The good news just keeps pouring in for the Ottawa Senators, as the NHL announced today that Pierre Dorion was among the three finalist for the GM of the Year award. Peter Chiarelli of the Edmonton Oilers and David Poile of the Nashville Predators are the other candidates.
By any objective measure, the Senators are a better team than they were last year when Dorion first took over the position from Bryan Murray. And it’s also true to say that Dorion has certainly done a lot of things, even if some of those things haven’t been as clearly successful as others.
A (perhaps incomplete) list of the moves Dorion’s made in his time as the team’s GM:
-Hired Guy Boucher as Head Coach
-Traded Mika Zibanejad and a second round pick for Derick Brassard and a seventh round pick
-Traded a fifth round pick for Mike Condon
-Traded Buddy Robinson, Zack Stortini and a seventh round pick for Tommy Wingels
-Traded a third round pick for Viktor Stalberg
-Traded Curtis Lazar for a second round pick
-Traded Jonathan Dahlen for Alexandre Burrows, and signed Burrows to a 2 year contract extension
How you ultimately feel about Dorion’s tenure so far probably hinges greatly on your opinion of the Zibanejad trade and your projection of Jonathan Dahlen. Nonetheless, the Senators are in the Eastern Conference Finals in part because they are a much deeper than at any time in probably the last 10 years so it’s easy to see why Dorion got the nod.
My imaginary ballot would go: 1. Poile 2. Dorion 3. Chiarelli if only because Poile was on the right end of one of the most lopsided trades in recent memory, and Chiarelli was on the wrong side of one of the other most lopsided trades in recent memory. Dorion didn’t make a trade nearly as monumental as the other two, but he steadily worked away to improve the core. That’s good enough.