The NHL announced its finalists for the league’s top GM. Three names were announced. None of those names was Ray Shero. Why bother having an award at all if you’re not going to give it to the guy that deserves it the most? No disrespect to Steve Yzerman of Tampa Bay, Mike Gillis of Vancouver, and David Poile of Nashville, who I’m sure are all wonderful human beings that did great jobs in building their teams this year, but not one of them is in the class of Shero this season.
Consider what he did in the off-season: Brought in defensemen Paul Martin and Zbynek Michalek to shore up the part of the team that cost them dearly in last year’s post-season meltdown to Montreal. Martin and Michalek were very good in the regular season, and have been even better in the playoffs to this point. He also brought in Arron Asham for under a million dollars in the off-season, and Asham has rewarded him by getting three goals in the first four games of the playoffs, and being arguably the best player on the team in this Tampa Bay series.
Shero wasn’t done making moves once the season started. He brought in James Neal, Matt Niskanen and Alexei Kovalev before the trade deadline, and all Neal and Kovalev have done is net two of the three game winning goals so far in this series. Niskanen, though he’s been victimized by the Bolts at times, has been a decent addition to the blue line.
The net result of all these additions? A tie for the third highest point total in the league during the regular season, and a 3-1 series lead against a talented Lightning team. Oh, and this has taken place with Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin missing a combined 80 games due to injury.
Let’s recap: The third best record in the league during the regular season, and one win from the brink of the second round against a team some figured would be a bad match-up for them, all without the best player in the league and another guy who is in the top-10. I don’t know about you, but that sounds like a winning resume to me.