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009).
Regular season Western Conference Titles? He has five of those (2002, 2004, 2006, 2007, 2008).
In 2008-2009, the Red Wings became the third team in NHL history to win 50 games in four straight seasons. They also posted their 10th consecutive 100-point season in 2009-2010 when they finished with a record of 44-24-14 and 102 points.
In 2009, Holland was named General Manager of the Decade by Sports Illustrated.
Under Holland's leadership, several great players have been a part of Red Wings history:
Chris Chelios spent 10 seasons in Detroit after coming from rival Chicago in 1999. He played in 578 games and posted 152 points. He was a member of the 2002 and 2008 Stanley Cup champions squads.
Brett Hull spent three seasons with Detroit from 2001-2004. During the 2002 Cup run, he had 10 goals and 18 points. He finished his run with the Wings with 207 points in 245 regular season games.
Dominik Hasek played in three separate stints with the Wings: 2001-2002, 2003-2004 and 2006-2008. He was at his best during the 2002 playoffs where he went 10-8 with a 1.79 GAA and a .923 save percentage.
Several of Holland's draft picks are on their way to becoming Detroit greats or have already cemented themselves as such.
Henrik Zetterberg, selected in 1999, has scored at least 40 points every year. He won the 2008 Conn Smythe after posting 27 points and a plus-16 in 22 games. His point total set new franchise record for points in a playoff run.
Pavel Datsyuk, who was taken in 1998, has posted 50 points every year since he made his debut. He has won the last three Selke Trophies and is a four-time Lady Byng Trophy Winner. He has two Stanley Cups (2002 and 2008) and had identical 97-point seasons in 2007-2008 and 2008-2009.
Jimmy Howard is on the rise in the NHL and in the Wings organization. He has played in 77 games in Detroit from 2005 to this season and has a record of 42-20-11 with a .922 save percentage and 2.30 GAA.
This season, he has started off with a 4-0-1 record with a .925 save percentage and 2.14 GAA. His four wins and GAA are both ranked seventh in the NHL.
There is no reason to believe the Wings' record of excellence will come to an end anytime soon. They are in third place in the Central Division with a record of 5-1-1 with 11 points, which puts them in fifth place in the Western Conference.
Holland has done everything that could be asked of him as a general manager, and that is why he tops this list.