Boston Bruins general manager Don Sweeney has been named a finalist for the 2023 Jim Gregory Award given to the NHL’s general manager of the year.
Sweeney, Dallas Stars general manager Jim Nill, and Florida Panthers general manager Bill Zito were named the three finalists for the award that Sweeney already won once in 2019.
The NHL General Manager of the Year Award was first presented in 2009-10, with the first award being won by then-Phoenix Coyotes general manager and recent interim GM for the Calgary Flames, Don Maloney.
The award was renamed before the 2019-20 regular season in honor of Jim Gregory. Gregory was the 2007 Hockey Hall of Fame inductee who served as Toronto Maple Leafs general manager and a league executive for four decades. He was also one of the most beloved figures amongst his peers, players, fans, and the media.
Don Sweeney constructed the 2022-23 Boston Bruins roster that would become the winningest regular season team in the history of the NHL. The Bruins broke the NHL records for most wins (65) and points (135) with an amazing 65-12-5 regular season record. The Boston Bruins also had a +128 goal differential (including shootout-deciding goals), the highest by any team since the 1995-96 Detroit Red Wings, who finished that regular season at +144.
Sweeney was one of the busiest general managers in the NHL last offseason. First, he fired head coach Bruce Cassidy and replaced Cassidy with now 2023 Jack Adams Award finalist Jim Montgomery.
He then brought back then-unrestricted free agents and longtime Boston Bruins centers Patrice Bergeron and David Krejci. He continued to build his team’s depth up the middle for this past season and beyond when he acquired and signed then-restricted free agent pivot Pavel Zacha to a one-year, $3.5M contract last August. Sweeney extended Zacha in January, locking up the sixth overall pick from the 2015 NHL Draft to a four-year contract extension worth $19 million ($4.7M AAV).
Sweeney got busy again as the 2023 NHL Trade Deadline approached. On Feb. 23, he acquired defenseman Dmitry Orlov and forward Garnet Hathaway from the Washington Capitals in a three-way trade that also included the Minnesota Wild. The Boston Bruins general manager then acquired winger Tyler Bertuzzi from the Detroit Red Wings at the March 3 NHL trade deadline. That same day, he locked up 2023 Hart Trophy finalist David Pastrnak to a franchise record contract extension at eight years, $90 million ($11.2M AAV).
Sweeney will be entering his ninth season as general manager of the Boston Bruins in the team’s centennial season next October.