Even at the beginning of the season, all I hear still on hockey shows is about Brian Burke coming to Toronto. I'll admit, he is a good GM and has made a good team in the Anaheim Ducks, but still he is easily not the best. There are many other GM's that I would much rather have in Toronto who are also better at building teams. Here ia a few GMs that I think are much better at their jobs then Brian Burke.
1. Ken Holland, Detroit Red Wings
When Ken Holland inherited the team in 1997, the Detroit Red Wings just came off a Stanley Cup championship. He was told when he was hired to keep the team as a top contender in the NHL.
Ken Holland has not only done that, he has surpassed all expectations and has brought three more championships, four more President Trophies, and eight Central Division titles ove a 12 year span. He has kept the team intact with a lot of good veteran talent while being able to inject young talent through consistent low draft choices. He is easily the best GM in the league right now.
2. Kevin Lowe, Edmonton Oilers
In way being Brian Burke's arch nemesis, Kevin Lowe is known as a man who will do anything to make his team a winning team. Kevin Lowe made a team in 2005-2006 that made it all the way to the Stanley Cup Finals only to lose in the seventh game against the Carolina Hurricanes.
The next season, his team under performed and had to trade away the heart and soul of the Edmonton Oilers, Ryan Smyth, for the future benefit of the organization. Last year saw the benefits of that trade when he saw a youth movement of sorts in Edmonton that almost made a late season rush to make the playoffs.
Kevin Lowe is great at drafting players, making trades and signing the proper players to fit into the Edmonton Oilers system.
3. Lou Lamoriello, New Jersey Devils
Being one of the longest serving General Managers in the National Hockey League, Lou Lamoriello is entering his 22nd season as the Devils General Manager with no signs of slowing down.
With his ability to always put a competing team on the ice, Lou has made an impact among the NHL as a hard nosed, no non-sense, defensive minded hockey person who is willing to pull the chord on any coach he doesn't like behind the bench (Larry Robinson, Claude Julien, etc.). He puts a good team on the ice every year that is hard to play against and only signs players with the same mold.
4. Paul Holmgren, Philadelphia Flyers
Being responsible for the second biggest turnaround by a team in the history of the NHL, Paul Holmgren turned the last place Philadelphia Flyers into a Stanley Cup contending team in one year. Making one of the most ingenious trades in years trading Peter Forsberg for Ryan Parent, Scottie Upshall, a first and second round pick.
Then, later on that off-season trading the picks back for Kimmo Timonen and Scott Hartnell. He is able to make smart signings, draft well, and makes very smart trades. He has put "Broadstreet Bullies" back into Philadelphia.
5. Doug Wilson, San Jose Sharks
In just four seasons as Sharks General Manager, Doug Wilson has had an average of 100 points per season since his hiring in 2003. He is good at making timely trades and is very good with prospects. He has made one of those teams where you can inject anyone in the line-up and they will have success.
He is great at finding good deals during free agency and is able to get all the bang for his buck. If he can get some more success in the post-season, I think he would be the second best GM in te entire league.
I know I am going to get some insults for putting a couple of these GMs up here but all these GMs have the same elements. They can make good trades, they can draft, and they all make smart signings. Now I am not saying Burke can't do these things, I am just saying these GM's have done a better job at doing it.