NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — The Rangers and Lightning are battling on the ice and for a front office award.
New York’s Glen Sather, Tampa Bay’s Steve Yzerman and Anaheim’s Bob Murray are the finalists for the NHL’s General Manager of the Year Award, the league announced Friday night.
One year removed from making it to the Stanley Cup Final, Sather’s Rangers again find themselves in pursuit of the league championship. Currently taking on the Lightning in the Eastern Conference finals, the Blueshirts won the Presidents Trophy with a franchise-record 113 points. They also led the NHL and set club records for road wins (28) and points (58).
The Rangers defeated the Pittsburgh Penguins in five games in the first round of the playoffs and then battled back from a 3-1 deficit to eliminate the Washington Capitals.
Prior to the trade deadline, Sather pulled off a daring move, acquiring veteran defenseman Keith Yandle, a prospect and a fourth-round draft pick from the Arizona Coyotes for promising forward Anthony Duclair, veteran John Moore and a first-round pick.
Yandle, who is signed through next season, had 11 points in 21 regular season games for New York and has added six assists and a plus-3 rating in 15 games this postseason.
Yzerman’s moves helped Tampa Bay get back to the conference finals for the second time in the last five seasons. The Lightning set franchise records with 50 wins and 108 points, and also led the NHL with 262 goals scored and 32 home wins during the 2014-15 regular season. A member of the Hockey Hall of Fame due to his stellar 22-year career as a player for the Detroit Red Wings, Yzerman finished second in the 2010-11 voting for GM of the Year.
Murray is a finalist for the third time, having won the award last season after finishing second in 2012-13. Currently battling the Chicago Blackhawks in the Western Conference finals, the Ducks had 109 points during the regular season, thanks in part to Murray acquiring veteran center Ryan Kesler over the summer and defenseman Simon Depres at the trade deadline.
One curious omission was Garth Snow of the New York Islanders. Snow engineered trades for veteran goalie Jaroslav Halak and Stanley Cup-winning defensemen Johnny Boychuk and Nick Leddy last offseason as part of an overhaul that resulted in the Islanders improving 22 points from the season before and qualifying for the playoffs.