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Islanders’ Lou Lamoriello named finalist for NHL GM of the Year Award

Lou Lamoriello (REUTERS/Brendan McDermid)

New York Islanders general manager Lou Lamoriello was named one of three finalists for the Jim Gregory Award for GM of the Year, the NHL and team announced on Wednesday afternoon.

Each of the NHL’s general managers votes for the award with winner being announced before Game 4 of the Western Conference Final between the Vegas Golden Knights and the Dallas Stars on Saturday.

Lamoriello is in just his second season at the position, which he adopted after parting ways with former GM Garth Snow when he was initially hired as the Islanders’ president of hockey operations.

While he hasn’t necessarily made a ton of moves, the culture he and head coach Barry Trotz instilled turned the Islanders around from a doormat team in the Eastern Conference to a regular postseason contender.

They’ve made the playoffs in each of the last two seasons — those consecutive trips to the postseason is just the second time in the last 13 years that’s happened.

While the Islanders started out of the gates hot this season, including a franchise-record 17-game point streak, a winter swoon saw them plummet down the standings. However, their playoff hopes were salvaged when they squeaked into the league’s expanded postseason based on point percentage.

Shortly before play was halted, in February, Lamoriello made his biggest transaction yet with the Islanders, acquiring forward J.G. Pageau from the Ottawa Senators at the trade deadline, along with veteran defenseman Andy Greene from the New Jersey Devils.

Upon the NHL’s return to play, both have been key players in the Islanders’ improbable run to the Eastern Conference Final, which is the team’s first appearance at this phase of the competition since 1993.

Jim Nill of the Dallas Stars and Lamoriello’s conference-final counterpart, Lightning GM Julien Brisebois, are the other two finalists for the award.

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