David Poile of the Nashville Predators won General Manager of the Year at the 2017 NHL Awards and NHL Expansion Draft presented by T-Mobile in Las Vegas on Wednesday.
Voting was conducted among general managers, a panel of League executives and print and broadcast media following the second round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs. The other finalists were Pierre Dorion of the Ottawa Senators and Peter Chiarelli of the Edmonton Oilers.
Poile had been a finalist for the award three times (2010-12). The Predators finished fourth in the Central Division with 94 points (41-29-12) and reached the Stanley Cup Final for the first time in their history. Nashville made the playoffs as the second wild card from the Western Conference, and had the fewest points (94) among postseason teams.
"Personally it feels good and I'm happy for my family, especially my wife (Elizabeth), who's been through all these ups and downs in this crazy business that I've done for 45 years," Poile said.
"And I really feel good for our organization. This is an organizational award and we need everybody contributing on a daily and nightly basis in the office, on the ice, off the ice. I think our franchise deserved this award for the improvement of our team on the ice, what we did in the playoffs, our sellout crowds, and the amount of people who followed the Predators outside watching the game. I think in a lot of ways we affected the hockey world and maybe even changed some of how hockey presentation is done. I just feel really proud of the Nashville Predators and our franchise today."
It was the 10th time in 13 seasons under Poile that Nashville made the playoffs. The Predators swept the Chicago Blackhawks in the first round and defeated the St. Louis Blues in six games in the second round to advance to the Western Conference Final for the first time. Nashville eliminated the Anaheim Ducks in six games to reach the Final.
Poile has made several impact trades that helped shape the Predators roster. He traded defenseman and captain Shea Weber to the Montreal Canadiens for defenseman P.K. Subban on June 29. Subban had 40 points (10 goals, 30 assists) in 66 games in his first season with the Predators. He also had 12 points (two goals, 10 assists) in 22 playoff games to help Nashville reach the Final.
Poile also traded defenseman Seth Jones, the fourth pick in the 2013 NHL Draft, to the Columbus Blue Jackets for center Ryan Johansen on Jan. 6, 2016. Johansen had 13 points (three goals, 10 assists) in 14 games during Nashville's playoff run but missed the Final after having emergency surgery for acute compartment syndrome in his left thigh.
Dorion was promoted to GM on April 10, 2016. Before the start of his first season he hired coach Guy Boucher and acquired center Derick Brassard in a trade with the New York Rangers for center Mika Zibanejad. Dorion traded for forwards Alexandre Burrows, Viktor Stalberg and Tommy Wingels during the season to add depth to the Senators, who finished second in the Atlantic Division with 98 points (44-28-10) and reached the Eastern Conference Final for the first time since 2007. Ottawa lost to the Stanley Cup champion Pittsburgh Penguins in seven games.
In Chiarelli's second season, the Oilers finished second in the Pacific Division with 103 points (47-26-9) and reached the playoffs for the first time since 2006. It was their first 100-point season since 1986-87. Prior to this season, Chiarelli added depth to Edmonton's defense by acquiring Adam Larsson in a trade from the New Jersey Devils on June 29. The Oilers advanced to the Western Conference Second Round, losing to the Ducks in seven games.
1. David Poile, NSH 112 (18-6-4)
2. Peter Chiarelli, EDM 52 (6-5-7)
3. Pierre Dorion, OTT 46 (2-10-6)
4. Lou Lamoriello, TOR 36 (5-3-2)
5. Bob Murray, ANA 36 (3-5-6)
6. Jim Rutherford, PIT 24 (2-4-2)
7. Jarmo Kekalainen, CBJ 17 (1-2-6)
8. Stan Bowman, CHI 8 (1-1-0)
Brian MacLellan, WSH 8 (1-1-0)
10. Doug Armstrong, STL 7 (0-2-1)
11. Jeff Gorton, NYR 2 (0-0-2)
12. Chuck Fletcher, MIN 1 (0-0-1)
Brad Treliving, CGY 1 (0-0-1)
Steve Yzerman, TBL 1 (0-0-1)