General Managers Reviews

Previously, I wrote an article of NHL TEAM REVIEWS. This time it is General Managers Reviews. Read about how well or how poor every GM did his job. All of the GMs are letter graded, like A’s, B’s, C’s, D’s, and F’s. See what your team’s GM got and why. General Manager Pierre Gauthier of the Anaheim Mighty Ducks

It’s tough to work with a team owned by rich owners, yet the team is not rich. Why did the Ducks not succeed with Selanne and Kariya, both were the league’s top scorers. Well, the team only had two good scorers and no depth on the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th line. Their defense was weak, and Guy Hebert was losing his job. This team just needed a huge and quick change. GM Gauthier did a fine job by changing this team around. It takes guts to trade a player like Selanne, and to make it a beneficial one too. Gauthier is making the right moves, to start improving the defense first, and then improve the offense. He added goaltending depth by now having Steve Shields and young J-S Giguere on the line up, both are good goalies. The defense has improved by just adding Keith Carney and Jason York. What else does Gauthier have to do? He needs another solid defenseman and he should trade some of his younger defensemen. For example, Gauthier could make a run at Kaspiritis. It would shock everyone because you’d expect to see Kaspiritis play on a Cup contending team, but it would not shock the Ducks, it would make them mightier. Giguere still has some holes to fill in, and already has a good start by picking up Shields, Carney, York, and Friesen. I would give GM Gauthier a B for making some quick changes.

General Manager Don Waddell of the Atlanta Thrashers

It takes a lot of patience to rebuild a team from scratch almost very season. Seeing your top players go, like Audette and Brunette, is hard. The Thrashers are a low budget team owned by a rich owner. That confuses me. This team could be richer than the Rangers or the Stars. But, Waddell is planning something smart. He is building a future team. He gives every rookie a chance to make the team. Now, with Ivan Kovalchuk, this team could really have a bright future, but Waddell has to work it right. The Thrashers need a goalie, and they need defensemen. What is Waddell’s mistake? The team lacks a lot of defense, and the future defensemen leave question marks. Waddell makes the right choice during the Entry Draft of picking out the best player there is out there, but Waddell needs to pick a top defenseman next draft. It seems as if Waddell has a plan, but it looks very messy and not organized. So, I give Waddell a C for being patient, improving the future, but not helping the defense and the goaltending at all.

General Manager Mike O’Connell of the Boston Bruins

Don’t get me wrong, the Bruins do have a good team, but their GM is not helping it. O’Connell seems to have trouble with players, too much trouble. Early last season, the Bruins lost Anson Carter because of contract disputes and got Bill Guerin in return. That was great, but now this does not seem so great, why? Bill Guerin has a very high chance of leaving the team at the deadline or next summer. The Bruins acquired Allison from the Capitals, and now Allison could be easily lost. What is this guy doing? Does he want to ruin this team? O’Connell shops Lapointe and signs him to a high contract but he does not want to use that kind of money for Allison, the captain and the top scorer. Bruins were doing so well, and their future seems to go back into the slumps again, because of O’Connell. This is the wrong job for Mike O’Connell, you cannot worsen an improved team by not re-signing every important player. I give GM Mike O’Connell a D+ for putting this team in danger.

General Manager Darcy Regier of the Buffalo Sabres

Buffalo still remains a playoff team, even after losing Peca and Hasek. Critics say that this team will have a rough season because of Peca and Hasek missing. Well, the Sabres do not miss Peca, they made the playoffs without him. Hasek, well, they will miss a goalie who can win a game all by himself, but this is why Rieger has done such a good job by improving the offense. Now, the Sabres have players who can score goals, Satan, Kozlov, Connolly, and possibly Afinogenov. The Sabres need to be a scoring team, and they are showing signs that they will score more goals. Critics say that the Hasek trade was a rip off. Well, how much is a player worth when he is an unrestricted free agent? Not much. Was Kozlov a good pick up? Yes, I like Kozlov and I always consider him an important playoff player. Bottom line is, Rieger balanced this team and made it better, so I give him a B+ for improving the offense and the future.

General Manager Craig Button of the Calgary Flames

This is a young team with little or no experience, and so is the coach or the GM himself. This is Button’s 2nd year as GM. Button needs to start from scratch, even with his latest acquisitions of Turek, Niedermayer, and Boughner. Turek might turn out to be a great goalie for the Flames but that is a risk Button is taking. Niedermayer needed a new scenery, and he could be a very important player for the Flames. Boughner is a good addition for the team, they are now tougher. The best way to build this team is to make it a very rough team with size and strength. It will take some years to get this team back in competition, and I hope it happens before the team is moved to another US city. All I can say is that the Flames should make moves during the season, and smart moves. I guess I can give GM Button a C- for trying to make the team better by also taking a risk.

General Manager Jim Rutherford of the Carolina Hurricanes

At first, it seemed as if Rutherford made some bad moves before, like losing Keith Primeau, but now it seems the other way around. The Canes are in an easy division, but they always managed to compete for the playoffs, with success. Rutherford has built this team pretty darn good, it has to be good if it makes the playoffs. Rutherford knows how to handle this team and he knows what coach Paul Maurice wants. He has O’Neill, Willis, and one of my favorite young players, Tenabe. Ozolinsh still has to come up and score more, or else it would be a bad acquisition Rutherford made. Should Rutherford trade Brind’Amour? Well, if Rutherford is more concerned on the team’s future, then he should. GM Rutherford has done a pretty good job for a team with a low fan base and not a high budget. I give GM Rutherford a B for keeping this team on a competative level.

General Manager Brian Smith of the Chicago Blackhawks

Now this team is about to lose Amonte, why? Because GM Smith thinks Amonte is not worth the salary he is requesting. Smith has to keep Amonte and he has to keep building this team if he wants to end up in the playoffs. If Smith does trade Amonte, he will not get another Amonte type player. Somehow, Smith reminds me of Bruins GM O’Connell. If Smith keeps Amonte and makes other small trades to benefit the team, then he is on the right path. If Smith trades Amonte, he will also not get much value in return, maybe a player who “might” score 25 goals. GM Smith seems dazed and confused here, as if he does not know what to do or where to begin. He wants to rebuild the team but he does not know where to start, so he thinks trading Amonte is a start….well it’s not. Very little changes for the Hawks, just acquiring Klemm and Thomas will not make a huge difference. I give GM Smith a C if he keeps Amonte, but a D+ if he trades Amonte.

General Manager Pierre Lacroix of the Colorado Avalanche

I really like the way this team is built, and I mentioned this in previous articles. Give credit to the players and the coach for winning the Cup, but give a lot of credit to Lacroix for the way this team is built. There is the usual way of winning the Cup by having almost an All-Star team, like the 2001-2002 Red Wings, then there is the werid way, the young and cheap Devils, and then there is my favorite way, youngsters and older veterans mixed in. I do not know of another team that has players such as Sakic, Forsberg, Reinprecht, Hinote, Tanguay, Yelle, Hejduk, Nieminen, Podein, and Drury, along with Blake, Foote, and Skoula. Lacroix knows what a team should look like, and even if it is expensive, it is a successful team with a bright future. Even if the Avs lose Forsberg to a trade, and I am sure it will be a good trade for the Avs, they are still a great team. They have a lot of depth and are now very experienced. What Lecroix needs to do is improve the defense. He let Jon Klemm go, and Bourque retired, so he needs to re-fill those holes. Gill was a good addition, and he can add the toughness and size needed on the defense. GM Lacroix has done a great job, I give him an A for building and keeping a very good chemistry.

General Manager Doug MacLean of the Columbus Blue Jackets

A great start for an expansion team, thanks to GM MacLean. MacLean knows how to build a good team, as he had once with the Florida Pathers back in 1995-1996 season, when the Avs won their first Cup. MacLean has picked up two good goaltenders, Tugnutt and Denis. He could shop Tugnutt around if Denis is really ready to play as a starter, and that would just improve the team. The Jackets are in good hands because of MacLean. It will take him sometime to make this team better, because of the low budget, but it will not take him years. GM MacLean started of really well for a low budget expansion team, so I give him a B for the way he built this team from the very begining.

General Manager Bob Gainey of the Dallas Stars

GM Gainey has tried to built a playoff team, and he accomplished that. GM Gainey has also tried to build a Cup contending team, and he accomplished that. GM Gainey also tried to make his team win the Cup, and he accomplished that back in 1999. Gainey likes to spend the money and see wins. He uses the free agency market strategy, and that is smart but could be risky as well. This summer, Gainey has done a great job in filling the line ups, so the team has a lot more depth. The main acquisitions of Audette, Turgeon, and Lumme were really smart. He saw the Wings and the Blues making a run at the Cup, along with the Avs, and he also saw the other playoff teams, such as the Canucks, to be a tough competitor. So, to avoid any upsets and to have a better competition with the other big teams, GM Gainey signed important players, and he did the right thing. I give GM Gainey a B+ for keeping the Stars a Cup contender.

General Manager Ken Holland of the Detroit Red Wings
GM Holland knows that the Wings need to win another Cup, especially while Bowman is still with the team. Holland did some similar moves as former Rangers GM Neil Smith had done for the 1994 Cup winner. He also is doing what Stars GM Gainey is doing, using the free agency market strategy. He acquired key players such as Hasek, Robitaillie, and Hull. It is a shame how Osgood is being treated at this point, after all those great years he played with the team, now he gets criticized by some fans and pretty much being kicked out from the team. But, Holland is the GM and he does what he thinks is right. Ken Holland built a playoff team, and possibly a Cup winner, so I give him a B+ for keeping the team alive, but questionable for the future.

General Manager Kevin Lowe of the Edmonton Oilers

I won’t give too much credit to Lowe for the Oilers team, Glen Sather mostly built that team. It’s not Lowe’s fault that the Oilers lost Doug Weight, I give him credit for keeping the rest of the team and by adding more youth with Reasoner, very bright future, and Hecht. Although, I must criticize Lowe for one thing, he has not acquired a solid back-up goaltender. The Oilers are still a good team, but Lowe did not make any big changes to the team, except signing Steve Staios. I’d give GM Lowe a B- for keeping a good team together, but failing to improve some important needs, one is back-up goaltending.

General Manager Bill Torrey of the Florida Panthers
GM Torrey is the wrong guy to blame for the way the Panthers turned out to be, and that is one word…pathetic. The Murray brothers completely destroyed the Panthers, as they have with other teams. GM Torrey is trying to make some big changes for the team. He acquired Valeri Bure, which was a great move for the offense, Pavel Bure, and Viktor Kozlov. This time however, Torrey started to build a team from the offense and then to the defense. Usually it is better to do from defense to offense, but in this case, Torrey did it the right way. The Panthers could now have the best line in the NHL. Torrey brought in some good players like Norton and Weimer, but especially a young prospect who is said to be good, Kristian Huselius. Torrey can still make this team better by trading Trevor Kidd. What should he get in return? Well, he should receive some good defensemen, more important than forwards. I think Spacek was a huge loss, and his spot needs to be replaced. If Torrey can make the defense more solid and better, then the Panthers will do better. If Torrey trades Kidd for some 2nd line players, then it will make the Panthers a good scoring team with no defense. GM Torrey is trying to make the team better, and that would give him a C+, but he needs to make the defense a lot stronger.

General Manager Dave Taylor of the Los Angeles Kings

Losing Robitaille was a huge loss for the Kings, and not a smart move done by GM Taylor. I understand Robitaille wants to win the Cup, but the Kings did beat the Red Wings, so why not give it another shot? If Taylor offered the right money to Lucky Luc, and signed him, then the Kings would be a different team. Taylor’s team lacks another player who can score 30 goals. Ziggy Palffy will be the main scorer, and Heinze was a great addition, but I highly doubt that Heinze will score 30 goals. Other than this, GM Taylor better cross his fingers that Potvin will have a good season. He has not made any major changes to the team, and GM Taylor could still improve this team by trading either Storr or Fiset, probably Fiset. If GM Dave Taylor wants to come in the playoffs as a tough team to beat, then he has to make another move. As of now, I give Taylor a C+ for building a tough team, but a team with not enough scoring depth.

General Manager Doug Risebrough of the Minnesota Wild

The Wild appear to be on the same pace as the Blue Jackets. The best thing for Risebrough to do is to make the defense stronger. He made a smart and excellent move by acquiring Willie Mitchell from the Devils. The Wild have a very bright future ahead of them, and like I said with the Jackets and GM MacLean, this team is in good hands. Coach Lemaire will build the Wild as a 94-95 Devils version team, very tough defensively. They have good goaltending from Fernandez, and the offense needs major improvements. Gaborik will be the Wild young star player, but he cannot be the only player to score 36 points. That is why Risebrough signed Andrew Brunette, which was a great move. The defense looks solid, and they can chip in goals with young Kuba and Sekeras. GM Doug Risebrough has done a good job to build this team, and he also chose the right coach, so he deserves a B.

General Manager Andre Savard of the Montreal Canadiens

This team needs a magic potion for health. GM Savard knows what he has to do in order to get this team back in the playoffs. He needs to make more changes to this team before they will end up in the playoffs. So far, Savard has done little to improve this team, but he tried. He signed some decent players like Juneau and Perrault, which will balance the team more. Was it a smart move to take Quintal back? Well, only if Quintal plays at his best, then it was a great move. Savard has some future players waiting to become NHLers, but as of now, he should worry about the current team and how to improve it. Trading Hackett will help, and he must trade Hackett for something beneficial. There are teams out there who would want to have a goalie like Hackett, and if Savard plays smart by playing the waiting game for the best offer, then he will get what the team needs. So far, Savard has not traded Hackett yet, so he only receives a C for making little changes to the team, but with Hackett traded, and it depends what he gets in return, then he would have a better grade.

General Manager David Poile of the Nashville Predators

Nashville was a decent team from the start, and all they did was just get better. Poile built a very tough team, a team that wears down the opponent. The Predators do not have a great talent, but they do have a bright future. The defense is not great and the offense is not great, so why is this team good? Because it is a team that never gives up. I understand Poile likes a gritty team, but if the team is already gritty, then there is no need to make it grittier by just signing Stu Grimson. Poile should have made some moves to acquire players that can score goals. He did nothing to improve this team this season, so he will not get a high grade, however, he can still trade Vokoun for players that can score, and if he does, then he could have a higher grade. But, as of now, Poile receives a C+ for taking the time to build a gritty team, but with no scoring depth.

General Manager Lou Lamoriello of the New Jersey Devils

Lou did such a great job building this team, but this season the Devils look a bit different, especially their personalities. Holik was upset with the way the arbitration went, and that means Holik could most likely be traded. The Devils still look like a “weird” Cup winning team, with young players, but this time some players got a raise, which they deserved. Lou did not have to make big changes for this team, even if they lost Mogilny. Lou just made one important move, signing Albelin who can be a big help for the team. Maybe the Devils do need another scorer, but Lou believes that another one is not needed, I think another is needed to have a more secure team. So, Lou did not do much at all to change this team, so he gets a B for making a minor improvement on the defense, but for losing a 40 goal scorer.

General Manager Mike Milbury of the New York Islanders

This team is heading into the right direction, but they do have a crazy General Manager. Mad Mike made two major acquisitions, unsigned Alexei Yashin and future captain Mike Peca. Those are two good moves done by Mike, to not only drag fans to the stadium, but to push this team back into the playoffs faster. Yashin will be a huge help for the team, and was acquired because he is a big number one center. The only risk by having Yashin on a team is holdouts, which I doubt he’ll have by signing a ridiculous contract, and that he could be a nomad soul wondering on the ice where to go. But, it was a beneficial trade for the Islanders, they had to get Yashin. Mike Peca was the best acquisition Milbury could have done. Peca also wants to play for the money, but he also wants to show what he’s got. Peca will be the player to change the momentum of the game. Although he will not score 30 goals, he can always chip in 25. I just dislike one thing about Milbury, the players he gave up. Too many young players were traded, such as Tim Connolly, Taylor Pyatt, Zdeno Chara, Bill Muckalt, and Mathieu Biron. Milbury still needs to have an NHL proven goaltender who can lead the team better than Snow and DiPietro. I know many Isle’s fans say a lot about Salficky, but he is not a proven NHL goaltender. Could he be a Chechmanek type? Maybe, but he was not the goalie who led the Czech team. Milbury still has to fix the defense as well, especially after losing Zdeno Chara. Sure, Aucoin will help the powerplay but he is not a number one defenseman. There still needs to be more work on the defense, goaltending, and the wingers. I give Milbury a B- for improving the offense on two lines, but he did not improve the defense nor the goaltending at all.

General Manager Glen Sather of the New York Rangers

The first thing that Sather pointed out when he became the Rangers GM was that there needed to be many changes with new faces. The first thing he had to do to accomplish that was to get rid of all the players Neil Smith acquired. Then, he had to bring in the players he wanted on the team. He did what he said he would in a year, and he is not done yet. The Rangers lacked team players, and Sather got rid of those players, such as Kamensky, Quintal, K. Hatcher, and soon to be waived or traded, Lefebvre. Besides all that, Sather added players who are good two way forwards, like Johansson and Zdeno Ciger. Now, people say Sather made a huge mistake for not landing Jagr. Well, Sather did offer pretty much the samething that he offered Clarke, except Patrick wanted more. If the Rangers traded for Jagr, then right now they would have less depth on the 2nd line, and would have lost some key future players, such as Dvorak and Kloucek. Either way, any team could have made a better offer than what the Caps offered Patrick. So, Sather knows the Rangers need a number one center, and Lindros came to his mind and after months and months speaking to Eric, he finally got Lindros on the team. Is this beneficial? If Lindros can score 35 goals or more, than it could be a steal, but if Eric ends his career, then it could be a loss. Brendl was the right prospect to trade, he is not a team player and he has a low work ethic, Rangers did not need that. Again, Johnsson could easily be replaced by other young defensemen. Hlavac could be a loss on the wing, and Sather needs to replace that. Sather still has to make a decision regarding Richter, and who knows, maybe Nedved, so he is still not finished. Bottom line is this, Sather improved the team by making some small, quick, but beneficial moves. I give GM Glen Sather a B for improving the Rangers, making them more interesting, and giving them a bright future.

General Manager Marshall Johnston of the Ottowa Senators

So what if Yashin is gone, this is still a pretty good team. GM Johnston made a pretty good trade for Yashin, he received a tough defenseman, a decent 2nd line player, and a future player in Jason Spezza. So, Johnston made a big trade and has a young team, but at least it is a tougher team. Chara is the defenseman that the Sens needed, and Muckalt might make it to the 2nd line, but he could be a perfect 3rd liner. Other than that, the Senators look the same. Johnston should look for another scorer, and I think that is what the Sens need. There is not much else to say about this team and Johnston, they mostly lost one big player, and they did lose Jason York, however, Chara replaces that spot. I give GM Johnston a B+ for making a smart trade.

General Manager Bobby Clarke of the Philadelphia Flyers

There was a difference the last time Lindros was on the team and the time when Lindros wasn’t, last year. The Flyers had less total points, were lower in standings, had more GAA, did not have a better powerplay, and the PK was not as good. This was without LeClair on the roster though. Clarke had just about enough, he wants to be in the finals because he is sick of hearing that the West is better and that the Devils are the only Cup contending team of the East. Clarke made some smart moves by acquiring just three players, Roenick, Dopita, and Weinrich, through signings. Roenick does add more depth as a center, Dopita is unproven in the NHL so he is still to be seen, and Weinrich the veteran defenseman that the Flyers needed. Now comes the Lindros trade. Clarke received Jan Hlavac, Kim Johnsson, and Pavel Brendl. My favorite out of those three, if I were to be a Flyers fan, would be Kim Johnsson. Johnsson did have a “so-so” season last year, but he is always steady, meaning he rarely has ups and downs, cold streaks and hot streaks. Johnsson will be the best skater the Fleyrs will have on the defense, and possibly a PP goal scorer. Hlavac has a question mark, is he really that good? With Nedved, Hlavac was a star, and definately a future 30 goal scorer, but without Nedved? Who knows if Dopita can make Hlavac a star too. But, Hlavac will definately score 20 goals with his talent, but he is not a good player to have in your defensive zone. Brendl is a risk, I think. As mentioned on the Sather review, Brendl is a goal scorer, yet it seems he will never make the NHL. It’s rare to see a top scorer in junior league to not show any signs of improvements for three straight years. But, if Clarke believes that Brendl will mature and finally work his butt of, then he has a future 35-40 goal scorer in his hands. Clarke wants to make a run at the Cup, and he got the right players to do so. I grade Clarke between a B+ and an A-. If the Flyers have a great season, then Clarke deserves an A-, but if they have a season where more was expected, then he gets a B+.

General Manager Cliff Fletcher/Mike Barnett of the Phoenix Coyotes

I cannot grade anyone here because everything was done by Gretzky. I mean, Fletcher got some good young players, like Nagy, Handzus, Mara, and Wilson, but he did not do much. I grade the Coyotes a C- because they have too many young players on the team. They have so many holes to fill in, too many. Berezin could be the leading scorer along with Doan, but that is all they have. The Coyotes lost too many players, such as Carney, Alatalo, Lumme, Green, Juneau, Reichel, Renberg, and Roenick.

General Manager Craig Patrick of the Pittsburgh Penguins

Bottom line is this, without Mario Lemieux, this team would never make the playoffs. I understand that Patrick has a tight budget, but he could have done a much better job. Did he ask too much from Glen Sather? Well, Patrick’s excuse of “not wanting expensive young players” is unacceptable. Patrick wanted too much from the Rangers, especially Dvorak and Kloucek. Jagr, is not worth Dvorak, Kloucek, and possibly Mike York, along with Brendl or Lundmark. Sather’s offer was Hlavac, York, Johnsson, and future goaltender prospect Johan Holmqvist. How could you go from an offer that is fair to an offer that is ridiculous. Besides what Sather offered, any team, even the Lightning (just a saying), could have made a better offer than what the Caps offered. It was a very unbalanced trade, and you simply could not argue that. I’m asking any Pens fan who are reading this, you decide this. Do you prefer to get Hlavac, Mike York, Johnsson, Holmqvist, and Brendl/Lundmark, or do you prefer three unproven NHL players? You tell me what is more valuable. Patrick succeeded in the arbitration, which is a good thing, and he actually got the important players signed, Straka, Lang, Kovalev, and Kaspiritis. Straka and Kaspiritis are two very dissapointed players, especially Straka. This is not Patrick’s fault obviously, but what if Straka demands a trade, along with Kaspiritis? This is where Sather’s offer would have benefited the Penguins. If the Penguins lose Straka and Kasper, they got the back up with York, Hlavac, and Johnsson, and Lundmark should be NHL ready. I simply think that Patrick could have done a better job with the Jagr trade. If Patrick wants the Jagr trade to look better, then he should trade Hrdina to the Caps for someone better than Zubrus. I grade GM Patrick between a B- and a C+. If the team does well enough, then Patrick receives the higher grade, but if the Penguins do poorly then Patrick gets the lower grade.

General Manager Larry Pleau of the St. Louis Blues

GM Pleau is taking some sort of a risk. He traded almost all of his youth for veteran, and expensive, players. I understand he is making a run at the Cup, but I always put the Blues along with the Avs because of their chemistry. Both teams had veterans and youngsters play together. Pleau built a good defensive team and made the offense stronger by adding Tkachuk and Weight. What about goaltending? I think Pleau got two young goalies so he can trade one to a team that would give a veteran goalie in return. Keane was a pretty good addition, a good forechecker who can always chip in some goals. Dough Weight was the most important addition to the team. Pleau worried too much about winning a Cup right at this moment when he could win it two years from now with a mix between veterans and youngsters. But, Pleau has done a good job changing this team around, but is it better? I give GM Pleau a B for adding more experienced players, but he lacks goaltending and traded away too much youth.

General Manager Pat Quinn of the Toronto Maple Leafs

Quinn just made this team a whole lot better, by simply adding Mogilny. Sure, Reichel and Renberg were good players, but I question them whether or not they will do well back in the NHL level. GM Quinn knows what he wants as a coach and as a GM, and he built a better playoff team than last year. Last season’s playoffs, you can disagree with me on this one it’s just my opinion, the Leafs almost beat the Devils with a killer line of Roberts, Tucker, and Corson, but Tie Domi changed the lockerroom atmosphere after that hit on Niedermayer, if he didn’t…the Leafs had a better chance to win the series. So the Leafs improved by adding more offensive depth, but the defense still remains the same. There is a reason why I will not give Quinn a B+, and that is goaltending. Did that sound crazy when you read that? Anyway, the Leafs do have one of the league’s top goaltenders, but one question comes to my mind. “If Cujo is out for half the season, what happens?” Quinn knows he needs a secure label on goaltending, and Tellqvist is not the answer. No matter how good Tellqvist is, you cannot take a risk on a back-up rookie. Quinn should look for a better back up goaltender, Essensa would have been great, and that is why I give him a B, for improving the offense, with little changes on the defense, but with an unsecured back-up plan for goaltending.

General Manager Brian Burke of the Vancouver Canucks

With the way this team is built, GM Burke deserves an A, but that’s not what he is getting now. Burke is risking with the goaltending situation, yet, he might be making the right choice to keep Cloutier as a starter. Burke cannot offord to lose any key players on his team, and if a team requests for them, then Burke should answer no. I too would rather have a young team that will be better with a improving young goalie than a team with a veteran goalie but soem young key players missing. Losing Bob Essensa was not the right move, that is the only thing that will affect Burke’s grade. Remember, this GM review is based on what a GM has done to change the team for this up coming season. Burke has not made any key changes, so he deserves a B if Cloutier plays decent, but a B- if goaltending will be a factor for the team.

General Manager George McPhee of the Washington Capitals

Just because of Jaromir Jagr, it does not make the Caps a much better team nor it does not give McPhee an A. Sure, it was actually a steal to acquire Jagr for just three prospects and a check, but there is still something missing with this team. Since Oates still wants to be traded, the Caps will not have a lot of depth in centers. My guess is that either Halpern or Linden will play the first line and the other the 2nd line, but the Caps have a weak center on the 3rd and 4th line. How do the LW look? Well, it depends if Simon has a surprising season, and if not, then the Caps lack some LWingers. The RWingers are great, with Jagr and Bondra it gives the Caps two top lines. McPhee deffinately help this team’s offense, but chemistry will be something to solve. McPhee did not make any other major changes, he just got Jagr. Well, it’s one addition and a big one too, but in order for McPhee to win that trade, he must sign Jagr to an extension. The Caps remain the same team with one the league’s top goalie, Olaf Kolzig. I give McPhee an A- for making a major improvement on the offense by just giving up three prospects.

I based the grades on what the General Managers have this last season and this summer to change their teams. So, even if a GM got a C+ or a B-, it does not mean that the team is also graded a C+ or a B-. I tried to be very reasonable and fair, but if you have any comments on how you want to change a grade, please do so, but with respect.

Thank you,

Micki Peroni