Tuesday night, the National Hockey League continued their announcement of their awards, and this time it was the Jim Gregory General Manager of the Year Award. No, Boston Bruins GM Don Sweeney did not win the award, but he did receive some votes.
New York Islanders GM Lou Lamoriello was the winner with 104 points. Montreal Canadiens GM Marc Bergevin was second with 79 points, while Bill Zito of the Florida Panthers finished third as the other finalist with 45 points.
Sweeney finished tied for 11th in the voting with former New York Rangers GM Jeff Gorton with two third-place votes.
Gorton was a member of the Bruins front office before ending up in the Big Apple. In 2006 after Boston let go of Mike O’Connell, Gorton was promoted to interim GM and was in charge of the Entry Draft that got the Black and Gold Milan Lucic, Phil Kessel, and Brad Marchand. He also was responsible for signing free agent defensemen Zdeno Chara and forward Marc Savard. Gorton was also the one who traded Andrew Raycroft for prospect goalie Tuukka Rask. Not a bad short stint as GM before handing the reigns over the Peter Chiarelli.
As for Sweeney’s 2019-20 season, he made some notable moves that helped the Bruins survive the vaunted East Division and made it to the second round of the postseason. He signed Craig Smith in free agency from the Nashville Predators, but his biggest moves happened at the trade deadline.
Sweeney swung a deal with the Buffalo Sabres for Taylor Hall and Curtis Lazar. Boston sent forward Andres Bjork to Western New York, along with a draft pick. He also traded for defensemen Mike Reilly from the Ottawa Senators for a draft pick to bolster the blueline. Both of those deals helped the Bruins finish the regular season strong and win a playoff round.
It’s not surprising to see Sweeney get a couple of third-place votes. Did he deserve more? No, but this offseason is where he needs to make his mark on the Bruins roster for the 2021-22 season if they are truly going to go all-in to give their veterans one more run at a Stanley Cup.