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Best Gms In The League

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Here is my list of Top 11 GMs (not in any order by rank):

1) Ray Shero (Pittsburgh Penguins)- He's truly built a team (of course the foundation was set back in 2001 starting with Brooks Orpik) and since 2006, he has crafted the team into a yearly heavyweight contender. Very smart, crafty trader and has an eye for talent when it comes to drafting and developing players (Kris Letang, Alex Goligoski, Dustin Jeffrey, etc.). Also knows what a real coach is- Dan Bylsma, and has truly done a remarkable job with the players they have due to decimating injuries.

2) Dale Tallon (Florida Panthers)- Truly remarkable work he has done in building the Chicago Blackhawks (of course he was lucky to get Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews and having Brent Seabrook and Duncan Keith as the first part of the foundation before his arrival), and pretty much made some very shrewd trades and signings (Hossa, Sharp, Campbell). Also, he picked an awesome coach in Joel Quenneville. Now with the Florida Panthers, he's truly starting to rebuild the whole foundation from scratch and using the key pieces to fit a system very similar to the Blackhawks style of play. Though he left the Hawks with the cap space problem, this was the price to pay for winning the Stanley Cup.

3) Paul Holmgren (Philadelphia Flyer)- Winners just keep winning, and he's truly an example of that. Smart drafting (Claude Giroux), player development, and key signings (Sergei Bobrovsky) really is keeping this team to be reckoned with for YEARS. Although his cap management has been suspect, he always finds a way out of a jam.

4) Ken Holland (Detroit Red Wings)- Pure winner and knows his hockey, especially with the help of his amazing scouting team (hands down the best in the NHL). They just seem to find a way to keep this team alive, despite questions that they are either too old or what they will do if they lose Nicklas Lidstrom to retirement. Hiring Mike Babcock was possibly the best move he's ever made, which his attention to detail is very reminiscent of the legendary Scotty Bowman...no one can argue against true success, case closed on that one.

5) David Poile (Nashville Predators)- Has to be the BEST GM for a team that is always on a shoestring budget, considering their ownership issues and possibility of relocation. He has always put the team first before the players and maintained steadfast loyalty to the coach he only knows- Barry Trotz, and is one of the NHL's most winningest coaches. When it comes to scouting and drafting, he is one of the best in the business and has made some very shrewd lopsided trades (ex, Jason Arnott for Matt Halischuk) and has managed to also keep the team afloat despite mandated payroll reduction from ownership. The jury is out on Shea Weber since he's due for an increase and it remains to be seen what he will do with his most valuable player. Most of all, he has managed to keep the Predators a very stable winning team under his regime, despite doubts from the outside media on its ability to compete.

6) Bob Murray (our own Anaheim Ducks)- He has pretty much been rebuilding our team without going through a full-scale rebuild after Brian Burke has left the team in a total salary cap mess and a bare cupoard of prospects. This started with the Chris Pronger trade and netted us a bevy of grade A prospects and first rounders that truly makes a difference in the development of the franchise going forward (Joffrey Lupul (netted us Francois Beauchemin), Luca Sbisa (future top 2 d), Emerson Etem (future top 6 forward), and Kyle Palmieri (future top 6 forward). Also, with the huge luck of Cam Fowler to the Ducks, this franchise is on a meteoric rise and may return to its glory days within a year or two. Smart drafting as well in getting Sami Vatanen, Justin Schultz, Emerson Etem, Kyle Palmieri, etc. Also, his trades have for the most part been truly nice additions for the team (Brad Winchester, Ray Emery, Dan Ellis, Jarkko Ruutu, Lubomir Visnovsky, Jason Blake) and signings (Andreas Lilja, Andy Sutton, Toni Lydman, Saku Koivu) and has kept the team very competitive despite lack of depth on forward and defense. Also, having Randy Carlyle as coach definitely helps, as he's very steadfastly loyal to him and the system.

7) Dean Lombardi (Los Angeles Kings)- He is the first Kings GM to ever shift the team philosophy to acquire players from outside (which they have done for more than four decades) to one with drafting and developing players from within, much to the fan's and media's chagrin. Given the results of the past couple of years, they are eating some serious crow soup (myself included), and have built a very impressive and dominating team that is seriously poised to possibly winning a Stanley Cup. They have drafted very well over the years (Anze Kopitar, Drew Doughty, Brayden Schenn, Jonathan Bernier) and have focused on developing players from within and ensuring their minor league team dominates the AHL. Also key signings (Ryan Smyth, Rob Scuderi, etc.) have also made differences as they know how to win. Because of his work with the Kings, we would have to piddle our pants as Duck fans- they are for real and will be a thorn in our sides for YEARS to come.

8) Doug Wilson (San Jose Sharks)- Very consistent smart drafting and developing players within their organization and ensuring the team is very competitive for years despite their playoff choke jobs. Hiring Todd McClellan and signing Antti Niemi have really helped the team and they are on pace to possibly win the division. However, he will have to answer some questions as their forward corps are aging and drafting Logan Couture and Devin Setoguchi is a great step forward.

9) Don Maloney (Phoenix Coyotes)- He has truly brought stability to a franchise mired by uncertainty and really has fielded a team to not mess with. Hiring Dave Tippett and key signings and trades have really propelled this team to a worthy contender and ensured the focus on stifling defense and balanced attack for many victories (including last game over us). He is also known for his astute judgement in talent and great scouting team, which he has really done a marvelous job in that area compared to his predecessors (Oliver Ekman-Larsson, David Schlemko, Keith Yandle, Lauri Korpikoski, etc.)

10) Peter Chiarelli (Boston Bruins)- Has got to be possibly the smartest GM in the league, especially with not only building the Bruins on a shoestring budget (for those that know owner Jeremy Jacob's reputation for being a real scrooge) and around Zdeno Chara and excellent goaltending, but also making very shrewd lopsided trades (Phil Kessel and Frank Kaberle deals). Also, his drafting has been excellent and provides him a luxury of integrating them into the team or dealing them for elite veterans. Also, hiring Claude Julien and his stifling defensive system really made a difference to the team's success.

11) Lou Lamoriello (New Jersey Devils)- For those that don't know him and his success very well- shame on you and 3 Stanley Cups to back up his success and several Atlantic Division titles to boot. Plus, he's drafted some very good players and crafted a system that will keep them winning for YEARS (yes, the infamous Devil's neutral zone trap) and having Jacques Lemaire made the difference on what would have been a moribund season. In terms of GM experience, he would have to be the fountain of knowledge when it comes to also hockey knowledge and really knows the business. Of course, there may be the possibility he may retire soon, but as long as he's in command, the Devils will always be stable and competitive.

That is it for my analysis...hope you enjoyed the read.

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Agree with the first ten. Lou Lamoriello? I think he has shown he cannot handle living in the salary cap era. He was only a decent GM when he could spend as much as he wanted.

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Good list... though I agree with Nieder, the salary cap has crippled Lamoriello's ability to be effective.

I also think Shiero, Tallon, and maybe even Lombardi were in ideal situations... they were given a lot of time and high draft picks (through years of suckage) to turn the franchises around.

The guys that stand out in my book at Holland, Poile, and Chiarelli... though I love the fact that you included Maloney - a guy who hasn't got the credit he so richly deserves.

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