Joe Sakic of the Colorado Avalanche won the 2021-22 Jim Gregory General Manager of the Year Award, the NHL announced during Thursday night’s draft. The Sakic-constructed Avalanche posted their best regular-season record in franchise history (56-19-17) and proceeded to win the Stanley Cup.
Julien BriseBois of the Tampa Bay Lightning – whose team lost to Sakic’s in the 2022 Stanley Cup Final – finished second in voting with 87 voting points, 22 behind Sakic’s 109. The New York Rangers‘ Chris Drury finished third in the voting with 53 points.
Voting for the award took place after the second round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs.
Sakic made several savvy moves before and during the 2021-22 season to position his team for its eventual Stanley Cup Final run. He traded for starting goaltender Darcy Kuemper and signed free-agent center Darren Helm last July, and in March he acquired defenseman Josh Manson, left wing Artturi Lehkonen and center Andrew Cogliano.
The 53-year-old Sakic has served as the Avs’ general manager since 2013, but this was his first year as a finalist for the Jim Gregory Award. He collected more than his fair share of accolades during his playing career, though. A Hockey Hall of Famer, Sakic won two Stanley Cups along with a Hart Trophy, Ted Lindsay Award and Conn Smythe Trophy over the 20-year NHL career he spent entirely with the Quebec/Colorado franchise.
Thursday proved to be quite the day for Sakic. In addition to winning the Jim Gregory Award, he celebrated his birthday and traded for New York Rangers goaltender Alexandar Georgiev, a move that signals the end of Kuemper’s brief but prosperous time in Colorado.