Capitals general manager Brian MacLellan put together a team that, on paper, looked like the best in the league. That has earned him the respect of his peers as on Wednesday MacLellan was named one of three finalists for the 2015-16 General Manger of the Year Award. The award is voted on by all 30 general managers in the league as well as a panel of NHL executives, print and broadcast media.
Jim Nill of the Dallas Stars and Jim Rutherford of the Pittsburgh Penguins are the other finalists.
MacLellan, 57, put together one of the best rosters in franchise history. In the 2015-16 season, the Caps won the Presidents' Trophy with the league's top record of 56-18-8. Those 56 wins were a franchise record. In the offseason, he signed free agent Justin Williams and sent a trade package that included Troy Brouwer, a prospect and a draft pick to St. Louis in exchange for T.J. Oshie. In their first season with the team, Williams and Oshie registered 52 and 51 points respectively.
Most impressively, MacLellan was able to ship out the massive contract of Brooks Laich to Toronto without retaining any salary and still got value in return in the form of Daniel Winnik.
MacLellan would be the first Caps GM to win the award in its young history as it was only first introduced for the 2009-10 season. He is only the sixth general manager in franchise history.