The award is voted on by the 30 NHL GMs and a panel of NHL executives and members of the print and broadcast media.
Bergevin, in his first season with the Canadiens, arrived in May 2012 and revamped the front office, topped by the surprising hiring of Michel Therrien as coach. He made the team tougher by signing free agents Brandon Prust and Colby Armstrong, and added center Alex Galchenyuk with the third pick of the 2012 NHL Draft, despite him playing just eight games the previous season because of a major knee injury. He then watched as his team went from a 15th-place finish in the Eastern Conference the previous season to Northeast Division champions for the first time since 2008.
Murray, in his fifth season as GM of the Ducks, put together a roster that went from 13th in the Western Conference to second place with a Pacific Division title. He convinced Teemu Selanne to return for another season, upgraded the defense by adding Sheldon Souray and discovered 30-year-old goalie Viktor Fasth, who played a major role in the team's rise up the standings. He also took care of the future, signing franchise cornerstones Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry to long-term contract extensions, preventing them from becoming free agents.
Shero made the seventh season of his tenure in Pittsburgh an active one. Unable to sign Jordan Staal, he traded the third-line center to the Carolina Hurricanes for his replacement, the solid Brandon Sutter, and also acquired backup goalie Tomas Vokoun. And then at the NHL Trade Deadline, he acquired forwards Jarome Iginla, Brenden Morrow and Jussi Jokinen and defenseman Douglas Murray without surrendering a player off his current roster. Despite sustaining injuries to Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin and Kris Letang, the Penguins never stumbled and finished atop the Eastern Conference standings.