Boston Bruins General Manager Don Sweeney is one of three finalists for the NHL General Manager of the Year award.
He shares the finalist title with Florida Panthers General Manager Bill Zito, who oversees a team who is currently in the Stanley Cup Finals against the Vegas Golden Knights. He also shares it with Dallas Stars general manager Jim Nill.
Sweeney had won the GM of the year award back in the 2018-19 season where the Boston Bruins were taken to the Stanley Cup Final to lose in Game 7 against the St. Louis Blues. He would be the 2nd General manager to win the award a 2nd time. New York Islanders general manager Lou Lamoriello won it in each of the last two seasons.
I think he should get the award and here’s why.
Key transactions that made the Boston Bruins team so good this season
During last offseason and the regular season, Sweeney made the Bruins a great team that broke numerous records this season. It all started with hiring former Dallas Stars head coach Jim Montgomery on July 1, after letting go Bruce Cassidy, who is currently the head coach of the Vegas Golden Knights, who are the Western Conference champions.
The first transaction he did was trade for Pavel Zacha from the New Jersey Devils in exchange Erik Haula and then signed Zacha to a one-year contract worth $3.5 million. In January, Zacha signed a four-year extension with an annual NHL cap hit of $4.5 million.
Zacha set career highs in goals (21), assists (36) and points (56), and got to play in his first playoff series in the series loss against the Florida Panthers.
He then resigned three key veterans who have helped out team in many ways. The Bruins re-signed Patrice Bergeron to a one-year, $2.5 million contract and brought back David Krejci after spending last season back in his home country in the Czech Republic. The biggest however is the 8-year extension of David Pastrnak worth $90 million which amounts to $11.25 million a season.
Pastrnak played lights out this season scoring 61 goals this season, becoming only the 2nd Bruins player to score 60+ goals in a season joining Phil Eposito in that honor.
Also, Sweeney and the Bruins made splashes before the trade deadline. They acquired Dmitry Orlov and Garnet Hathaway from the Washington Capitals in exchange for Craig Smith, a 2023 first-round, 2024 third-round and 2025 second-round draft picks. Then, the Bruins traded for Tyler Bertuzzi from the Detroit Red Wings in exchange for a 2024 first-round and 2025 fourth-round draft picks.
All these moves are what made the Boston Bruins the best regular season team of all time, and he turned the team around, which is why he deserves this award.
We will find out the winner on June 28 during the first round of the NHL Upper Deck award at the Bridgestone Arena in Nashville, Tennessee starting at 7 pm on ESPN.