Habs' Marc Bergevin among three finalists for NHL's GM of the Year award
MONTREAL -- Marc Bergevin is having a really good day.
On Thursday, the National Hockey League announced that the Montreal Canadiens' architect was among the three finalists for the Jim Gregory General Manager of the Year award.
The announcement came as Bergevin was basking in the Habs' 3-2 win over the Las Vegas Golden Knights, which tied the third round playoff series at a game apiece as it moves into home territory at the Bell Centre on Friday.
Also nominated are New York Islanders GM Lou Lamoriello and Bill Zito of the Florida Panthers.
Since his arrival with the Habs in May 2012, this is the third time that Bergevin has been ranked among the three finalists. In 2013, he was third-place in the poll, and second in 2014.
Making the list that many times is a feat on its own.
He’s the fourth GM to do so, after Bob Murray of the Anaheim Ducks, David Poile of the Nashville Predators, and Steve Yzerman, formerly of the Tampa Bay Lightning.
It's been an up-and-down year for Bergevin. Just weeks ago, as the Canadiens limped into the playoffs as the lowest seed to make the post season, many believed his days in the job were numbered.
It was a far cry from the beginning of the season, which was loaded with optimism due to Bergevin adding players such as Tyler Toffoli, Josh Anderson, Joel Edmundson, Corey Perry and Jake Allen.
The team got off to a hot start, but faltered as the season wore on. A COVID-19 outbreak forced them to play a brutal condensed schedule with 25 games in just 43 days.
It seemed the Habs were destined for an early playoff exit, falling behind 3-1 to the Toronto Maple Leafs in their first round series. But the insertion of rookie Cole Caufield into the lineup seemed to spark the squad, who won three straight against the heavily favoured Leafs and then swept the Winnipeg Jets.
Wednesday's win against Las Vegas leaves the Habs just three victories shy of their first trip to the Stanley Cup Finals since 1993.
-- With files from the Canadian Press