Bergevin, Lamoriello, Zito voted NHL GM of the year finalists

Travis Zajac talks about why he thinks Lou Lamoriello has been such a force in the NHL over his long career.

Marc Bergevin of the Montreal Canadiens, Lou Lamoriello of the New York Islanders and Bill Zito of the Florida Panthers have been voted as the three finalists for the NHL's 2020-21 Jim Gregory General Manager of the Year Award.

Voting for the award was conducted among league GMs and a panel of league executives and media following the second round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs. The winner will be announced on June 21 ahead of Game 5 between the Tampa Bay Lightning and Islanders.

Bergevin made a flurry of moves over the last year that have helped fuel the Canadiens' run to the third round of the playoffs thanks to victories over the Toronto Maple Leafs and Winnipeg Jets. The additions of Tyler Toffoli, Josh Anderson, Joel Edmundson and Corey Perry are just some of the moves that have highlighted a successful season for Bergevin's Canadiens. This is the third time Bergevin has been a Jim Gregory finalist after finishing third in voting in 2012-13 and second in 2013-14.

Lamoriello's Islanders are in the Stanley Cup Semifinals for the second-straight year under his guidance and have recorded 26 playoff wins since he took over as GM ahead of the 2018-19 season – only the Lightning (27) have more over that span. Among his impactful moves this year were a pair of trades ahead of April's deadline, adding Kyle Palmieri and Travis Zajac. In his 33rd season as a GM, Lamoriello is a three-time Stanley Cup champion, a Hall of Famer and will look to become the first two-time winner of the GM of the year award since it's creation in 2009-10.

Zito took over as Panthers general manager in September 2020 and oversaw a team that set franchise records in highest points percentage (.705), most goals-per-game (3.36) and most shots-per-game (34.9) on the way to a second-place finish in the Central Division and fourth in the NHL overall. Zito added the likes of Carter Verhaeghe, Alex Wennberg, Patric Hornqvist, Anthony Duclair and Sam Bennett to the squad ahead of and throughout the campaign. Zito is the second Panthers GM to be nominated for the award (Dale Tallon, 2011-12) and could become the first rookie GM to win.

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