St. Louis Blues general manager Doug Armstrong, right, listens as Ken Hitchcock speaks at a news conference where he was introduced as the new head coach of the St. Louis Blues hockey team Monday, Nov. 7, 2011, in St. Louis. Armstrong, David Poile of the Nashville Predators and Dale Tallon of the Florida Panthers are the three finalists for the 2011-12 NHL general manager of the year award, the league said Tuesday. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Jeff Roberson
NEW YORK, N.Y. - Doug Armstrong of the St. Louis Blues, David Poile of the Nashville Predators and Dale Tallon of the Florida Panthers are the three finalists for the 2011-12 NHL general manager of the year award, the league said Tuesday.
The winner will be announced June 20 at the NHL awards in Las Vegas.
Armstrong led the Blues to a 49-22-11 record this season as the team captured its first Central Division title since 1999-2000.
Adding to a talented nucleus of Blues draft picks, Armstrong signed unheralded free agent goaltender Brian Elliott in the summer. Elliott went on to lead the NHL with a 1.56 goals-against average and .940 save percentage.
Armstrong also acquired veteran forwards Jason Arnott and Jamie Langenbrunner. After the Blues started the season 6-7-0, Armstrong made a coaching change by bringing in 500-game winner and Stanley Cup champion Ken Hitchcock, who led St. Louis to a 43-15-11 record.
A season after Nashville won its first-ever playoff series, Poile helped the Predators (48-26-8) earn a post-season berth for the seventh time in eight seasons.
Poile negotiated the late-season return of star forward Alex Radulov and also acquired forwards Andrei Kostitsyn and Paul Gaustad and veteran defenceman Hal Gill prior to the trade deadline.
Tallon's off-season overhaul was a runaway success as the Panthers (38-26-18) captured the first division title in franchise history and earned a playoff spot for the first time in 12 years.
He named Kevin Dineen to his first NHL head coaching assignment last June and followed that up with a flurry of acquisitions that included forwards Kris Versteeg, Tomas Fleischmann, Sean Bergenheim and Tomas Kopecky, defencemen Brian Campbell and Ed Jovanovski and goaltender Jose Theodore.
The in-season acquisitions of veteran forwards Mikael Samuelsson, John Madden, Marco Sturm, Wojtek Wolski and Jerred Smithson also helped bolstered Florida's playoff drive.