Joe Sakic, the architect of the Stanley Cup-winning Colorado Avalanche’s roster, was awarded the Jim Gregory General Manager of the Year Award on Thursday.
Voting by a 42-member panel that included NHL executives and media members was done after the second round of the playoffs.
Sakic received 16 first-place votes and 109 points. The Tampa Bay Lightning’s Julien BriseBois was the runner-up after landing 12 first-place votes and garnering 87 points. Rounding out the top five were the New York Rangers’ Chris Drury (four first-place votes, 53 points), the Edmonton Oilers’ Ken Holland, (three, 41) and the Florida Panthers’ Bill Zito (two, 33).
The Avalanche posted the NHL’s second-highest point total in the regular season, 119, behind just the Panthers’ 122. Colorado then sailed through the playoffs, sweeping the Nashville Predators in four games, eliminating the St. Louis Blues in six games, downing the Oilers in four games and topping the two-time defending Stanley Cup champion Tampa Bay Lightning in six games.
Before the season, Sakic traded for goalie Darcy Kuemper and signed center Darren Helm. In-season, he added defenseman Josh Manson, left winger Artturi Lehkonen and center Andrew Cogliano. Sakic drafted numerous players on the Colorado roster, including Conn Smythe- and Norris Trophy-winning defenseman Cale Makar, during his eight years as GM.
Sakic, 53, was a Hockey Hall of Fame player for the Quebec Nordiques/Avalanche franchise. The GM of the Year honor joins his trophy case that includes the Hart Trophy, Ted Lindsay Award, Conn Smythe Trophy, Lady Byng Trophy, NHL Foundation Player Award and two Stanley Cups as a player.
–Field Level Media