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NHL General Manager of Year to be announced before Game 4 of West Final

BriseBois of Lightning, Lamoriello of Islanders, Nill of Stars up for honor

by David Satriano @davidsatriano / NHL.com Staff Writer

Winners of the 2020 NHL Awards presented by Las Vegas will be announced throughout the 2020 conference finals and 2020 Stanley Cup Final.

The winner of the Jim Gregory General Manager of the Year Award will be announced Saturday by NBC, Sportsnet and TVA Sports during the pregame show for Game 4 of the Western Conference Final between the Vegas Golden Knights and Dallas Stars. The game starts at 8 p.m.

Here is a look at the three finalists, who were named Wednesday. 

 

 

Julien BriseBois of the Tampa Bay Lightning, Lou Lamoriello of the New York Islanders and Jim Nill of the Dallas Stars are the finalists for the Jim Gregory General Manager of the Year Award.

The award is presented annually to the general manager who best excelled at his role during the regular season. It is voted on by the League's general managers and a panel of NHL executives and print and broadcast media after the second round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

 

[RELATED: Jim Gregory General Manager of the Year Winners]

 

BriseBois has the Lightning in the Eastern Conference Final one season after they tied the NHL record with 62 wins during the regular season but were swept by the Columbus Blue Jackets in the Eastern Conference First Round. The Lightning signed unrestricted free agent forward Pat Maroon and defensemen Kevin Shattenkirk and Luke Schenn this offseason, as well as re-signed forward Brayden Point and goalie Andrei Vasilevskiy to long-term contracts. Tampa Bay also acquired forwards Blake Coleman and Barclay Goodrow prior to the 2020 NHL Trade Deadline.

After serving as assistant GM under Steve Yzerman for eight seasons, BriseBois was named GM in September 2018 when Yzerman resigned. A first-time finalist, BriseBois would be the second Lightning GM to win the award (Yzerman, 2014-15).

Lamoriello guided the Islanders to the Eastern Conference Final this season and at least the second round of the playoffs in consecutive seasons after they had advanced there once since 1993. He joined the Islanders as president of hockey operations on May 22, 2018, and became the GM on June 5. Two weeks later, on June 21, Barry Trotz was hired as coach. Trotz, who won the Stanley Cup with the Washington Capitals the previous season, won the Jack Adams Award as the top coach in the NHL last season after New York had a 23-point improvement from 2017-18.

This offseason the Islanders signed free agent goalie Semyon Varlamov and forward Derick Brassard, as well as re-signed forwards Anders Lee, Anthony Beauvillier, Jordan Eberle and Brock Nelson. They also acquired defenseman Andy Greene and forward Jean-Gabriel Pageau prior to the trade deadline. The Islanders signed Pageau to a six-year contract Feb. 24, the day the trade was announced. He could have become an unrestricted free agent after the season.

Lamoriello, who is a first-time finalist for the award, would be the first Islanders GM to win it.

Under Nill, the Stars improved their points percentage for the third straight season and advanced to the Western Conference Final for the first time since 2008. This offseason, Dallas signed free agent forwards Corey Perry and Joe Pavelski, and defenseman Andrej Sekera, as well as re-singed forwards Jason Dickinson and Mattias Janmark, and defenseman Esa Lindell and Taylor Fedun.

Nill, who has been the Stars GM since April 2013, was responsible for acquiring forward Tyler Seguin (2013) and goalie Ben Bishop (2017). He is a finalist for the award for the second time after finishing third in 2015-16.

"What's great about being nominated for this is this is really about the organization," Nill said Wednesday. "This is an organizational award. It starts with support from the ownership, having a great management team, scouts, coaches and on down to the players. In the end it's all about the people you surround yourself with. I can sit here and say I'm nominated for an award, but this is really an organizational award.

"It's about good people around you, hiring the right people, supporting them and them going out and doing their job. That's where I'm very fortunate. I've some of the best people in the business and that's why I'm here today."

The NHL General Manager of the year Award, which was first presented in 2009-10, was renamed in 2019-20 in honor of Jim Gregory, the 2007 Hockey Hall of Fame inductee who served as Toronto Maple Leafs GM and a League executive for four decades before his death Oct. 30, 2019.

The 2020 NHL Awards had been scheduled for June 18 in Las Vegas but were postponed March 25.

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