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GM Of The Year Finalists

NEW YORK (April 24, 2012)—Doug Armstrong of the St. Louis Blues, David Poile of the Nashville Predators and Dale Tallon of the Florida Panthers are the three finalists for the 2011-12 NHL General Manager of the Year Award, the National Hockey League announced today.

Voting for this award was conducted among the 30 Club General Managers and a panel of NHL executives, print and broadcast media. The winner will be announced Wednesday, June 20, during the 2012 NHL Awards from Encore Theater at Wynn Las Vegas. The 2012 NHL Awards will be broadcast by NBC Sports Network in the United States and CBC in Canada.

Following are the finalists, in alphabetical order, for NHL General Manager of the Year:

Doug Armstrong, St. Louis Blues

Armstrong oversaw a Blues renaissance reflected by their 49-22-11 record and first Central Division title since 1999-2000. Adding to a talented nucleus of Blues draft picks that includes David Backes, T.J.
Oshie, David Perron and Alex Pietrangelo, Armstrong made the signing of the summer in unheralded free agent goaltender Brian Elliott, who led the NHL with a 1.56 goals-against average and .940 save percentage. He also acquired veteran forwards Jason Arnott and Jamie Langenbrunner. After the Blues started the season 6-7-0, Armstrong made a change behind the bench by bringing in 500-game winner and Stanley Cup champion head coach Ken Hitchcock, who led St. Louis to a 43-15-11 record.

David Poile, Nashville Predators

A season after Nashville won its first-ever Stanley Cup Playoff series, Poile’s work helped the Predators (48-26-8) earn a postseason berth for the seventh time in eight seasons and an opportunity for more milestones. As in past years, the Predators’ underlying strength was its deep roster of players drafted and developed by the organization, including star goaltender Pekka Rinne, leading scorers Martin Erat and David Legwand, and defensemen Shea Weber, Ryan Suter and Kevin Klein. Poile negotiated the late-season return of star forward Alex Radulov and also acquired top-six forward Andrei Kostitsyn, shutdown center Paul Gaustad and veteran defenseman Hal Gill prior to the trade deadline.

Dale Tallon, Florida Panthers

Tallon’s comprehensive off-season overhaul was a runaway success as the Panthers (38-26-18) captured the first division title in franchise history and earned a berth in the Stanley Cup Playoffs for the first time in 12 years. He named Kevin Dineen to his first NHL head coaching assignment last June and followed with a flurry of acquisitions that included forwards Kris Versteeg, Tomas Fleischmann, Sean Bergenheim and Tomas Kopecky, defensemen Brian Campbell and Ed Jovanovski and goaltender Jose Theodore. In-season acquisitions of veteran forwards Mikael Samuelsson , John Madden, Marco Sturm, Wojtek Wolski and Jerred Smithson bolstered Florida’s playoff drive.

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petshark's avatar

I don’t know why this is the first question to pop into my head, but how many of these are first time nominees?

Posted by petshark from Nor Cal, and on Twitter @petshark47 on 04/24/12 at 01:18 PM ET


Not listed ken Holland.  You can’t be GM of the year when your only move is to trade a first round draft pick for Kyle Quincy. A player you put on waivers 4 years ago. You also can’t be on this list when you haven’t made one move to improve your team since you lost in the finals to Pittsburgh. Not to mention most forget Hossa was on the team that lost and his spot was never filled.

Ken Holland’s Big moves all involve his own players or former players.

If there was an award for most over rate GM in the NHL Holland would sit right on top of that list!!!!

Posted by Jason on 04/24/12 at 01:21 PM ET

phillyd's avatar

I can’t believe Holmgren didn’t get in the top 3. Trades out his two biggest stars, loses Pronger mid-year and yet makes enough moves over the summer and during the season they end up 3rd in points in the East.

Posted by phillyd from Southern New Jersey on 04/24/12 at 01:24 PM ET

Keyser S.'s avatar

If there was an award for biggest troll it would be jason.

If holland did make big moves at the deadline and the wings still lost in the 1st round every dumb fan would hate him for ruining our future.

He’s been the gm for 15 years (?) and we’ve made the playoffs every year since. That’s impressive. Especially with the salary cap in place.

Posted by Keyser S. on 04/24/12 at 02:01 PM ET


I rather have the cup than secondary hardware. Holmgren didnt get nominated because he’s not a big fan of media in general.

Posted by FlyersFan on 04/24/12 at 02:32 PM ET


Keyser S: What is the goal of every NHL team every year? Isn’t it to win the Stanley cup?  if that is the case why haven’t the wings added a forward to this team since they lost the cup four years ago now?  lets not forget they lost Hossa as well.

this team outside of Datzuk and zetterburg is a joke up front. Franson, filpula, and Hudler are average at best. cleary is a third or firth liner.

Posted by Jason on 04/24/12 at 03:19 PM ET

redxblack's avatar

I love the Red Wings, but Holland has been coasting since the cup win in 08. He’s loafing about as hard as Franzen.

Posted by redxblack from Akron Ohio on 04/24/12 at 04:12 PM ET

dougie's avatar

Would Dale Tallon be in the running if his team hadn’t benefited from EIGHTEEN loser points?

I am too lazy to look it up, but without them, I doubt his team would have won the SE Division, thus probably would have not even made the playoffs, in arguably the weakest division in the league?

There is a difference in managerial brilliance, and simply exploiting a scoring “loophole”.

Posted by dougie on 04/24/12 at 04:25 PM ET

J.J. from Kansas's avatar

Christ, as if there’s not enough whining everywhere else, we have to hijack a thread about three very good GMs to take shots at another.

Get a grip.

I’m pretty surprised in Tallon over Holmgren.  He turned an iffy team into a playoff iffy team. Holmgren took some big risks and got good results from it.

I think I’d go with Armstrong. For all the success Hitchcock has had with the team, Armstrong’s the one who put him in that position.  It’s also an absolutely huge move that he had the guts to drop Erik Johnson and go get Shattenkirk instead, a move which has turned out great. The Elliott pick up was also a very good move.

I think Poile will win it as a lifetime achievement award, but I don’t think a guy who traded for Brett Lebda should be eligible.

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 04/24/12 at 04:27 PM ET

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Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.

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