The 2017 NHL GM Report Card – Part 2

(This piece was written as a collaboration between Carolyn Wilke and Chris Watkins)

Alright, we’re only a little bit sorry we made you read our methodology post first, because we know what you really want is below. Still, we recommend you understand how we came to our ratings before you continue reading this post.

We’re sure you’ll disagree with us on some points, and that’s fine – despite our best efforts, these are still fairly subjective ranks. Still, try this exercise for yourself, and it’s possible your opinions will change.

Now, without further ado – all 31 GMs, ranked.

31. Jim Benning – Vancouver Canucks

GM Score (out of 5): 2.3
Best Attribute: Extensions
Worst Attribute: Player Development
Change in total GAR: -45%
Max GAR Ranking: 17th

It’s hard to discern whether Benning has been hamstrung by ownership, but no team has deteriorated more since 2013. The Canucks have gotten younger recently, but it’s unlikely guys like Bo Horvat and Brock Boeser are going to be enough to turn the team around. While Benning did make some savvy trades at this year’s deadline, with the weight of his tenure stacked against him, it’s highly doubtful he’ll be able to see the Canucks’ rebuild through.

30. Pierre Dorion – Ottawa Senators

GM Score (out of 5): 2.3
Best Attribute: UFAs
Worst Attribute: Drafting
Change in total GAR: -21%
Max GAR Ranking: 13

Dorion took over for former boss Bryan Murry last year. Some of the moves have made sense, but when you’re trading away Mika Zibanejad and getting fleeced for Alexandre Burrows by our worst ranked GM, that’s saying something. Dorion did improve the Senator’s fourth line at the trade deadline, but much of this year’s success is credit to Boucher’s improved defensive systems, and of course, generational defenseman Erik Karlsson playing like the generational defenseman he is. Still, one year is generally not enough to really judge a GM, and Dorion could climb the ranks easily.

29. Ken Holland – Detroit Red Wings

GM Score (out of 5): 2.3
Best Attribute: Player Development
Worst Attribute: Extensions
Change in total GAR: -44%
Max GAR Ranking: 4

Holland is a Hall of Fame exec who helped build the powerhouse Detroit teams of the new millennium and contributed to the Wings 25-year playoff streak. However, his best days are long gone, and his atrocious signings and extensions of aging players will ensure the Wings won’t sniff contention anytime soon.

28. Dean Lombardi – Los Angeles Kings

GM Score (out of 5): 2.3
Best Attribute: Drafting
Worst Attribute: Extensions
Change in total GAR: -5%
Max GAR Ranking: 5      

Lombardi’s formula for Stanley Cup success: Fleece Columbus for top-six forwards in trades (though remember, he was upset to give up Jack Johnson) and rely on Darryl Sutter’s airtight defensive systems to prevail in the playoffs. However, once the CBJ to LA pipeline ran dry, Lombardi exacerbated LA’s tight cap situation with awful extensions, most notably Dustin Brown’s. That doesn’t even get into the shady way he tried to buy out Mike Richards, or how he then traded for a second starting goalie at this year’s deadline when the Kings clearly needed another scorer. One major coup does not a good GM make.

27. Peter Chiarelli – Edmonton Oilers

GM Score (out of 5): 2.4
Best Attribute: Extensions
Worst Attribute: Trades
Change in total GAR: +14%
Max GAR Ranking: 7 (5*)
*from his tenure in Boston

Generally, aggressiveness in a GM is good, and Chiarelli does have some wins in that column (the Cam Talbot trade is underappreciated). But Chiarelli has traded three first-overall picks since 2013, and basically has a 2nd pairing defenseman to show for it. And let’s not start on signing that Lucic contract (again).

26. Don Sweeney – Boston Bruins

GM Score (out of 5): 2.4
Best Attribute: Extensions
Worst Attribute: Drafting
Change in total GAR: -5%
Max GAR Ranking: 10

Sweeney’s tenure can be best summarized by two steps forward, three steps back. He kicked off his regime with the Dougie Hamilton trade (bad), then flipped Milan Lucic’s contract for Martin Jones and a first rounder (good), then flipped Jones for another first (also good). But then with the 13th, 14th, and 15th picks of the 2015 draft, Sweeney went so far off the board that every pick from 16 to 20 are players who already considered better prospects than the ones Sweeney ended up going with (yikes!). It hasn’t gotten much better since. The highlight of Sweeney’s tenure is his recent extension for Brad Marchand, and even that was a no-brainer.

25. Tim Murray – Buffalo Sabres

GM Score (out of 5): 2.4
Best Attribute: Drafting
Worst Attribute: Player Development
Change in total GAR: 0%
Max GAR Ranking: 24

Tim Murray went all-in on tanking for Connor McDavid draft and ended up with Jack Eichel. The tank was the right decision for the club, and while there’s no shame in that outcome, Murray’s acquisitions since (see: Dmitry Kulikov, Zach Bogosian) and decision to hire Dan Bylsma doesn’t give much credence to the theory that Murray could have built a contender with McDavid either .

24. Garth Snow – New York Islanders

GM Score (out of 5): 2.6
Best Attribute: Drafting
Worst Attribute: Extensions
Change in total GAR: -19%
Max GAR Ranking: 1

Garth Snow’s rapid transformation from backup goalie to somewhat competent GM surprised even his most ardent critics and brought much-needed stability to the Islanders franchise. His drafting skill is easily his high point, but if a GM’s claim to fame is overpaying to keep the “league’s best 4th line” together, then they’re probably not the one to take you to the promised land.

23. Ray Shero – New Jersey Devils

GM Score (out of 5): 2.6
Best Attribute: Extensions
Worst Attribute: Player Development
Change in total GAR: 13%
Max GAR Ranking: 22 (1*)
*From his tenure in Pittsburgh

The general assessment of Shero’s time in Pittsburgh has recently been viewed in a more positive light, as Shero draft picks like Connor Sheary and Jake Guentzel have contributed for the defending champions. However, it’s hard to envision they would have won that championship under Shero. Despite handily winning the Taylor Hall trade and the 2017 draft lottery, the outlook for the Devils still looks bleak, unless he can use that same trade magic to fast track his way into a solid blue line and better forward depth.

22. Joe Sakic – Colorado Avalanche

GM Score (out of 5): 2.7
Best Attribute: Drafting
Worst Attribute: Player Development
Change in total GAR: -37%
Max GAR Ranking: 10

After a magical first-year, 114-point season with Sakic at the helm, driven by unsustainable goaltending and success in close games, it’s been all downhill for the franchise legend. The team has struggled to embrace modern analytics, Coach Patrick Roy showed himself out, and his cadre of exciting young forwards (Landeskog, Duchene, and McKinnon) have noticeably stalled during his tenure. Not to mention, they had to turn over nearly the entire AHL roster in the 2016 offseason, along with replacing that coach, amid complaints about lack of development. For the Avalanche to truly get back into contention, they’ll need to focus on rebuilding their prospect pipeline and development system, along with ridding their blue line of aging, slow veterans.

21. Chuck Fletcher – Minnesota Wild

GM Score (out of 5): 2.8
Best Attribute: NCAA/ELC FAs
Worst Attribute: Cap Management
Change in total GAR: +66%
Max GAR Ranking: 3

Chuck Fletcher’s moves in recent years can be best categorized as “competent, but inconsequential.” Fletcher has drafted and developed a deep blue line to supplement franchise D-man Ryan Suter, and quickly pounced on coach Bruce Boudreau after he was ousted in Anaheim. However, the team has no up-and-coming superstars or clear path to improvement as Suter and Zach Parise age into their late 30s.

20. Jarmo Kekäläinen – Columbus Blue Jackets

GM Score (out of 5): 2.9
Best Attribute: Trades
Worst Attribute: Cap Management
Change in total GAR: -5%
Max GAR Ranking: 14

Kekalainen’s inexplicable decision to sign Nathan Horton to a 7-year, $37.1 million contract in 2013 set off a series of bad extensions (Nick Foligno, Brandon Dubinsky) that left the team in cap hell. However, he has always been aggressive on the trade market, and landed two franchise cornerstones (Seth Jones and Brandon Saad). The team has also done a great job building depth through the draft and recent 2015 pick, Zach Werenski, looks like a star in the making. While the team is getting great production out of their ELC players, the worry remains — what happens when they need new deals?

19. Jeff Gorton – New York Rangers

GM Score (out of 5): 2.9
Best Attribute: NCAA/ELC FAs
Worst Attribute: Player Development
Change in total GAR: +11%
Max GAR Ranking: 11

Jeff Gorton has done a decent job of cleaning up the cap-related sins of his predecessor, Glen Sather. With the core of Ryan McDonagh, Rick Nash and Henrik Lundqvist aging out of championship contention, Gorton has done a good job of cheaply infusing youth into the lineup through the college FA market (Jimmy Vesey, Neal Pionk), and trades (Mika Zibanejad).

18. Dale Tallon – Florida Panthers

GM Score (out of 5): 3.0
Best Attribute: Cap Management
Worst Attribute: Player Development
Change in total GAR: -4%
Max GAR Ranking: 13

Florida’s ever-evolving leadership structure makes it difficult to pinpoint where Dale Tallon’s influence begins and ends. However, given the franchise’s limitations, Tallon has been aggressive in trying to build a contender, with good moves (trading for Roberto Luongo, drafting Aleksander Barkov over Johnathan Drouin) and bad (the Dave Bolland contract). The recent “analytics-based” moves, such as signing Jason Demers, and trading Erik Gudbranson for Jared McCann have yet to really see fruition, though they all looked like good options at the time.

17. Doug Wilson – San Jose Sharks

GM Score (out of 5): 3.1
Best Attribute: Extensions
Worst Attribute: UFAs
Change in total GAR: -17%
Max GAR Ranking: 1

Doug Wilson was critical in building the Sharks into a contender, with a run that finally culminated in the franchise’s first appearance in the Cup Final last year. Wilson has always had a great eye for talent and the franchise has done well in his tenure to convert draft picks into long-time contributors to the team. However, like most FA deals, the Mikkel Boedker deal looks like a bust and Wilson is only a few years removed from trying to run stars Patrick Marleau and Joe Thornton out of town.

16. Brad Treliving – Calgary Flames

GM Score (out of 5): 3.0
Best Attribute: Trades
Worst Attribute: UFAs
Change in total GAR: -20%
Max GAR Ranking: 6

Like most GMs, Treliving’s brief tenure contains both a track record of good moves and not so good moves. Most important for Calgary is that there are very few so far that can be considered flat-out bad. The biggest black mark on his tenure is the signing of Troy Brouwer, but that’s more than offset by Johnny Gaudreau’s team-friendly extension. The Dougie Hamilton and Brian Elliott trades were the right moves to make, regardless of outcome, and Treliving has done well locking up the core.

15. Ron Hextall – Philadelphia Flyers

GM Score (out of 5): 3.2
Best Attribute: Drafting
Worst Attribute: Extensions
Change in total GAR: -13%
Max GAR Ranking: 14

Hextall was handed a team full of overpriced, aging veterans and has worked hard to clean up the cap and build around the Giroux, Simmonds, Voracek core. While Hextall aggressively managed the cap in his first year, even sending Andrew MacDonald and Sam Gagner to the AHL, this past season saw him cede much of that roster management to his coach. His big extension for Voracek is trending in the wrong direction, and while Simmonds continues to produce, Giroux has lost his magic touch. As always, the team’s goaltending woes leave them in a holding pattern, and a bounce back for Shayne Gostisbehere is critical for the team to progress.

14. George McPhee – Vegas Golden Knights

GM Score (out of 5): 3.2
Best Attribute: Drafting
Worst Attribute: Trades

McPhee steps into the GM role for the newly-minted Golden Knights, after building a Cup contender in Washington around Alex Ovechkin. The two key demerits of McPhee’s last few years were the decision to replace Bruce Boudreau, first with Dale Hunter and then Adam Oates, which wasted years of Ovechkin’s prime. The other one is the disastrous deadline deal that sent star winger Filip Forsberg to Nashville for Martin Erat. However, McPhee’s draft history should give Golden Knights fans some hope, as he also picked Andre Burakovsky and Zach Sanford.

13. Jon Chayka – Arizona Coyotes

GM Score (out of 5): 3.2
Best Attribute: Trades
Worst Attribute: Player Development
Change in total GAR: -23%
Max GAR Ranking: 28

Depending on your view of the importance of analytics in in the GM office, Chayka’s short tenure in Arizona is the beginning of a promising career or a disaster in the making. Chayka has been smart and aggressive on the trade market by utilizing Arizona’s cap space to take on bad contracts in exchange for promising prospects. Nevertheless, the on-ice product has never been worse, and the team still lags noticeably behind other rebuilds across the league. However, it’s hard to judge a GM by a single year in office, so cautious optimism isn’t unwarranted.

12. Marc Bergevin – Montreal Canadiens

GM Score (out of 5): 3.2
Best Attribute: Player Development
Worst Attribute: Trades
Change in total GAR: -2%
Max GAR Ranking: 8

Bergevin has built a contender in Montreal, almost in spite of himself, which contributes to his middling grade. While he seems to lack a clear vision for how to truly build a contender, his big strength is developing the guys he does have and getting them on reasonable extensions. On the other hand, his trading has been a particular low point. The Subban for Weber trade will always loom large, but even beyond that, his additions this trade deadline and the bizarre handling of promising player Alex Galchenyuk point to an organization that just doesn’t know what it wants to be.

11. Doug Armstrong – St. Louis Blues

GM Score (out of 5): 3.2
Best Attribute: Drafting
Worst Attribute: Trades
Change in total GAR: -11%
Max GAR Ranking: 9

The time may be running out for Armstrong’s long tenure in St. Louis, especially with the recent firing of HOF coach Ken Hitchcock. On the positive side, Armstrong has built a deep team, with his success in drafting and developing players like Robby Fabbri and Ivan Barbashev, though his drafts seem very hit-or-miss, with one year being strong and the next extremely weak. Armstrong also wisely passed on extending Blues stalwarts David Backes and Troy Brouwer, and even Kevin Shattenkirk. But at the core, the Blues don’t seem well equipped to deal with the new speed of the NHL, and his long-term extensions for middle-six guys like Patrik Berglund could cause problems.

10. Brian MacClellan – Washington Capitals

GM Score (out of 5): 3.2
Best Attribute: UFAs
Worst Attribute: NCAA/ELC FAs
Change in total GAR: -37%
Max GAR Ranking: 10

MacLellan has done well to improve the Capitals since taking over in 2014, building out the depth of the team with smart signings and trades for Justin Williams, T.J. Oshie and Kevin Shattenkirk, and bringing on Barry Trotz as coach. His all-in trades in past seasons have proven ineffective, however, and the Brooks Orpik and Matt Niskanen contracts won’t age well, making it imperative for this team to win a Cup ASAP.

9. Stan Bowman – Chicago Blackhawks

GM Score (out of 5): 3.3
Best Attribute: Cap Management
Worst Attribute: Trades
Change in total GAR: -26%
Max GAR Ranking: 1

Bowman’s reputation has taken a hit in recent years, so his tenure with Chicago is best viewed through two lenses. While he has three Stanley Cups on his resume, the majority of that winning core was acquired under Dale Tallon. Bowman has been aggressive on the trade market to keep the team together under the cap, but a couple of bad trades (Saad, Sharp) and pricey extensions have clouded the team’s outlook. His biggest asset is managing to reset under the salary cap each season, and bringing in undrafted young players (Panarin) to help him do so.

8. Bob Murray – Anaheim Ducks

GM Score (out of 5): 3.3
Best Attribute: Player Development
Worst Attribute: NCAA/ELC FAs
Change in total GAR: +4%
Max GAR Ranking: 3

Bob Murray has built around the core of Getzlaf and Perry by creating a strong pipeline of young talent, especially on the backend (Lindholm, Theodore, Vatanen, Manson). The Kesler and Stoner contracts aren’t great, but the team netted a healthy return for Fredrick Andersen, and has generally done well with extensions for their young players such as Rickard Rakell.

7. Kevin Cheveldayoff – Winnipeg Jets

GM Score (out of 5): 3.4
Best Attribute: Drafting
Worst Attribute: Trades
Change in total GAR: +5%
Max GAR Ranking: 8

Winnipeg has little on-ice success to show for Cheveldayoff’s efforts, but he has quietly built an intriguing young team through the draft, including franchise cornerstone Patrik Laine. Blake Wheeler and Mark Scheifle have developed into bonafide stars under his watch, and the team wisely chose extending Dustin Byfuglien over Andrew Ladd. The team has a deep pool of prospects, but Jacob Trouba’s contentious extension talks leaves the team’s future up in the air.

6. Lou Lamoriello – Toronto Maple Leafs

GM Score (out of 5): 3.4
Best Attribute: Trades
Worst Attribute: Extensions
Change in total GAR: +12%
Max GAR Ranking: 21 (*16)
*From his tenure in New Jersey

Lou has led a successful group effort in Toronto that has turned the league’s biggest disappointment into its top up-and-coming team. While he hardballed Auston Matthews for his ELC, the team wisely kept Matthews, Mitch Marner and William Nylander on board with the pro team. In addition, the team did an excellent job flipping expiring contracts for draft picks last year. While the Frederik Anderson extension may ruffle some feathers, the team did a great job shoring up a historically bad goaltending situation with his acquisition.

5. Ron Francis – Carolina Hurricanes

GM Score (out of 5): 3.4
Best Attribute: Drafting
Worst Attribute: Extensions
Change in total GAR: -26%
Max GAR Ranking: 17

Ron Francis has built an analytics petri dish in relative obscurity. Carolina has heavily prioritized defensive prospects in the draft, leading to one of the league’s best new blue lines. The team has also been bold in using the trade market, sending out franchise cornerstone Eric Staal, and acquiring promising Blackhawks forward Teuvo Teraveinen. Most importantly, the team is finally working to resolve the goaltending issues that kept them out of the playoffs the last two years.

4. Jim Nill – Dallas Stars

GM Score (out of 5): 3.5
Best Attribute: Trades
Worst Attribute: UFAs
Change in total GAR: -19%
Max GAR Ranking: 2

Nill has fleeced his fellow GMs so often in trades that he’s at the point now where your team shouldn’t pick up if he gives you a call. He acquired Tyler Seguin, Patrick Sharp and Jason Spezza for what ultimately amounted to spare parts and Loui Eriksson. John Klingberg has been a revelation and the team has some promising prospects, but Nill was overly-patient with this year’s blue line and the goaltending issue won’t resolve itself. Still, the Stars aren’t in cap trouble, even with Jamie Benn’s new contract hitting next season, they have a crop of youth ready to hit the NHL full-time, and with a few tweaks (GOALTENDING) could be right back in the thick of it.

3. Jim Rutherford – Pittsburgh Penguins

GM Score (out of 5): 3.7
Best Attribute: Trades
Worst Attribute: UFAs
Change in total GAR: +10%
Max GAR Ranking: 1 (8*)
*From his tenure in Carolina

Rutherford’s first year with the Penguins wasn’t much to speak of. But after reevaluating his decisions in the 2015 offseason, he made the underrated decision to pass on extending Brooks Orpik and then used the cap space to acquire star winger Phil Kessel. Perhaps most importantly, he hired Mike Sullivan to replace Mike Johnston, and prioritized youth and speed (see: Rob Scuderi for Trevor Daley) to lead the team to a Cup. Not to mention, several of Rutherford’s draftees are now making names for themselves on Carolina.

2. Steve Yzerman – Tampa Bay Lightning

GM Score (out of 5): 3.9
Best Attribute: Cap Management
Worst Attribute: NCAA/ELC FAs
Change in total GAR: -6%
Max GAR Ranking: 4

Yzerman has supplemented top-two picks in Steven Stamkos and Victor Hedman by finding undervalued free agents like Anton Stralman and by developing young stars such as Nikita Kucherov and Tyler Johnson. Yzerman came into the summer of 2016 with a slate of expiring contracts (including Stamkos), and managed to lock in his entire core with under-market deals, while taking the time to navigate Expansion Draft and salary cap concerns over the 2017 trade deadline.

1. Dave Poile – Nashville Predators

GM Score (out of 5): 4
Best Attribute: Player Development
Worst Attribute: UFAs
Change in total GAR: -3%
Max GAR Ranking: 3

David Poile is possibly the league’s most underrated GM. He rated so highly because he has prioritized drafting and development, particularly of defensemen, which has allowed the Predators to be a winning team while on a budget. His emphasis on development has also meant they haven’t had to hit the free agent market as often, and when he has made a trade recently, such as Neal for Hornqvist or Jones for Johansen, it tends to be a win-win (well, Subban for Weber is a bit lopsided). Oh and that whole Forsberg for Erat thing. That was good. The major strike against him, unfortunately can’t be measured by effectiveness. Signing Mike Ribeiro and then defending him as a “family man” is enough to understandably torpedo opinions of him.

Tomorrow, we will wrap up this project with some final observations, including our results from the survey we ran for other Hockey Graphs members.

(And yes, we know you think we’re completely off and this ranking is BS. Feel free to leave a us comments, but only ones you’d be happy to have your grandma read.)

24 thoughts on “The 2017 NHL GM Report Card – Part 2

  1. Cutting out everything pre-2013 kill’s Fletcher’s ranking. That’s when he built the Wild, all the major acquisitions were from 2010-2012. He’s got the best Change in GAR and good Max GAR, but because he acquire Parise, Suter, Spurgeon, Granlund, Brodin, Dumba, Haula, Zucker, Coyle and Nino pre 2013, he doesn’t get the credit for acquiring the players that led to the great change in GAR.

  2. Benning made deals for baertschi and granlund that Calgary would take back. Gudbranson hasn’t been great but the club might get better burn out of him with travis green as coach. He made the trades of the deadline by acquiring Goldobin from the sharks for the aging Hansen and allegedly fleeced Ottawa when he traded burrows for Dahlen. Though Tryamkin is Khl again…that’s a legit player drafted in the third round and guys like stetcher , markstrom, horvat, Hutton and the aforementioned granlund and baertschi are developing well on the Canucks, though to that point ex coach Willie Desjardins deserves some credit. The team was inherited on the decline, but what you say is true about his lack in direction. I’m not saying he’s tops in the league, but you look at guys like McPhee and Lombardi and they really effed up.

  3. I’m curious why Dorion gets tagged with drafting as his worst attribute. Were there better choices than White, Chabot and Brown in their respective positions, one year out now?

      • Ah, good point. I had them as all being taken the same year, but of course you’re right. As the blurb for Dorion says, in effect, small sample size. Brown may be a home run or ‘meh’. Time will tell. I am really pulling for the home run version though.

  4. Chiarelli – No quarrel with the lucic analysis. Agree with calling Hall-Larsson a trade loss but team building win. Gustaffson and Korpikowski were also clear losses. However, besides Talbot, you left out Sekera, Letestu, Maroon, Kassian, Caggulia, Benning and Russel signings + Klefbom extension (all wins). Who are the THREE 1st overalls given up – I count 2 and Yakupov doesn’t seem like he is working out anywhere. Team is also more balanced (e.g LW/RW, LHD/RHD) and deep at center and G down through the minor league. Team improved by 33 points (although some of that was helped by better health than disaster last year).

    Doesn’t seem like 27th place to me.

    • 1. Thanks for reading.
      2. Cam Talbot trade was amazing.
      3. I think one of the things we made clear in part 1 and part 3 and also on the recent pdocast (here: https://soundcloud.com/hockeypdocast/episode-171-gm-rankings-front-office-power-structure-and-playoff-systems) about the subject is that 1-2 bad moves can invalidate 5-6 good moves a GM has made.

      Brandon Davidson is the player EDM thinks Kris Russell is. Patrick Maroon is what Chiarelli thought he was getting by signing Lucic, and Maroon won’t be clogging up the cap 7 years from now.

      Klefbom already is what Larsson hopes to eventually be and he’s a year younger. I even conceded that Larsson could make the team better in the short term, but that they’re more likely to need possession drivers like Hall to actually win a cup than a “stay at home defenseman”.

      So, while Chiarelli was handed a potentially great up and coming team when he started in 2015, he’s turned it into a probably pretty good one. And it still might not matter because McD is sooo good.

      • Love Klefbom but he is LHD not RHD. The Oilers (gaping) hole was on #1 RHD and every GM in the NHL knew it. As such, I don’t believe a better deal than Larsson for Hall was to be had. There were also no #1 RHD in the system. You rightly point out that he inherited McD and Klef but overlook that he inherited a massive mess on defense. Agree that the Larsson-Hall trade was a loss but the team on the ice got better and Chiarelli is now better set up to walk away from future bad deals because the Oilers no longer have any obvious, gaping holes.

        One of the things discussed repeatedly on the podcast was – “does the GM have a plan”. Chiarelli publicly talked about his and executed to it. Not everything was a hit but to paraphrase the words of the podcast “you had good idea of where he was going”. 1) Get a starting G (Talbot) 2) Fix the D pipeline and balance (Larsson, Sekera, Russel, Benning, Gryba, Reinhart, 2015-16 drafts) 3) Get bigger forwards with skill (Lucic, Maroon, Kassian) 4) Compete against heavy western conf possession monsters (LA, SJ, STL, ANA) – winning records against all in 2016-17

      • Totally agree with this. To say the Oilers defence was the worst in the league does not do justice to how bad it really was. The Ducks might have had a better d group in the AHL two years ago. It was beyond awful. I’m not a chiarelli apologist, but he completely rebuilt the group. Now I would say it’s above average.

        Despite the author’s attempts to create an unbiased, number based approach to rating GMs, it’s a completely subjective exercise. Ultimately it’s the opinion of the writers and nothing more. Meh. There’s way too much personal judgement in each ranking.

  5. No offence, but anyone who calls Adam Larsson a second pairing dman clearly hasn’t watched him play. Today he is the best dman on a team that now has above average defence. I’m not going to critique the rankings, but Chiarelli has totally remade the Oilers. I hated thd Hall trade and still don’t like it, but Adam Larsson is an amazing shutdown dman who still has upside.

    • Oh no, what happened to Oskar Klefbom? But seriously though, the Cam Talbot was REALLY GOOD, and the Oilers were better defensively, but still below average in terms of shots allowed. And I’ve watched Adam Larsson play defense just fine, the problem is mainly what happens after that.

      • The Oilers owned the front of their net for the first time in a decade. And although that is a team effort, Larsson is the one single player most responsible for that. I didn’t see a single dman match up against Getzlaf in front of the net better than Larsson. Getzlaf was a load and a half and Larsson battled him better than anyone on the Flames or Predators. I’m not sure what advanced stats take that into account, but for a team that routinely got killed in front of the net, this is immeasurable.

  6. Just read the methodology post and there must be something I missed because the goal of a general manager is team success, but team success is not factored into the equation? Or if you define team performance as a result of coaching, then why isn’t coach selection a rating?

  7. The claim that Bergevin’s strength is developing players requires at least some substantive evidence. I would argue that most people in Montreal thinks it is his biggest weakness, almost a fatal weakness. While other teams are giving young guys like Guentzel, Sheary, Werenski, Fiala etc. a chance, we trade for big, slow old guys (Ott, King), and leave our young guys in the minors (Hudon), or send them away (Andrighetto) for no return (Martinsen), or turn them into role players on the 4th line (McCarron). God save us from Bergevin’s player development.

  8. It seems odd that best best GM in the NHL scores a 4 out of 5. How many GMs over history have scored 5/5? It’s a really tough test if no one can pass it.

    I’m also curious how much of GAR change is an artifact of formerly really good teams naturally declining from a former peak. Is Vancouver’s best option to relocate to a city that isn’t emotionally attached to the Sedins so they can not resign them?

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