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NHL GMs Not What They Once Were

from John Shannon of Sportsnet,

There was a time when this group of leaders set the tone for the league.  They were involved in the business of the game as well as the rules.  They were the like the Cardinals in the Catholic Church, or the Knights of the Round Table.  They were the mandarins of the game, anticipating trends, influencing change or more importantly, keeping the game on the same simple track it has been on for decades.

In the mid-1980s, this group was viewed as the most powerful, influential group in the NHL.  Names like Torrey, Nanne, Sinden, Pulford, Fletcher, Sather, Quinn and others commanded respect and reverence.  Team owners, league management and the NHL Players’ Association all bowed to this group.  They were truly the “Keepers of the Keys” in the NHL.

But things have been altered in the last 20 years. For one, Gary Bettman’s view of a more central government has cut back on the managers’ role.  Secondly, a more powerful NHLPA has been put in place to protect the players to a much higher level. Thirdly, a new kind of owner has appeared, one who wants to be involved in the business of the game, how it is played and how much money has to be spent.  Finally, the position of team president has evolved to have much more influence within the business of hockey. The once iconic domain of the general managers has become very crowded.  Some would argue for the better, others to the game’s detriment.


Filed in: NHL Teams, NHL Talk, | KK Hockey | Permalink


HockeytownOverhaul's avatar

Something tells me most are happy to relinquish the accountability of being the only one in charge.

In a league of parity, you can’t put it on the GM if your team fails, the system is designed so that you cannot sustain success.  Add to that, that it’s not even one guy who puts a team together anymore and you’re hard pressed to find a GM who really doesn’t like having the spotlight OFF of him.

Garth Snow is still a GM.

Columbus in 13 years of missed playoffs, well, 1 playoff, had 2 GM’s.  Dos.  Over a decade of losing and only made one GM change.

GM’s LOVE not being THE GUY.

Posted by HockeytownOverhaul on 03/18/13 at 03:40 PM ET

RedMenace's avatar

Add to that, that it’s not even one guy who puts a team together anymore…

That’s exactly right.

Posted by RedMenace from The Lightly Soiled South on 03/18/13 at 03:44 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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