Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Paul on 04/24/12 at 01:11 PM ET
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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