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What Makes A Great / The Best GM


tmash

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Unless he wins a Cup, I highly doubt he'll succeed... and even then. :lol:

Isn't that the job of the GM? Let's say hypothetically he doesn't win a cup, how could I possibly say he's a better GM than those who have won their teams cups, including one like Holland who's led them to (most likely) 3 in the last 11 years? There's simply no way someone objective could say Gainey has done a better job with Montreal than Holland has with Detroit, because Holland has the results, and in this hypothetical, Gainey doesn't

So tell me JL, what is a GM's goal, if not to win a cup? Because if he can be "the best" without a cup (in Montreal), then I must be off base in thinking that winning a cup is the GM's job.

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Isn't that the job of the GM? Let's say hypothetically he doesn't win a cup, how could I possibly say he's a better GM than those who have won their teams cups, including one like Holland who's led them to (most likely) 3 in the last 11 years? There's simply no way someone objective could say Gainey has done a better job with Montreal than Holland has with Detroit, because Holland has the results, and in this hypothetical, Gainey doesn't

So tell me JL, what is a GM's goal, if not to win a cup? Because if he can be "the best" without a cup (in Montreal), then I must be off base in thinking that winning a cup is the GM's job.

It can be the goal to win the Cup, but if he doesn't succeed in doing so doesn't mean he isn't a great GM. Raymond Bourque finally won a Cup in his last year of his long career. Was he or wasn't he the best defenseman of the NHL for most of his career? A GM can't lace them up. He puts the best team possible on the ice and hopes that all of the pieces fall into places. There are too many intangibles that can make a Cup run go sideways, things that are outside a GM's hands.

But you can continue to say that the best GM in the league is the one who wins the Cup, it's your right and I won't stop you (obviously). I prefer taking everything into consideration.

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It can be the goal to win the Cup, but if he doesn't succeed in doing so doesn't mean he isn't a great GM. Raymond Bourque finally won a Cup in his last year of his long career. Was he or wasn't he the best defenseman of the NHL for most of his career? A GM can't lace them up. He puts the best team possible on the ice and hopes that all of the pieces fall into places. There are too many intangibles that can make a Cup run go sideways, things that are outside a GM's hands.

The difference is a dman really is depending on a good supporting cast. The GM has complete control of the team (in most cases). There are some factors outside of their control (attraction of UFAs, ability to spend to the cap, etc.), but he has a lot more control than his best defenseman. And the defenesman's goal is ultimately go out and put up points, play defensively, etc. and hopefully that leads to a cup. The GM's goal is to "win the cup" simple as that. It doesn't matter how good or bad the moves look at the time (as we're seeing with Price) ultimately the point is that those moves need to lead to the cup.

What are these intangibles that the GM can't control? Even things like injuries are somewhat in the GMs control (certain players / types of players / age of players are statistically more likey to be injured; the trainers and medical staff are under him in the hierchy; he can block a coach or player from lacing the skates up when it could further aggrevate an injury etc.) Other intangibles like experience, leadership, etc. are all under the GM's control. Does luck play a part? Yes. But a good GM will manage to play the odds and build a team that will win the cup.

But you can continue to say that the best GM in the league is the one who wins the Cup, it's your right and I won't stop you (obviously). I prefer taking everything into consideration.

Looking back, I was probably caught up in Anaheim's cup win when I said Burke was the best GM. He had made some incredible short term moves that made them win and that really affected my judgment. He is great at making the quick fixes and great looking trades, etc. However, I still question his ability to build a team and make them contenders long term. His time in Vancouver had its positives, but overall he wasn't able to ever really bring everything together.

Holland on the other hand has spent over 10 years constructing an amazing team that is at the top of the conference year after year and has won their fair share of cups in that time. He doesn't build his team with high draft picks or throwing a bunch of money at UFAs, he makes strategic moves that pay dividends.

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...The GM has complete control of the team (in most cases)... What are these intangibles that the GM can't control?

  • They can draft well, but not have a top 3 pick ever.
  • They can surround themselves with competent people, but those people can make mistakes.
  • They can draft a top end prospect who will stop developing (Wickenheiser, Daigle are big names, but many not as well known)
  • They can make the best offer to a UFA but he takes another team's offer instead
  • They can sign the best player available as a UFA but there is no chemistry with the team's top guns and they stir crap in the media
  • They can have all of the pieces together but a star player is having an off year (Kovalev last year)
  • They can have the team to win but a rash of injuries/flu hits the team, even guys not injury prone
  • They may have a self-imposed cap from ownership
  • They may rely on certain younger players on the team to continue their development but they suffer a temporary set back
  • They may try to trade at the deadline or in the off-season but other teams overpay out of desperation, making them miss on a key player
  • Etc, etc, etc...

Need I go on? For a great GM to hope winning the Cup, the stars also have to align and unless they have a crystal ball, there are numerous factors that are totally out of their control.

So as I've stated, I have a feeling that it will never be enough for some when it comes to Gainey. Just an opinion here, no more, no less.

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They can draft well, but not have a top 3 pick ever: Two things here, one is a GM could purposely make the team worse for a couple of seasons in order to make them better in the long run. Secondly, Detroit is an example of a team without the top picks, yet the team has been a force every year.

They can surround themselves with competent people, but those people can make mistakes: Yes and the top guy has to deal with that, replace them if necessary, show them the way. He is the general manager after all, if the people are making mistakes that are hurting the organization, the manager needs to deal with it, if he doesn't, he isn't doing his job

They can draft a top end prospect who will stop developing (Wickenheiser, Daigle are big names, but many not as well known): All GMs have to deal with the possibility that someone busts who know one expected. But in general a good GM will know or hire people who can predict who will busts and who will succeed. It's a game of odds, it's highly unlikely you will continuously get busts just by pure chance. If you keep drafting busts like we did in the 90s, something is wrong with the organization.

They can make the best offer to a UFA but he takes another team's offer instead: The GM can't control all factors (eg. weather, taxes, etc.), however, he can control others. The coach, the other players, the direction of the organization, etc. are all under the GMs control. If I were a UFA last season, no way would I sign with Montreal after the mess of the year before. Now it looks far more attractive.

They can sign the best player available as a UFA but there is no chemistry with the team's top guns and they stir crap in the media: Finding players with chemistry is their job. By your definition, Sather was doing a great job with the Rangers pre-lockout because he signed the best players. No, actually he did a horrible job because he didn't look for chemistry. There are no sure bets, but management can predict chemistry. Stiring crap in the media may be harder to predict, but it also shouldn't be enough to derail a team either.

They can have all of the pieces together but a star player is having an off year (Kovalev last year): A well built team can withstand losing a star, whether by injury or not showing up. You can also maximize your odds by signing consistent players.

They can have the team to win but a rash of injuries/flu hits the team, even guys not injury prone: This is an excuse for a season, not for a career. Over a career if your team constantly is horribly injured, it's not just bad luck.

They may have a self-imposed cap from ownership: This is one of the few factors they truly have very little control over. Although even this, if they can find a way to put fans in the seats and sell merchandise and that, the imposed cap will likely go up

They may rely on certain younger players on the team to continue their development but they suffer a temporary set back: You must predict development as part of drafting or trading. You also need to be realistic in depending on young players.

They may try to trade at the deadline or in the off-season but other teams overpay out of desperation, making them miss on a key player: No GM is entitled to those players, and if you aren't willing to pay the most, you aren't going to get the players, simple as that. A player's value is what he is going to get. If you aren't willing to pay the players current value, whether considered overpriced or not, you aren't entitled to that player.

Need I go on? For a great GM to hope winning the Cup, the stars also have to align and unless they have a crystal ball, there are numerous factors that are totally out of their control.

You mentioned maybe one that was totally out of their control (the cap). It's not about a crystal ball, it's about maximizing your odds. Maybe some GMs are luckier than others, but when you make the right moves the majority of the time, the good moves will overrule the bad ones enough to make the team great. Go and flip coins, maybe you'll get heads 4 times in a row, but flip that coin 100 times, I bet you will get around 50 heads and 50 tails. Gms make enough moves that when bad luck really does hit, it shouldn't derail the team. A team won't win it every year, but if you continue ice a great team, they will win it one of these years.

I have never heard a manager anywhere use the excuse "well everything went wrong, but it's not my fault, I wasn't able to look into a crystal ball and predict ....". That is a manager's job, to make the predictions. It's what makes being a great businessman so difficult. Why are guys like Bill Gates and Steve Jobs so successful? Not because they are great technical guys, but because they are visionaries, they can see what others miss and Apple and Microsoft are doing so well not because their managers can look in a crystal ball, but they make the moves to maximize the odds of success. Warren Buffet isn't the richest man in the world because he bought stuck and lucked out, he isn't richest man in the world because he owns a crystal ball, it's because he's able to maximize his odds of success by being visionary enough to pick the right stocks.

GMs have to be visionaries in a sense as well. They have to be able to make moves before knowing all the information, they have to be able to manage their team, they have to be able to make the good moves overshadow the bad moves. And this isn't just plain luck because certain factors aren't 100% within their control. If you aren't prepared for curveballs and things out of your control, don't become a manager.

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They can draft well, but not have a top 3 pick ever: Two things here, one is a GM could purposely make the team worse for a couple of seasons in order to make them better in the long run. Secondly, Detroit is an example of a team without the top picks, yet the team has been a force every year.

They can surround themselves with competent people, but those people can make mistakes: Yes and the top guy has to deal with that, replace them if necessary, show them the way. He is the general manager after all, if the people are making mistakes that are hurting the organization, the manager needs to deal with it, if he doesn't, he isn't doing his job

They can draft a top end prospect who will stop developing (Wickenheiser, Daigle are big names, but many not as well known): All GMs have to deal with the possibility that someone busts who know one expected. But in general a good GM will know or hire people who can predict who will busts and who will succeed. It's a game of odds, it's highly unlikely you will continuously get busts just by pure chance. If you keep drafting busts like we did in the 90s, something is wrong with the organization.

They can make the best offer to a UFA but he takes another team's offer instead: The GM can't control all factors (eg. weather, taxes, etc.), however, he can control others. The coach, the other players, the direction of the organization, etc. are all under the GMs control. If I were a UFA last season, no way would I sign with Montreal after the mess of the year before. Now it looks far more attractive.

They can sign the best player available as a UFA but there is no chemistry with the team's top guns and they stir crap in the media: Finding players with chemistry is their job. By your definition, Sather was doing a great job with the Rangers pre-lockout because he signed the best players. No, actually he did a horrible job because he didn't look for chemistry. There are no sure bets, but management can predict chemistry. Stiring crap in the media may be harder to predict, but it also shouldn't be enough to derail a team either.

They can have all of the pieces together but a star player is having an off year (Kovalev last year): A well built team can withstand losing a star, whether by injury or not showing up. You can also maximize your odds by signing consistent players.

They can have the team to win but a rash of injuries/flu hits the team, even guys not injury prone: This is an excuse for a season, not for a career. Over a career if your team constantly is horribly injured, it's not just bad luck.

They may have a self-imposed cap from ownership: This is one of the few factors they truly have very little control over. Although even this, if they can find a way to put fans in the seats and sell merchandise and that, the imposed cap will likely go up

They may rely on certain younger players on the team to continue their development but they suffer a temporary set back: You must predict development as part of drafting or trading. You also need to be realistic in depending on young players.

They may try to trade at the deadline or in the off-season but other teams overpay out of desperation, making them miss on a key player: No GM is entitled to those players, and if you aren't willing to pay the most, you aren't going to get the players, simple as that. A player's value is what he is going to get. If you aren't willing to pay the players current value, whether considered overpriced or not, you aren't entitled to that player.

You mentioned maybe one that was totally out of their control (the cap). It's not about a crystal ball, it's about maximizing your odds. Maybe some GMs are luckier than others, but when you make the right moves the majority of the time, the good moves will overrule the bad ones enough to make the team great. Go and flip coins, maybe you'll get heads 4 times in a row, but flip that coin 100 times, I bet you will get around 50 heads and 50 tails. Gms make enough moves that when bad luck really does hit, it shouldn't derail the team. A team won't win it every year, but if you continue ice a great team, they will win it one of these years.

I have never heard a manager anywhere use the excuse "well everything went wrong, but it's not my fault, I wasn't able to look into a crystal ball and predict ....". That is a manager's job, to make the predictions. It's what makes being a great businessman so difficult. Why are guys like Bill Gates and Steve Jobs so successful? Not because they are great technical guys, but because they are visionaries, they can see what others miss and Apple and Microsoft are doing so well not because their managers can look in a crystal ball, but they make the moves to maximize the odds of success. Warren Buffet isn't the richest man in the world because he bought stuck and lucked out, he isn't richest man in the world because he owns a crystal ball, it's because he's able to maximize his odds of success by being visionary enough to pick the right stocks.

GMs have to be visionaries in a sense as well. They have to be able to make moves before knowing all the information, they have to be able to manage their team, they have to be able to make the good moves overshadow the bad moves. And this isn't just plain luck because certain factors aren't 100% within their control. If you aren't prepared for curveballs and things out of your control, don't become a manager.

Great points man. Also Bob had a lot of good luck yet still blew the opportunity that was given to him this past season. He lucked out by not signing Souray because Souray got hurt. He also lucked out that we had so few injuries this season as well. Also Kovy had an amazing season and he actually got the breaks this season compared to other seasons. What happens when we don't have this much luck? Will the team fold like they have in previous seasons?

Also you bring a very good point about having to overpay to get superstar UFAs. Bob refuses to do that and instead blames players like Briere for not signing here instead of taking responsibility himself.

Maybe Bob doesn't care to make this club a winner. Afterall, it's a business. So the goal is to make a profit. They can increase ticket prices and still sellout. What's the incentive for Bob to make this club a winner? He might be better off not signing any big name UFA in order to keep costs low while still increasing revenue. If that is his goal and the goal of the organization, I guess they picked the right GM for the job.

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They can draft well, but not have a top 3 pick ever: Two things here, one is a GM could purposely make the team worse for a couple of seasons in order to make them better in the long run. Secondly, Detroit is an example of a team without the top picks, yet the team has been a force every year.

They can surround themselves with competent people, but those people can make mistakes: Yes and the top guy has to deal with that, replace them if necessary, show them the way. He is the general manager after all, if the people are making mistakes that are hurting the organization, the manager needs to deal with it, if he doesn't, he isn't doing his job

They can draft a top end prospect who will stop developing (Wickenheiser, Daigle are big names, but many not as well known): All GMs have to deal with the possibility that someone busts who know one expected. But in general a good GM will know or hire people who can predict who will busts and who will succeed. It's a game of odds, it's highly unlikely you will continuously get busts just by pure chance. If you keep drafting busts like we did in the 90s, something is wrong with the organization.

They can make the best offer to a UFA but he takes another team's offer instead: The GM can't control all factors (eg. weather, taxes, etc.), however, he can control others. The coach, the other players, the direction of the organization, etc. are all under the GMs control. If I were a UFA last season, no way would I sign with Montreal after the mess of the year before. Now it looks far more attractive.

They can sign the best player available as a UFA but there is no chemistry with the team's top guns and they stir crap in the media: Finding players with chemistry is their job. By your definition, Sather was doing a great job with the Rangers pre-lockout because he signed the best players. No, actually he did a horrible job because he didn't look for chemistry. There are no sure bets, but management can predict chemistry. Stiring crap in the media may be harder to predict, but it also shouldn't be enough to derail a team either.

They can have all of the pieces together but a star player is having an off year (Kovalev last year): A well built team can withstand losing a star, whether by injury or not showing up. You can also maximize your odds by signing consistent players.

They can have the team to win but a rash of injuries/flu hits the team, even guys not injury prone: This is an excuse for a season, not for a career. Over a career if your team constantly is horribly injured, it's not just bad luck.

They may have a self-imposed cap from ownership: This is one of the few factors they truly have very little control over. Although even this, if they can find a way to put fans in the seats and sell merchandise and that, the imposed cap will likely go up

They may rely on certain younger players on the team to continue their development but they suffer a temporary set back: You must predict development as part of drafting or trading. You also need to be realistic in depending on young players.

They may try to trade at the deadline or in the off-season but other teams overpay out of desperation, making them miss on a key player: No GM is entitled to those players, and if you aren't willing to pay the most, you aren't going to get the players, simple as that. A player's value is what he is going to get. If you aren't willing to pay the players current value, whether considered overpriced or not, you aren't entitled to that player.

You mentioned maybe one that was totally out of their control (the cap). It's not about a crystal ball, it's about maximizing your odds. Maybe some GMs are luckier than others, but when you make the right moves the majority of the time, the good moves will overrule the bad ones enough to make the team great. Go and flip coins, maybe you'll get heads 4 times in a row, but flip that coin 100 times, I bet you will get around 50 heads and 50 tails. Gms make enough moves that when bad luck really does hit, it shouldn't derail the team. A team won't win it every year, but if you continue ice a great team, they will win it one of these years.

I have never heard a manager anywhere use the excuse "well everything went wrong, but it's not my fault, I wasn't able to look into a crystal ball and predict ....". That is a manager's job, to make the predictions. It's what makes being a great businessman so difficult. Why are guys like Bill Gates and Steve Jobs so successful? Not because they are great technical guys, but because they are visionaries, they can see what others miss and Apple and Microsoft are doing so well not because their managers can look in a crystal ball, but they make the moves to maximize the odds of success. Warren Buffet isn't the richest man in the world because he bought stuck and lucked out, he isn't richest man in the world because he owns a crystal ball, it's because he's able to maximize his odds of success by being visionary enough to pick the right stocks.

GMs have to be visionaries in a sense as well. They have to be able to make moves before knowing all the information, they have to be able to manage their team, they have to be able to make the good moves overshadow the bad moves. And this isn't just plain luck because certain factors aren't 100% within their control. If you aren't prepared for curveballs and things out of your control, don't become a manager.

Theory vs reality. What you're saying is all fine and dandy in theory, in a perfect world, but unfortunately, it's not reality. Life is reality. Day to day is reality and GMs, like anyone else, don't control the points I've made as much as you think they do. For example, it's easy to say to sign players who are consistent but how many are there in the NHL? Most are under contract with their teams and when they become available, comes the UFA points I've pointed out.

So you can come up with all text book in a perfect world theory, I'll stick with life as that's reality. You can argue (and I know you will) until your face turns blue on that point but I won't. I could debate your side just as easily in ignoring the facts of day to day life in creating this perfect world as well, but in the back of my mind, I know that it isn't the way it goes.

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I tend to agree that being a great GM is as much about timing and luck as it is about the GM's own ability. As a GM, you simply can't predict chemistry with any degree of certainty. You can play the odds, but those odds can fail to go your way through no fault of your own.

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What does it take? A strong liver and stomach. Because I know if I were one, I would be constantly downing the tequila with pepto chasers while hoping I made the right decision.

Not to say I would play a GM like I was playing roulette (Comeon red 27!!!) But like the stock market, you plan the future based on the past with a mix of the unknown tossed in. and from all that, you make youre best guess.

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Theory vs reality. What you're saying is all fine and dandy in theory, in a perfect world, but unfortunately, it's not reality. Life is reality. Day to day is reality and GMs, like anyone else, don't control the points I've made as much as you think they do. For example, it's easy to say to sign players who are consistent but how many are there in the NHL? Most are under contract with their teams and when they become available, comes the UFA points I've pointed out.

So you can come up with all text book in a perfect world theory, I'll stick with life as that's reality. You can argue (and I know you will) until your face turns blue on that point but I won't. I could debate your side just as easily in ignoring the facts of day to day life in creating this perfect world as well, but in the back of my mind, I know that it isn't the way it goes.

your argument works year to year, the problem is in multiple years things tend to balance out. If a GM is stupid enough to put all their eggs in one basket by stacking the team for one season, then yes luck plays a big part. But over 10 years? Detroit hasn't won 4 cups (assuming the 4th) just because of luck. Year after year they ice a competitive team. They don't win it every year, but by always icing a great team they improve their odds and they will win it their fair share of the time. That's why, if say 5 years from now Gainey hasn't won a cup, I will consider his tenure here to be ultimately a failure. That doesn't mean he didn't do a lot of great things, but in the end his job is to bring Montreal a cup, if he doesn't deliver, he didn't get the job done.

It would be easy to blame San Jose's playoff problems on bad luck, bu why was it they go Thornton so cheap? Because he's never stepped up when it counts and it comes back to haunt them every year. You could say "the GM got the best playmaker in the game, not his fault", but really it was. Ottawa's continued failures arent just bad luck. That may play a part, but in the end Ottawa's GM's have always failed to really get the final pieces to make them a cup winner. Luck will play a part, but great GMs will have a team every year that is capable of winning the cup, and one of those years it will work out for them.

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your argument works year to year, the problem is in multiple years things tend to balance out. If a GM is stupid enough to put all their eggs in one basket by stacking the team for one season, then yes luck plays a big part. But over 10 years? Detroit hasn't won 4 cups (assuming the 4th) just because of luck. Year after year they ice a competitive team. They don't win it every year, but by always icing a great team they improve their odds and they will win it their fair share of the time. That's why, if say 5 years from now Gainey hasn't won a cup, I will consider his tenure here to be ultimately a failure. That doesn't mean he didn't do a lot of great things, but in the end his job is to bring Montreal a cup, if he doesn't deliver, he didn't get the job done.

It would be easy to blame San Jose's playoff problems on bad luck, bu why was it they go Thornton so cheap? Because he's never stepped up when it counts and it comes back to haunt them every year. You could say "the GM got the best playmaker in the game, not his fault", but really it was. Ottawa's continued failures arent just bad luck. That may play a part, but in the end Ottawa's GM's have always failed to really get the final pieces to make them a cup winner. Luck will play a part, but great GMs will have a team every year that is capable of winning the cup, and one of those years it will work out for them.

I happen to think that a GM who manages (with the help of the coaching staff, players, trainers, etc) to take his team from not making the playoffs to finishing first in the conference, to fill a depleated prospect pool with good young talent while not selling the farm, even if he doesn't win the Cup, can still be called a successful GM. Of course the ultimate goal is to win the Cup but it should NOT be the bar to judge if he's done good work or not. Brian Burke was a great GM well before he won the Cup in Anaheim.

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Of course..

What did the Detroit owners say when interviewed how they have won the cup 4x in the past 10 years.

They said we have to thank mr xxxx.. dont remember his name, because he made us beleive that we have to build the team through the draft. They originally didnt beleive in this method, they then changed there method, and started to build there team through the drafting system, and now look @ them..

There bad to the bone

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I happen to think that a GM who manages (with the help of the coaching staff, players, trainers, etc) to take his team from not making the playoffs to finishing first in the conference, to fill a depleated prospect pool with good young talent while not selling the farm, even if he doesn't win the Cup, can still be called a successful GM. Of course the ultimate goal is to win the Cup but it should NOT be the bar to judge if he's done good work or not. Brian Burke was a great GM well before he won the Cup in Anaheim.

See I think you do. I think GMs can be seen as being great at certain aspects: in Gainey's case it's the ability to slowly build a competative young team, in Burke's it's the ability to be on the winning side of almost any deal he makes and to "get it done" (drafting the Sedin's together, etc.). But to have a great and successful tenure, I think you need to prove you can put it all together. I don't think Burke was considered "great" in Vancouver, afterall they did let him go. He was considered a good GM and was rehired right away, but I think he really got the attention when he won Aneheim the cup. And I wouldn't consider Burke's tenure in Vancouver to be great: I think he did some great things for them, but he also was responsible for Cloutier being there as long as he was and other mistakes that stopped them from being a contender.

And just to be clear I'm not talking about a good GM here, I'm talking about the best in the league, and right now I'd have to say that looks like Ken Holland. I know it's a bit biased coming off the cup win, but they are the closest thing to a dynasty since Gretzky played (and he didn't take the cheap way and make the team tank in order to assemble them either)

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See I think you do. I think GMs can be seen as being great at certain aspects: in Gainey's case it's the ability to slowly build a competative young team, in Burke's it's the ability to be on the winning side of almost any deal he makes and to "get it done" (drafting the Sedin's together, etc.). But to have a great and successful tenure, I think you need to prove you can put it all together. I don't think Burke was considered "great" in Vancouver, afterall they did let him go. He was considered a good GM and was rehired right away, but I think he really got the attention when he won Aneheim the cup. And I wouldn't consider Burke's tenure in Vancouver to be great: I think he did some great things for them, but he also was responsible for Cloutier being there as long as he was and other mistakes that stopped them from being a contender.

And just to be clear I'm not talking about a good GM here, I'm talking about the best in the league, and right now I'd have to say that looks like Ken Holland. I know it's a bit biased coming off the cup win, but they are the closest thing to a dynasty since Gretzky played (and he didn't take the cheap way and make the team tank in order to assemble them either)

Burke was recognized around the league as being a great GM while in Vancouver. No GM is perfect. They all make mistakes which brings me back to the bullet points I made earlier. I strongly disagree that one has to win the Cup to be considered a great GM as there is only one winning the Cup each year, and there are many more great GMs around. If you want to discuss winning the Cup at least once, let me remind you that Gainey has also won one as a GM with Dallas.

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I think expierence is the key.

Not like the old man the Leafs have, but someone who has had success at the NHL level and expierence as a coach as well (like Gainey).

I think he has all the key elements to be a great GM.

To be fair, "the old man the Leafs have" has had success at the NHL level, he had a great run in Calgary (including a cup win in 89), and then he turned the Leafs from basically a joke, into contending team in the early 90's. Fletcher also worked under Sam Pollock with the Habs, so while he didn't coach, that's about as good a way to learn the ropes as I can think of.

However, GMs have to reprove themselves in my opinion in this new cap era, this is a whole new world for GMs.

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Remember that this topic started talking about "the best" GM. "Great" is really up to interpretation, and in a sense basically any GM in the league could be called great in their own right. But to be "the best" yes the GM needs a cup. Gainey has won one and ultimately his tenure in Dallas can be considered a success due to that. However, if he really is one of the top GMs in the game, he'll manage to repeat it in Montreal.

Remember what started this: me saying that Holland is the best GM in the game. And yes, at this point in time I'd rank him above Gainey. Maybe in 10 years, things will be different, but without a cup? I doubt it unless Detroit suddenly sinks.

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Remember that this topic started talking about "the best" GM. "Great" is really up to interpretation, and in a sense basically any GM in the league could be called great in their own right. But to be "the best" yes the GM needs a cup. Gainey has won one and ultimately his tenure in Dallas can be considered a success due to that. However, if he really is one of the top GMs in the game, he'll manage to repeat it in Montreal.

Remember what started this: me saying that Holland is the best GM in the game. And yes, at this point in time I'd rank him above Gainey. Maybe in 10 years, things will be different, but without a cup? I doubt it unless Detroit suddenly sinks.

The reality is, everything a GM does is geared towards winning a cup at some point during their tenure as GM, maybe not every move is with the intention of winning the cup during that specific year, but if you're trading for picks/prospects, you're intention is that somewhere within your reign as GM those parts will be a part of a cup champion team.

So to be one of the great GMs, I agree, you need to win cup(s), and I think Ken Holland is the prototype for a great GM, he's done it in the old NHL, he's done it in the new cap era, he's done it through trades and free agents, he's done it at the draft table.

Gainey is a good GM but in the end, his tenure in Montreal will be remembered on whether or not he wins a cup, and I'm positive he'll be the first to tell you that. That's not to say he's a FAILURE and a horrible GM if he doesn't, but to be great, you have to do great things and that includes accomplishing what you set out to accomplish.

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A Cup is won in one season, but a Cup team isn't built in one season. Therefore, I find that trying to figure out the 'best' GM is merely an exercise in post-talk and mythologizing, with the benefit of hindsight, decisions that could easily have turned out differently due to a number of factors. For example, last season everyone was touting Brian Burke and his Ducks for building a Cup winner based on size, strength, physical intimidation, and Canadian talent. This season, everyone is touting Ken Holland and his Red Wings for building a Cup winner based on two-way play, teamwork, puck possession, and European talent. Was everyone wrong last year, or are they wrong this year? :P Hindsight, as the cliché goes, is always 20/20, and pretending that any human being can exert absolute control over such a volatile situation as the quest for the Stanley Cup is just that: pretense.

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The reality is, everything a GM does is geared towards winning a cup at some point during their tenure as GM, maybe not every move is with the intention of winning the cup during that specific year, but if you're trading for picks/prospects, you're intention is that somewhere within your reign as GM those parts will be a part of a cup champion team.

So to be one of the great GMs, I agree, you need to win cup(s), and I think Ken Holland is the prototype for a great GM, he's done it in the old NHL, he's done it in the new cap era, he's done it through trades and free agents, he's done it at the draft table.

Gainey is a good GM but in the end, his tenure in Montreal will be remembered on whether or not he wins a cup, and I'm positive he'll be the first to tell you that. That's not to say he's a FAILURE and a horrible GM if he doesn't, but to be great, you have to do great things and that includes accomplishing what you set out to accomplish.

summed up exactly what I was trying to say.

A Cup is won in one season, but a Cup team isn't built in one season. Therefore, I find that trying to figure out the 'best' GM is merely an exercise in post-talk and mythologizing, with the benefit of hindsight, decisions that could easily have turned out differently due to a number of factors. For example, last season everyone was touting Brian Burke and his Ducks for building a Cup winner based on size, strength, physical intimidation, and Canadian talent. This season, everyone is touting Ken Holland and his Red Wings for building a Cup winner based on two-way play, teamwork, puck possession, and European talent. Was everyone wrong last year, or are they wrong this year? :P Hindsight, as the cliché goes, is always 20/20, and pretending that any human being can exert absolute control over such a volatile situation as the quest for the Stanley Cup is just that: pretense.

I think the answer to that is that there isn't one way to build a team. There are multiple ways to win and even the "new" NHL doesn't change that. You're right that figuring out the "best" GM in the present isn't fair (and I'm sure that's why there is no "best GM Award"). However, in Holland's case, he's been in there long enough and had enough success that I do feel comfortable calling him the best. Maybe when we look back on it, Gainey and Burke will be considered better. However, at the present time, Gainey and Burke have not accomplished as much. At some point they may, but simply as of now Holland has gotten results more than the two of them, and I think he is the best.

And there's no way that a GM can exert absolute control in any given season; however, GMs in cities not owned by a Pension Plan (Toronto) or having ownership problems every season (Nashville) do have multiple years to get the job done, and if they can ice a team capable of winning the cup ever year, some of those years they will win it. Not ever year, because stuff happens, but Holland doesn't have three cup rings just by chance ... by icing an extremely competitive team every season he's ensured that he will get a cup his fair share of the time.

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