New York, NY - Tampa Bay's Steve Yzerman, Vancouver's Mike Gillis, and Nashville's David Poile have been named the finalists for the NHL's General Manager of the Year award.
Phoenix's Don Maloney was honored with the inaugural honor in 2010.
Yzerman, inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 2009 after spending his entire playing career with Detroit and captaining the Red Wings to three Stanley Cup titles, has made a smooth transition to the front office.
Hired in May of last year, Yzerman helped rebuild a Tampa Bay franchise that improved by 23 points from the 2009-10 campaign and had the second-best record in team history, finishing the regular season at 46-25-11. The Lightning earned a playoff berth for the first time since 2007.
Some of Yzerman's key moves included hiring American Hockey League head coach Guy Boucher shortly after taking the GM post. He then added veteran defenseman Pavel Kubina, traded for long-time Flyers forward Simon Gagne and picked up goaltender Dwayne Roloson from the Islanders in a trade midway through the season. Yzerman also added defenseman Eric Brewer at the trade deadline.
Gillis built Vancouver into the league's top team in the 2010-11 regular season. The Canucks captured the Presidents' Trophy with a franchise-record 117 points, going 54-19-9 and locking up their third consecutive Northwest Division title.
He strengthened the club's defensive unit in the offseason by acquiring blueliners Keith Ballard and Dan Hamhuis, along with defensive-minded center Manny Malhotra. Vancouver allowed the fewest goals in the NHL (185) despite suffering several key injuries throughout the season.
Poile was instrumental in the Predators going 44-27-11 during the regular season and helped the franchise earn its sixth playoff berth in the last seven seasons. Nashville ended up in fifth place in the Western Conference.
Under Poile's watch, the organization's top young talent continued to flourish in the 2010-11 campaign, including the top four scoring defensemen -- Shea Weber, Ryan Suter, Cody Franson and Kevin Klein. Poile also traded for winger Sergei Kostitsyn, who was the team's leading scorer this season, and acquired versatile center Mike Fisher from Ottawa at the trade deadline.
The winner will be announced June 22 during the NHL Awards program in Las Vegas.