LAS VEGAS (May 17, 2018) — George McPhee of the Vegas Golden Knights, Kevin Cheveldayoff of the Winnipeg Jets and Steve Yzerman of the Tampa Bay Lightning are the three finalists for the 2017-18 NHL General Manager of the Year Award, the National Hockey League announced.
Voting for this award was conducted among the NHL general managers and a panel of League executives, print and broadcast media at the conclusion of the Second Round of the 2018 Stanley Cup Playoffs. The winner will be announced Wednesday, June 20, during the 2018 NHL Awards™ presented by Hulu at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas.
Following are the finalists for the NHL General Manager of the Year Award:
George McPhee, Vegas Golden Knights
McPhee built a gGolden Knights team (51-24-7, 109 points) that made history by becoming the first modern-era expansion team from any of the four North American pro sports leagues to start from scratch and win its division. Vegas added to its list of accomplishments in the postseason, becoming just the third club in NHL history to win multiple playoff series in its inaugural season. Featuring a roster assembled by McPhee largely from the NHL Expansion Draft — conducted less than three months before training camp opened — Vegas started the season 8-1-0. They posted their 34th victory on Feb. 1 to set the NHL record for wins by a team in its inaugural season with 32 games remaining. Eleven Golden Knights players recorded career-best point totals, including the team’s top five scorers: William Karlsson, Jonathan Marchessault, David Perron, Reilly Smith and Erik Haula. McPhee was a finalist for the GM Award in 2009-10 with the Washington Capitals.
Kevin Cheveldayoff, Winnipeg Jets
Under Cheveldayoff’s leadership the Jets enjoyed their finest regular season (52-20-10, 114 points) and have advanced to the Conference Finals for the first time in franchise history. Winnipeg set club records for regular-season wins and points, and ranked second in the NHL’s overall standings. Hired as Jets GM when the club relocated from Atlanta, Cheveldayoff retained key Thrashers (Dustin Byfuglien, Toby Enstrom, Bryan Little, Blake Wheeler) and drafted 11 of the 24 players who have appeared for the club in the 2018 Stanley Cup Playoffs, including top picks in six consecutive NHL Drafts: Mark Scheifele (2011), Jacob Trouba (2012), Josh Morrissey (2013), Nikolaj Ehlers (2014), Kyle Connor (2015) and Patrik Laine (2016). The first-time GM Award finalist further bolstered the squad with the 2017-18 trade deadline acquisitions of Paul Stastny and Joe Morrow, who have scored four game-winning goals in the postseason (Stastny 3, Morrow 1).
Steve Yzerman, Tampa Bay Lightning
Yzerman is the architect of a Lightning team that set franchise records for wins (54) and points (113), captured its first division title since 2004, and is competing in the Conference Finals for the third time in four seasons. Yzerman made several player acquisitions through free agency and trades, adding to a talented roster of homegrown players that includes 100-point scorer Nikita Kucherov, captain Steven Stamkos, Norris Trophy finalist Victor Hedman and Vezina Trophy finalist Andrei Vasilevskiy. Yzerman traded for rookie defensemanMikhail Sergachev and signed free agents Chris Kunitz and Dan Girardi last summer, and acquired Ryan McDonagh and J.T. Miller at the trade deadline in February. The eight-year Lightning GM is a finalist for the award for the third time, capturing the trophy in 2014-15 and finishing second in the voting in 2010-11, his first season in Tampa Bay.