On Thursday, the NHL named the three finalists for the Jim Gregory Award, given to the general manager of the year. Montreal GM Marc Bergevin is one of those finalists.
It’s the third time he has been a finalist for the award, something that only three other GMs can say in Bob Murray, David Poile, and Steve Yzerman. The award is voted on annually in a poll of NHL general managers with balloting being completed after the second round of the playoffs, not the end of the regular season which is normally the case for most awards.
Montreal’s presence in the semifinals certainly played a role in his nomination but a lot of his acquisitions have panned out as well as or even better than expected. Free agent signing Tyler Toffoli led the team in scoring during the regular season and leads the way in the playoffs as well. Josh Anderson, acquired before the draft from Columbus, was second in goals during the season (although he has been quiet in the postseason thus far). Joel Edmundson was acquired before free agency and has turned into a steadying presence on Montreal’s back end while Jake Allen’s pickup proved to be highly beneficial to keep Carey Price fresh while also filling in when he was injured.
Even some of the under the radar acquisitions have worked well. Corey Perry cleared waivers to start the season on the taxi squad but has since become a fixture on the fourth line with a knack for timely goals. Even Eric Staal – who struggled mightily down the stretch – has been much more of a factor in the playoffs. Bergevin has made a lot of moves and most of them have panned out thus far.
Panthers GM Bill Zito and Islanders GM Lou Lamoriello are the other finalists. The winner will be named during the pregame coverage of the Lightning-Islanders game on Monday.