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Shero Should Be GM Of The Year Candidate

from Ron Cook of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette,

I called Ray Shero on Thursday to ask him what he did to tick off the NHL’s other general managers. They are the primary voters for the general manager of the year award. Shero isn’t one of the three finalists, who were announced Wednesday….

Let’s review as the Penguins are just one win against the Tampa Bay Lightning from advancing to the second round of the Stanley Cup playoffs without stars Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin:

• James Neal came in a Shero trade in February. He scored the winning goal against the Lightning in double overtime in Game 4 Wednesday night. “A blast from the side boards, top shelf,” Shero said. “Not many of our guys can do that.”

• Zybnek Michalek and Paul Martin were Shero signing as free agents in July. They are half of the best top-four defensemen in the NHL along with Brooks Orpik and Kris Letang. “That’s how we win games—with defense and timely scoring,” Shero said. “Those guys have been invaluable for us.”

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Filed in: NHL Teams, Pittsburgh Penguins, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: ray+shero

Comments

Flashtastick56's avatar

I couldn’t agree more.  Those other three - specifically Yzerman - have done a great job…but Shero deserves to be mentioned just as much, if not more, than they do.

I was pretty surprised when he wasn’t a finalist.

Posted by Flashtastick56 from Meriden, CT on 04/22/11 at 01:38 AM ET

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The hometown paper wants to nominate him for GM of the year? I can see how Bylsma deserves a lot of admiration for keeping his team afloat without Staal and then without Crosby and Malkin. But when I think of Shero, I think of him resigning RFA Matt Cooke (yes, I am from Boston and I am highly skilled at bearing grudges; how could you tell?).

But, now that I’m thinking about it, that was an excellent managerial decision too. If Shero had let him go, Cooke might have started headhunting Penguins like he does everyone else. So I take it back. Add Cooke’s contract to the list of excellent managerial decisions in Pittsburgh.

More seriously now, Ron Cook says that the Penguins ownership respects Shero enough to let him spend above the cap with so many important players on LTIR. I’m sure that they do respect him, but I’d also like to imagine the rosters that some other GMs (the ones whose owners are not so generous) might be able to create if they had that challenge-cum-opportunity. If we admire the GMs who manage successfully even when handicapped by injuries, what about those who manage successfully when handicapped by poor or stingy ownership?

Posted by K on 04/22/11 at 01:49 AM ET

Chris in A^2's avatar

The GM of the year award is just like the Jack Adams, you get rewarded for improvement, not consistency and big name players/free agents will count against you. 

Zybnek Michalek and Paul Martin were Shero signing as free agents in July. They are half of the best top-four defensemen in the NHL along with Brooks Orpik and Kris Letang.

I’ll counter with Detroit, Chicago, LA,  maybe Nashville, maybe Boston and maybe Montreal (with Markov and Gorges). 

Signing the two best defensive free agents of the year isn’t nearly as impressive as Shero’s usual trade deadline magic or stocking the team from top to bottom with quality players.  If that’s the criteria, Holland has been doing the same for a lot longer with more success and with much lower draft picks- and with the ability to take players of the scrap heap and turn them into extremely effective players (Cleary, Miller, Eaves).  Poile has been building playoff teams for years without lottery picks and without the budget to keep any of the star players he has produced or sign anyone in free agency.  What would Nashville be like with Radulov, Timonen and Vokuun, plus the ability to actually land someone in free agency with more than 2 million dollars per year in cap hit?

Posted by Chris in A^2 from Nyquist Puck Control on 04/22/11 at 02:30 AM ET

w2j2's avatar

No doubt, Shero is an excellent GM.
IMHO, Poile & Holland set the standard.

Posted by w2j2 on 04/22/11 at 08:23 AM ET

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I’ll counter with Detroit, Chicago, LA,  maybe Nashville, maybe Boston and maybe Montreal (with Markov and Gorges). 

???

Other than Nashville, none of these teams have a strong top four, though LA and Chicago have a strong top 3.


On topic, this is hardly a snub. If memory serves, Shero won executive of the year recently and this is a meaningless award, anyway. The prize for being the best GM is a gold ring.

Posted by steviesteve on 04/22/11 at 08:43 AM ET

SolidTG7's avatar

So Neal scores as flukey a goal you will ever see and that somehow makes that a good move?  2 goals in like 25 games is not good.

Posted by SolidTG7 on 04/22/11 at 10:33 AM ET

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Speaking of Yzerman, i think we will actually see what kind of talent he has as a GM this offseason.  They have to resign Stamkos at a real contract now, while they already have Vinny, St. Louis, and Malone eating up 17.5 million.  Gagne is a UFA, and they have no goalie signed after the playoffs.  Should be fun to see what he comes up with.  You have to figure Stamkos will sign for around 8 million.

Posted by gretzky_to_lemieux on 04/22/11 at 10:36 AM ET

J.J. from Kansas's avatar

I would say the moves to improve the defensive corps of the Penguins in the offseason after letting Gonchar walk into a ridiculous contract in Ottawa, despite all the armchair GMs talking about how the Penguins needed wingers if they were going to compete was a great stroke.

Neal hasn’t exploded for the Penguins, but they’re winning, and that move needs time (and the return of a certain playmaking centerman) to show how good a pick-up that was… not to mention they also got Niskanen, which wasn’t such a splash in itself, but it was a friggin’ steal considering they got both those players for Alex Goligoski.

Shero’s one of the best.  I’m still thinking this is a two-horse race between Poile and Yzerman.

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 04/22/11 at 11:41 AM ET

Evilpens's avatar

I like Yzerman ! But other than picking Boucher what did he do? Simon Gagne for a song & dumped 4 Mill a year 5th D Man Meszaros of Phllthy ! Yeah I guess I answered my own ? though Huh? LOL  Still letting Gonchar walk & signing Z & Martin were GREAT Moves & getting Asham for what he got him at & even the Flyer on Comrie was a Great TRY ! Comrie’s Hip didn’t cooperate. Also they could Trade Gogo because they Had Lovejoy & Engelland if Niskanen failed & they Have Despres (who was a Steal where he was drafted) Bortuzzo, Strait & Sneep.

Posted by Evilpens on 04/22/11 at 12:33 PM ET

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But when I think of Shero, I think of him resigning RFA Matt Cooke (yes, I am from Boston and I am highly skilled at bearing grudges; how could you tell?).

Matt Cooke, whatever else he may be (and no, I am not defending his dirty play), is a key component of the best penalty-killing unit in the league.  Which makes him one of the best penalty killers in the league.

With Cooke playing, the Penguins kill penalties at an 88.2% clip.  It’s the best penalty kill in team history.  Without him, the PK drops to 76.4%.  Considering that nothing else has changed on that unit, it’s a stunning difference that has to be attributable to Cooke’s absence.

http://blogs.sites.post-gazette.com/index.php/sports/empty-netters/26704-missing-cooke-04-19-11

Posted by Lex Talionis on 04/22/11 at 01:26 PM ET

Evilpens's avatar

Yep Lex ! People can call him Dirty or whatever they want, But to call him a goon Implies he is talentless & as you point out he is the best PKer on the best PK in the league

Lots of the Pittsburgh Media & the Lemmings fans said ” the Place where they will miss Staal the most is on the PK” NOT they were 1st in the League without Staal & that is a testament to How Good Cooke, Adams, Dupuis, Sid & the defense was before he came back

Posted by Evilpens on 04/22/11 at 02:27 PM ET

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The poor PK in this series has nothing to do with Cooke’s absence. The PK was still stellar without him at the end of the regular season. The Lighting PP converted at a 38% rate against us during the regular season (with Cooke on the PK), so it’s not really surprising that the PK is struggling while facing that power play game after game.

Posted by rlm140 on 04/22/11 at 08:39 PM ET

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