2012 NHL Entry Draft - Round One

A lot of things are easy to quantify in hockey – Steven Stamkos is a good goal scorer because he scores a lot of goals. This is not a subjective opinion, that is just a thing that is. Grading General Managers, however…well that’s not so easy.

So, for our purposes today, I wanted to keep it simple. I wanted to call attention to the teams who currently have the most good deals on their books (no matter how they acquired them), because accomplishing that is an art. We always hear about all the terrible deals around the NHL, and about all the overpaid players, but forget that some teams are out there doing it right.

…For the most part.

Almost every GM has made some gross misstep along the way, so it’s impossible to call anyone infallible, but as things currently sit, a few teams are in pretty darn good shape. Let’s show them some love. (Oh, and a note: the numbers shown are they players’ cap hits, not their real-dollar salaries for the year.)

Honorable Mentions

(Note: not having Mike Gillis on this list – from the Sedins, to Burrows, to Hansen to Higgins – was a regrettable oversight. Dean Lombardi didn’t get included because hey, gotta draw the line somewhere, and I don’t care for a deal or three of the Kings.)

2012 NHL Entry Draft - Rounds 2-7

Philadelphia Flyers

GM: Paul Holmgren

Cost: #1 – NHL’s highest payroll (no space under the cap)

Well, rough start. But hear me out.

Paul Holmgren takes a lot of s***. He got rid of Mike Richards and Jeff Carter, then they won a Cup. He used that cap room to get Ilya Bryzgalov, who then proceeded to suck. He traded James van Riemsdyk for Luke Schenn, and JVR’s recent success hasn’t looked great on him (though Schenn is secretly having a pretty decent season).

But on the other hand, he also has some real talent under extremely reasonable, and in some cases ridiculously good contracts. Consider:

Claude Giroux was signed as a restricted free agent which leaves you with little bargaining power, but still: he’s making $3.75 million this year and next to be the team’s captain, face of the franchise, and leading point-getter.

But wait: he’s actually not the leading point-getter right now (go ahead, gasp). That’d be Jakub Voracek, who’s making $4.25 mill (through 2016). He’s got 25 points in 23 games, good for (T)7th in the NHL. Other deals of note:

* Wayne Simmonds: $1.75M this year, jumps to $3.975M through 2019

* Max Talbot: $1.75 through 2016

* Matt Read: $900k through 2014 (13 pts in 18 games)

* Scott Hartnell: $4.2M through 2019 (okay, that’s a lot of term)

All in all, if it weren’t for the Bryzgalov contract, he might have cracked the top five.

***

Mayor Bloomberg And Islanders Owner Announce Plan For Team To Play In BrooklynNew York Islanders

GM: Garth Snow

Cost: 28th – NHL’s third lowest payroll ($17,332,929 in cap space)

The Islanders GM also takes a lot of heat because A) he used to be the back-up goalie and that’s hilarious and B) his first contract was the DiPietro deal (though it’s pretty widely understood that he was, ahem, influenced by Charles Wang, the team’s owner on that one). Since then he’s settled down, and helped manipulate the Isles true spending to make it seem like they’re a salary floor team (in reality, they’re below, but “paying” guys like Tim Thomas and Alexei Yashin help), and signed some amazing contracts along the way.

The John Tavares contract might be the most amazing, ridiculous one in the NHL. He makes a mere $5.5 mill a year to be everything I said about Claude Giroux and more until 2018. Hell, just convincing him to stay on Long Island, let alone at that number is mind-blowing. He’s (T)7th in the NHL in scoring, including 13 goals and some shootout winners, and is generally just an admirable human. What a deal.

Other good deals:

* Matt Moulson: $3.13M until 2014 (one point behind Tavares, 30, 31, 36 goals in his last three NHL seasons, 10 in 22 games this year)

* Michael Grabner: $3 mill a season until 2016 (34 goals two season ago, 20 last year, eight goals in 22 games this year)

* Kyle Okposo: $2.8M until 2016 (was a great deal at the time – we’ll see what becomes of it)

* Frans Nielsen: $2.75M per until 2016 (top-10 defensive forward in the NHL, best success rate in the history of the NHL shootout)

* Brad Boyes: One year, one mill (a rescue dog turned top-liner)

* Andrew MacDonald: This year and next at $550k per, years three and four of his current deal (plays 25+ minutes a night)

Snow has a pretty good idea what he’s doing.

Top 5

Fine, it’s really a Top 6 (which sounds dumb), because I can’t figure out who to cut.

No particular order on this, because what, you think that’s a possible thing? Ranking GMs? Not so much.

***

Owners And Players Meet To Discuss NHL LockoutSt. Louis Blues

GM: Doug Armstrong

Cost: 30th – NHL’s lowest payroll ($19,855,388 in cap space)

The St. Louis Blues were widely believed to be Stanley Cup contenders this season. Last year they finished second in the Western Conference with 109 points before getting rolled by the Kings (like everyone else) in playoffs. This year the core of the team was a year older so expectations were higher, but we haven’t quite seen what we expected. Still, they’re currently tied for fourth in the West, and aren’t a team to be taken lightly.

And if you didn’t notice, again – this team has the NHL’s lowest payroll. Lower than the Avs, the Isles, and the other “laughingstocks.” How are they doing it?

* David Backes: $4.5 through 2017 (team captain, third in team scoring, official truck of the St. Louis Blues)

* TJ Oshie: $4.175 through 2016 (Also third in team scoring, also a truck)

* David Perron: $3.812M through 2016 (one point back of Backes/Oshie)

* Alex Steen: $3.362M through 2014 (second in scoring, 16 points in 18 games)

* Everyone: No other forward makes more than $3M, the rest is evenly spread

* Barret Jackman: $3.166M through 2015

* Wade Redden: $700k rescue dog

* Pietrangelo and Shattenkirk: Norris contenders on ELCs (good thing they have cap space)

* Jaroslav Halak: $3.75M through 2014

* Brian Elliot: $1.8 through 2014

One of the most noticeable Armstrong traits is that he doesn’t seem to want to waste his nickels – the numbers are very specific ($3.362, for example) so he can save bucks, instead of doing what other GMs seem to do, and say “eff it, sure, we’ll round that up to a .5M.” Also, like Snow, he’s made an effort to get the core locked up until 2016 so “this team” – his team – can have a multi-year period to make a run together.

***

2012 NHL Entry Draft - Round OneChicago Blackhawks

GM: Stan Bowman

Cost: NHL’s 5th highest payroll ($3,232,221 in cap space)

The Chicago Blackhawks won the Cup a few years ago, then had to blow the thing up. There was a mess at one point – Dale Tallon had a fax machine snafu and didn’t qualify his restricted free agents in time (that’s still a real thing that happened, somehow) and had to over-pay them, so more people had to go. Still – they made some tough decisions and left themselves with a fairly formidable roster. You may have noticed, it’s almost halfway though this shortened season, and they still haven’t lost in regulation yet.

Some of their great contracts:

* Jonathan Toews: $6.3M until 2015 (one of the best two-way players in the game today, not ridiculous term. Straight up “wow” deal)

* Patrick Kane: $6.3M until 2015 (5th in NHL in scoring, 26 points in 22 games)

* Marian Hossa: $5.275M until 2021 (one of the last true back-diving deals signed = great cap hit for a legit star)

* Dave Bolland: $3.375M until 2014

* Duncan Keith: $5.538M until 2023 (ex-Norris winner at that hit…not too shabby)

* Niklas Hjalmarsson: $3.5M until 2015

* Johnny Oduya: $3.383 until 2015

* Steve Monntador: $2.75M until 2015

* Michal Rozsival: $2M

* Corey Crawford: $2.667M through 2014

How ridiculous is that d-corps? Love on the forwards all you want, but I can’t think of a single one of those guys that you wouldn’t take on your team at that price, especially when you consider how much better they make your forwards (getting the puck up to them quick, and out of your own zone quicker), and how much better they make your goalies (people have talked about Corey Crawford contending for the Vezina).

All in all, when they’ve chosen to spend big dollar amounts, they’ve made their decisions wisely.

Obviously, Bowman doesn’t deserve the sole credit for all of these deals, but he’s currently dealing with a pretty nice situation.]

***

Pittsburgh Penguins HeadshotsPittsburgh Penguins

GM: Ray Shero

Cost: 15th highest payroll ($8,784,301 in cap space)

It’s often assumed that the Pittsburgh Penguins are solely dominant because of their jaw-dropping, recognizable difference-makers. Specifically, I’m speaking of Sidney Crosby ($8.7M average-annual value until 2025) and Evgeni Malkin ($8.7 per through 2014). But no hockey team can be successful leaning on a just two guys. Shero has done well to make room for those big contracts while adding value with these ones:

* James Neal: $5M AAV through 2018 (dude was one of two players with more than 40 goals and 40 assists last year)

* Chris Kunitz: $3.725M through 2014 (he’s fourth in the NHL in scoring right now with 27 points in 22 games)

* Brandon Sutter: $2.066M through 2014 (he’s not Jordan Staal, but he’s a great third line center)

* Tyler Kennedy: $2M for this year

* Matt Cooke: $1.8M (people forget that this guy can play)

* Pascal Dupuis: $1.5M for this year (absolutely)

* Kris Letang: $3.5M through 2014 (one of the best values in the league)

* Matt Niskanen: $2.3M through 2014

That’s not-a-lot-of-money going to players who have value, and are generally willing to fill roles without egos. That’s how you can afford the top-end guys, and stay top-end competitive.

***

Anaheim Ducks v Phoenix CoyotesPhoenix Coyotes

GM: Don Maloney

Cost: 29th in NHL ($18,785,939 in cap space)

The Phoenix Coyotes currently sit a point out of the playoffs (with a game in hand) after a recent 6-3-1 run, and they continue to frustrate opponents. Last season they managed to win their division for the first time ever, and this is all with a comically low payroll with a team owned by the NHL.

If that wasn’t laid out clearly enough for you: Don Maloney is a wizard. A white wizard, with like, all the tricks ‘n stuff. Not some lowly grey one.

Here’s what they’ve got under contract:

* Mikkel Boedker: $1.1M cap hit this year (leading the team in scoring, 16 points in 21 games)

* Antoine Vermette: $3.75M through 2015 (underrated defensive forward)

* Martin Hanzal: $3.1M through 2017 (10 points in 12 games)

And then the one year guys (because of their uncertain future)

* Matthew Lombardi: $2M

* Lauri Korpikoski: $1.8M

* Raffi Torres: $1.75

* Boyd Gordon: $1.325M

To go with the rock-solid core of d-men:

* Keith Yandle: $5.250M through 2016 (top-10 NHL d-man)

* Zbynek Michalek: $4M through 2015

* Rostislav Klesla: $2.975M through 2014

* Derek Morris: $2.75M through 2014

* Mike Smith: $2M for the year

* Jason Labarbera: $1.250M for the year

And that’s not to mention Oliver Ekman-Larsson and his entry-level deal. Maloney’s hands are tied, but he’s recognized what an under-talented team needs to win: rock solid defense, legit, proven NHL forwards (ideally ones that other GMs under-value, like Vermette), and solid goaltending.

***

2012 NHL Entry Draft - Round OneBoston Bruins:

GM: Peter Chiarelli

Cost: 14th highest ($8,082,082 in available cap space)

Peter Chiarelli is a pretty respected dude around the NHL. He’s made a number of savvy moves that make others think he’s into some advanced analytics (love for guys like Chris Kelly and Rich Peverly), or that he’s just really smart (turning Phil Kessel into Tyler Seguin and Dougie Hamilton). Either way, after finding a home for Tim Thomas’ contract, he’s freed up room to add another piece to an already great team that includes nice deals to:

* Patrice Bergeron: $5M per through 2014

* Milan Lucic: $4.083 this year, up to $6M through 2016 (can’t replicate a guy like Lucic)

* Rich Peverly: $3.25M per through 2015

* Chris Kelly: $3M per through 2016

* Brad Marchand: $2.5M this year, $4.5M through 2016 starting next year

* Daniel Paille: $1.3M through 2015

* Dennis Seidenberg: $3.25M through 2014

* Andrew Ference: $2.25M this year

There’s really not a bad contract on their team. Even Zdeno Chara, who makes $6.916M per season until 2017 (when he makes $4M) is easily worth what they’re paying him.

And finally…

***

Colorado Avalanche v Detroit Red WingsDetroit Red Wings

GM: Ken Holland

Cost: 13th highest cap hit ($7,781,864 in cap space)

Ken Holland is in the select group of GMs (along with Ray Shero and Peter Chiarelli, I’d say) that seem to have universal respect around the hockey world. They rarely dive in and go crazy on free agents, and they keep their talent without over-paying it. The Red Wings are the rare team that’s just consistently competitive, year in, year out for over a decade now. Currently, they only have two legitimately high paid players, and Pavel Datsyuk ($6.7 per through 2014) and Henrik Zetterberg ($6.083M through 2021) are both undeniably worth it. The rest look more like:

* Johan Franzen: $3.94M through 2020 (gotta love that)

* Valtteri Filppula: $3M this year

* Darren Helm: $2.125M through 2016

* Todd Bertuzzi: $2.075M through 2014 (another rescue dog story that turned out well)

* Jordin Tootoo: $1.9M through 2015 (not bad for an effective grinder)

* Justin Abdelkader: $1.8m through 2016

* Nicklas Kronwall: $4.750M through 2019

* Jimmy Howard: $2.25M this year

And then of course, there’s the entry-level deals to guys like Damien Brunner and Tomas Tatar that help them out.

For a lot of these smarter GMs, it’s a matter of making sure your top-end guys are locked up on fair cap hits, then making sure your two-to-four million dollar guys don’t go the way of Mike Komisarek. When you’re putting together an NHL roster, every penny counts.

Comments (44)

  1. Holmgren is a fucking lunatic, are you kidding me? His trades directly led to another team winning the Cup, their defense is a mess, non-existent, and now they’ve got a massive goalie contract that isn’t worth it, no matter how good Bryz plays, and they’re in a terrible situation in regards to the cap, also thanks to him not understanding CBA rules and signing Pronger to an over 35 contract.

    The only reason Holmgren gets any mention whatsoever in good GM conversations is because he DOES THINGS. People want stuff to happen, they just feel better when “things” are going on. And Holmgren is insane enough to just “do shit.” The Flyers do have lots of decent talent, but, at any step of the way, has anyone said “Oh, Holmgren’s vision is finally all coming together, look at this wonderful team!” No! Why? Cause the guy is crazy, he just does THINGS and has no plan, and now look at the team. They’ll probably keep making the playoffs, but the second they run into any team with a competent defense they’ll just get railed.

    • Totally agree with Mr. Assfactory.

      Holmgren must drunk dial other GM’s to get deals done.

    • absolutely agree

    • Sorry, Justin, but yeah putting Holmgren on this list makes it a bit hard to take seriously. Don’t want to bring up East Coast bias…but Lombardi of the Kings or Murray of the Ducks are both more deserving to be mentioned than Holmgren.

    • Um the Flyers clearly won the Mike Richards trade. Richards has been average at best in LA and the Kings got B.Schenn and Simmonds in return, clearly a Flyers win. Voracek for Carter is a win, and obviously you are too stupid to know that Carter was traded to Columbus and then LA traded to get Carter, so to say that Holmgren’s trade got LA their cup is laughable.

      • To put it simply, the Kings won the Cup with Richards and Carter, but would NOT have won it with Schenn and Simmons and Johnson instead, don’t think anybody would argue that. So hard to say the Kings didn’t do quite well in this trade. The Flyers did get good young players, but until they at least take them to the Cup finals, you can’t say the Flyers won the trade. Also the young forwards on the Flyers would not have that many points right now if they still played in the Western Conference. Let’s just say the trades are working out for both teams (not as much for Columbus though).

        • I don’t know. I think Philly got the better of the deals despite LA winning the cup. That was a really amazing run by LA and one of my more favorite recent low seeds to watch, it’s also something I don’t think we will see again. But we all know that when talking about the ultimate team sport that (2) or (3) players is not enough to win the cup that takes a total team effort and it wasn’t Voracek, Simmomds or Schenns fault the Flyers defense and goaltending screwed them last year. While it was a good deal for both LA and Philly, player for player Philly clearly won this one in the early going.

          • In terms of asset management, both deals have to be considered a clear win for the Flyers.

            However…

            Unless those players they got in return help lead them to a Cup win, the Kings will always be considered the consensus winner of those deals because that’s the only yardstick that’s used to measure team and GM success at the end of the day.

    • I agree that he pulls the trigger all too often, and often shoots himself in the foot as a result, but some of the things he’s managed to pull off are the envy of other GMs:

      People mention the Zhitnik for Coburn swap a lot, but the real foundational move was turning one-foot Forsberg into Timonen, Hartnell, Upshall and Parent. There’s also getting Leino for a bag of pucks from Holland and watching him score ppg in their Cup run. And fishing Read out of obscurity was pretty genius.

      Of course, his tenure will ultimately be judged by the Richards/Carter deals, the Pronger deal, the Briere and Bryzgalov signings, but his body of work and his team’s record over that time would suggest that he’s one of the more effective GM’s in the league.

  2. Interesting… no love for Lou Lamoreillo, despite managing a team that’s been in the playoffs 14 of the last 15 seasons. They have no star players past Kovalchuk and a 40 year old Brodeur, yet are still contending with Pittsburgh, Philly and the Rangers for 1st in the Atlantic Division.

    • Hate to say i but you are right. Lou deserves to be on this least in as least the honorable mention list…

    • He’s in the HHOF, took a “mickey mouse” club and installed a winning culture, yadda yadda yadda… but who are we kidding, Garth Snow is obviously better.

      I, for one, welcome the renewed hate of all things NJD on this blog. Ever since the “NJ Devils are at least okay” post, we’ve hit a rut.

      • Yep, shocked that Lou isn’t on this list. Must be only focusing on this year. The problem is that a GM’s job is over multiple years…and Holmgren? Really?

  3. How can you talk about the Blackhawks’ defense and not put Brent Seabrook’s deal on the list? A deal Stan Bowman negotiated, by the way. $5.8MM is a great cap hit for all that Seabrook brings to the table, especially considering all the overpaid pylons manning the blueline around the league.

  4. agree. holmgren is screwed in 2 years when he had no room, still no defense and G up for a huge bump in pay. not too mention, hartnell will be way overpayed right around then. courtier/scheen also up off elc in 2014. its going to get messy

  5. Come on Bourne. Know you hate the devils but leaving Mr. Lamoreillo off the list here is a little over the top.

  6. Where’s Gillis? The luongo contract (still a great AAV but term is ridiculous), and the ballard trade are his only blemishes, and I would argue that no one could have predicted Ballard would turn out to be such a disappointment. Otherwise he has been consistently signing guys to cap friendly below market deals, and complementing them with good reclamation projects (higgins, lapierre) and free agent finds (tanev).

    • I’m a Canucks fan and Gillis supporter but that Luongo contract isn’t even close to the best deal he’s done. The Sedin’s and Hamhuis/Bieksa deals are a much better parameter on how he’s able to get players to take huge discounts so he can structure the teams salary cap perfectly.

      And trading away Ballard for Grabner and a 1st(so essentially 2 1st round picks) looked fucking stupid during that draft and still is to this day. If you couldn’t see that from a mile away I don’t know what to tell you. But to be fair every GM has his big blunder, hopefully Jason Garrison won’t be #2…

  7. He’s been controversial, and has made a couple of bad decisions (Sundin, the Ballard deal), but in terms of intelligence and thinking outside the box, surely Mike Gillis has to get a look in?

    Aside from that, when looking at the success of the teams that these GMs belong to, its worth noting that aside from the Flyers and Wings, they’ve all tanked to get talent on the cheap, which seems a little… cheap.

  8. Interesting. No love for Gillis? He got these players to take hometown discounts:

    -Henrik Sedin
    -Daniel Sedin
    -Kevin Bieksa
    -Dan Hamhuis
    -Alex Burrows
    -Ryan Kesler
    -Jason Garrison

    Also:
    -trade: really good trade deadline pickups in 2011 of Higgins and Lapierre, who have been very good additions to the team in the roles they were needed for
    -trade: acquired Ehrhoff for Patrick White (!) in 2009, who was a big piece of that really good ’10-’11 team
    -trade: David Booth- jury is still out on this guy, but they got him for 2 aging guys who didn’t fit in the lineup anyways (Sturm and Samuelson)
    -signed D Tanev and G Eddie Lack as UFA’s…undrafted, very talented youngsters

    Not too shabby. That Luongo contract was pretty bad though.

  9. I think Bryan Murray deerves to be on here for his drafting alone. The way his younger guys have stepped up with the losses of Spezza, Karlsson, Michalek, Cowen, etc. Not to mentions he built the Ducks team that won the stanley cup under Burke.

  10. Justin, I love your columns and insight.. But putting Stan Bowman in the top 5 GM category is a bit of an overreaction, kinda like you had with Kreider on that players list(no offense). He’s essentially inherited a stanley cup winning core group and hasn’t had any true success with building upon it until now. We’ll see how good his defence corp will hold up come playoff time, especially if Crawford ends up playing like he did last year. But I can definitely tell you that right now I sure as hell wouldn’t want Oduya on my team for that deal nor Roszival.

    Personally I find it ridiculous that Dean Lombardi is not in the top 5. I know he was on the hot seat a year ago but he essentially drafted and built a Stanley Cup cup winning squad all on his own, which besides Holland can’t be said for the other 4. He also doesn’t get enough love for how ballsy it was for him to be trading the future to take on Richards and Carters long term contracts. I absolutely despise the Kings but that man deserves to be in the top 5 over Stan Bowman or at the very least mentioned over Holmgren. I think Mike Gillis in Vancouver deserves some mentions too for how progressive he is but I can understand his exclusion from the top 5.

    • I kinda agree with this. A bit of a reaction to the now (CHI point streak) rather than taking the long view. And not saying Bowman is a bad GM, just still a bit unproven at this point.

  11. The Islanders have been terrible with Snow as their GM. His draft record is improving, but he missed big on Mark Katic, Josh Bailey and Nino Niederreiter, all top 15 picks.

    Garth Snow deserves some credit for manipulating the cap floor from and I understand that you’re trying to control for ownership factors ($$$). At a certain point, however, he has to be judged on the performance of his team and not his ability to pretend to spend money.

    • Really you can’t say that he missed the mark on Nino when this is just his second season as a pro and just turned 20. Holy cow man.

    • Sorry hit submit when I wasn’t done.

      And how can you blast Snow for missing on Katic who was a 3rd round pick, taken 62nd overall when the only player taken after him in the same draft who has made any impact in the NHL was Jamie Benn taken in the 5th?

      I’ll give you Bailey bur come up with better reasons to bash Snow. I mean look at the owner he has to work for. Islanders were decimated as a team and a farm system in 2007 and they are now a top 5 ranked prospect org. Give him another year at least because the team is showing signs of being real good but the owner needs to allow some spending above the cap floor to make things happen. His deal locking up Tavares is going to go down as one of the best all time.

  12. Once again, The Score completely ignores The Other Team In Ontario. Look at what they are doing despite the players they are missing. To put Paul Holgren in the list and not Lou Lamoreillo, or Bryan Murray is just crazy. It seems the rankings are determined by the contracts and not actual performance. Paul Holgren. That makes me believe this is just having a laugh.

    • “It seems to me the rankings are determined by the contracts….”

      …Yep. You’re getting this piece figured right out!

  13. Definitely agree with Don Maloney on this list, but Keith Yandle a top 10 d-man in the league? NO chance. He’s not even the best on his team.

    I would argue that Doug Wilson from the Sharks and Glen Sather should be in consideration on your list.

  14. Sather? Wilson? What are you smoking?

    • I hate Sather too but when his drafts were run many people were laughing when he selecting guys like Stepan and Del Zotto in 2008. He also got quite a nice pick in Carl Hagelin who was a 6th rd pick and the guy has only scored 50 pts in his first 84 games. Still think it’s too early to rate any draft 2010 and up but he has some prospects on there like Kreider, Mcilrath and JT Miler. Alot of these guys were on development squads and the Rangers only had 4 picks in 2012.

      I wouldn’t rank him top 5 though because since 2006 he has drafted only 4 NHL regulars and a few prospects which isn’t bad but not top 5.

  15. what about jay feaster?

    • Considering he has drafted zero impact NHL players (actually decent NHL players) since 2006. I don’t know if this was meant tongue in cheek

  16. I definately agree that dean lombardi, lou lamorello and mike gillis need to be on this list over bowman, holmgren and snow. Snow is definately trying to turn to turn things around and he is starting to make some moves in the right direction but his team has no reall success to this point. Bowman is a close one he definately has done alot of good prudent signing but his core group he pretty much got granfathered in

  17. I definately agree that dean lombardi, lou lamorello and mike gillis need to be on this list over bowman, holmgren and snow. Snow is definately trying to turn to turn things around and he is starting to make some moves in the right direction but his team has no reall success to this point. Bowman is a close one he definately has done alot of good prudent signing but his core group he pretty much got handed too him. Tought call, definately top 10. But homgren isn’t even top 10, his team is looking rough long term trying to resign giroux and trying notto overpay alot of his free agents.

  18. I love that you put Don Maloney on that list. He usually is over looked because of Phoenix and the ownership or lack thereof, but like you said, he is a wizard. Korpikoski has grown into a solid Defensive forward, and Chipchura has flourished as well. Too bad we still have Torres, he’s a useless piece of garbage.

  19. Ray Shero? The guy who gave away Z Michalek this summer to go all in for Parise? The guy who couldnt sign Staal? The guy whos team is going to make the playoffs without a goalie or defence and get stomped in the first round again?

    Last yer I would of had Shero on the list. but I feel like this offseason the Penquins took a step back, due to the GM.

    I agree with the rest of your assement, and as a Vancouver fan I would vote Chiarelli as the best GM.

  20. Love your podcast but can’t take articles like this seriously. Come on man your better than this.

  21. Bizarre that Doug Wilson is not on the list. The GM’s job is to win and fill the house. Look at the Sharks winning record since Wilson has been there – second to only Detroit. And the house is filled every night.

  22. Snow does deserve some credit – he’s been largely handcuffed by an owner who wanted to ‘go for it’ for a while there (and was the driving force behind two of the worst deals in history) but is now as tight as can be now.

    His predecessor traded away some very good prospects as well for questionable return (even at the time)

    The Isles don’t have a horrible top 6 or top 4 D now and Snow has done it on a budget and kept them (artificially – as mentioned) above the floor.

    If they weren’t in a Division with four potential Cup challengers they’d have a legitimate shot at sneaking in to the post season

    They’ve drafted reasonably well (being garbage for a while there helped them, getting some top picks which are now helping the aforementioned upper lines) and have some more good guys in the system

    Under difficult circumstances he’s done a good job I think. He’s ‘marked’ by the DiPietro deal and that may always be his defining moment; which is kinda sad given that it wasn’t all on him and he’s done a lot of good since for a low end franchise

    Hopefully a move to Brooklyn will kick start the team again

  23. Mr. Bourne you really should have your media credentials revoked immediately. To consider Garth Snow one of the best GMs is an absolute travesty. This man has single handled destroyed this once proud franchise. Drafting Josh Bailey, Calvin DeHaan, and Ryan O’Marra in the 1st round. Constantly making waiver wire pickups of players off the scrap heap. No improvement with this team in 6 years. Actually playing Kyle Okposo and Marty Reasoner who probably wouldn’t make an NHL roster. Letting PA Parenteau walk for only $4mil/yr. Andrew MacDonald is an awful defenseman. You really need to think before writing an article.

  24. What Kings deals do you not agree with? Lombardi deserves to be on there. The Richards/Carter trades were great. Quick’s contract – reasonable. Pulling Mitchell out of head-injury purgatory – great. The Kings have been down 2 shutdown defensemen all year and homegrown replacements come up and work great. Sure Doughty’s contract is heavy, but not totally off-base. Certainly not Bryzgalovian. The Penner trade? Not spectacular but how is Colton Teubert doing? Even the so-so moves have worked out in the end. Penner was worth it for his goal vs. Phoenix to send them to the finals alone. Plus – lets look at Kings draftee’s playing on other teams right now:

    Matt Moulson, Teddy Purcell, Wayne Simmonds, Brayden Schenn, Jack Johnson, Andrei Loktionov, Richard Clune, Kevin Westgarth, Kyle Quincy, Thomas Hickey, Colton Teubert.

    You literally have an NHL top line, 3rd or 4th line +, and two legit NHL defensive pairings that we didn’t need to keep and still won a cup. The Kings didnt even have to trade some of them, they just freakin’ waived them. Slava Voynov is legit and Jake Muzzin looks to be on his way.

    Additionally, The Kings have their entire core locked up and will still be $9mil under the new, lower cap. 3rd Youngest team in the NHL. Two Kings prospects (one rookie) are in the top 15 of AHL scoring, including the back-and-forth sometimes goals leader. They easily have the best goal tending tandem in the NHL, for less total cost than Luongo alone. Being classy and sending Gagne to team he’s comfortable with for less return? All that coming off a cup win? C’mon.

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