Islanders general manager Lou Lamoriello made NHL history Tuesday night when he was named the Jim Gregory GM of the Year for the second straight season, becoming the first two-time winner.
Voted on by a panel of NHL general managers, executives and media members, the award, which was renamed in 2019 after the death of former NHL executive Jim Gregory, is presented to the GM who best excelled at his role during the regular season.
Lamoriello’s Islanders are facing elimination Wednesday night in their second consecutive Stanley Cup semifinal series appearance against the Lightning.
The 78-year-old was named on 30 of 41 ballots, garnering 12 first-place votes for a total of 104 points. Marc Bergevin of the Canadiens was second with 79 points and was the top selection on the most ballots (13).
After the Isles reached the third round for the first time since 1993 during last season’s bubble playoffs, Lamoriello earned the honor for the first time in his 33 years as an NHL general manager. Since he became president and GM of the Islanders in 2018, the team has qualified for the playoffs in all three seasons.
Lamoriello, a three-time Stanley Cup winner as GM of the Devils, has compiled a career regular-season record of 1,326-921-179-166 and a lifetime Stanley Cup playoff record of 166-142. Lamoriello surpassed Glen Sather for second on the NHL’s all-time wins list as a general manager, behind only the Predators’ David Poile (1,428), when he earned his 1,320th regular-season win in early April when the Isles defeated the Flyers.
“I think you look at his track record, it speaks for itself,” said Travis Zajac, whom Lamoriello acquired along with Kyle Palmieri from the Devils at the trade deadline to add depth for the Isles’ playoff run. “I think when you look at Lou, he’s always one step ahead of everything else that’s going on, so credit to him. I think he’s got a lot of belief in how he does things and it trickles down to the staff and to the players.”
Lamoriello also brought in Jean-Gabriel Pageau and veteran defenseman Andy Greene at last season’s trade deadline.
Before joining the Isles, Lamoriello ran the Devils from 1987-2015 and then served as GM of the Maple Leafs for three seasons. When he arrived on Long Island, his first move was hiring coach Barry Trotz, who had just led the Capitals to the Stanley Cup in 2018.
“He’s a Hall of Fame GM,” Trotz said recently. “A lot of it is because of his detail.”
The Islanders have won 26 postseason games since the Lamoriello-Trotz tandem took over the organization. The Lightning are the only team with more playoffs wins over that time (27).