Jim Rutherford of the Pittsburgh Penguins, Brian MacLellan of the Washington Capitals and Jim Nill of the Dallas Stars were named finalists for the 2016 NHL General Manager of the Year Award.
It's the first time any of the three have been a finalist for the award, which has been presented since the 2009-10 season.
The 30 League GMs, and a panel of NHL executives and media members, voted for the award at the conclusion of the second round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs. The winner will be announced at the 2016 NHL Awards at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas on June 22.
Rutherford made one of the biggest splashes of the summer when he traded for forward Phil Kessel from the Toronto Maple Leafs. He also acquired forward Nick Bonino in a trade with the Vancouver Canucks, and signed free agent forwards Eric Fehr and Matt Cullen. During the season he made trades that brought in forward Carl Hagelin and defenseman Trevor Daley. His most important move might have been hiring Mike Sullivan as coach to replace Mike Johnston on Dec. 12. The Penguins went 33-16-5 in 54 games under Sullivan, and their 71 points in that span were third in the League.
MacLellan's offseason moves, most notably the signing of forward Justin Williams and the acquisition of forward T.J. Oshie from the St. Louis Blues, helped the Capitals win the Presidents' Trophy with 120 points and set a team record with 56 wins.
Nill added experience and skill throughout his lineup with offseason additions of forward Patrick Sharp, defenseman Johnny Oduya and goaltender Antti Niemi. The combination of new and remaining players helped the Stars win a division title for the first time since 2005-06 and finish with the most points in the Western Conference.
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