Islanders Lou Lamoriello up for General Manager of the Year Award; can he win it again

Lou Lamoriello commands respect (Photo: Kathleen Malone-Van Dyke)

Marc Bergevin of the Montreal Canadiens, Lou Lamoriello of the New York Islanders and Bill Zito of the Florida Panthers are the finalists for the 2020-21 Jim Gregory General Manager of the Year Award.

Balloting took place at the end of the second round of the Stanley Cup playoffs, and league general managers and a panel of NHL executives, print and broadcast media members were eligible to vote.

The winner will be announced Monday before Game 5 of the series between the New York Islanders and the Tampa Bay Lightning.

The award has been presented since the 2009-10 season. A decade later, it was renamed in memory of Gregory, who was the Toronto Maple Leafs general manager and then an NHL executive from 1969 until his death in 2009.

Lou Lamoriello up for GM of the Year again

lou lamoriello
Feb 25, 2021; Uniondale, New York, USA; New York Islanders injured player Johnny Boychuk (left) and president of hockey operations Lou Lamoriello stand for the national anthem before a game against the Boston Bruins at Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Bergevin’s acquisitions of six previous Stanley Cup winners through free agency or trades upgraded the roster, and the Canadiens now are tied 1-1 with the Vegas Golden Knights in their semifinal series. He also signed forward Cole Caufield, their first-round pick in 2019, in March, a month after naming Dominique Ducharme the interim head coach. Bergevin is completing his eighth season as Montreal’s GM and is an award finalist for the third time.

Lamoriello is in his 33rd season as an NHL general manager and could become the first person to win the award twice. He won following the 2019-20 season, becoming the first Islanders GM to be honored. New York has won 26 playoff games since he was named GM before the 2018-19 season, trailing only their semifinal series opponent, the Lightning, who have 27 wins.

Zito took over as Florida’s GM last Sept. 2, and the team set franchise records in categories that included highest points percentage (.705), most goals per game (3.36) and most shots per game (34.9). The Panthers finished the regular season with a 37-14-5 (79 points) mark and a playoff berth. Five of the Panthers’ top 10 goal-scorers during the regular season were acquired by Zito through free agency or trade. He would become the first rookie GM to capture the award.

–Field Level Media