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Stars’ Nill, Bruins’ Sweeney, Panther’s Zito finalists for NHL’s top GM award

NEW YORK — Jim Nill of the Dallas Stars, Don Sweeney of the Boston Bruins and Bill Zito of the Florida Panthers are the finalists for the NHL’s Jim Gregory General Manager of the Year Award.

The Stars (47-21-14) posted 108 points this season, their highest total since 2015-16, and advanced to the Western Conference final for the second time in four seasons.

Nill’s biggest off-season move was signing head coach Peter DeBoer, who recently joined Scotty Bowman among coaches who have led four franchises to the NHL’s semifinal round.

Sweeney oversaw a Bruins team that set NHL regular-season records with 65 wins and 135 points before being upset in the first round of the playoffs by Florida.

Hiring coach-of-the-year finalist Jim Montgomery and signing Hart Trophy finalist David Pastrnak to an eight-year extension were among Sweeney’s notable moves.

Zito oversaw a Panthers team that made a late playoff push before catching fire in the post-season.

Florida knocked off Boston and Toronto in advancing to the conference finals for the first time since 1995-96 and took a 3-0 lead over Carolina into Game 4 of the Eastern final on Wednesday.

Among Zito’s moves was an off-season trade with Calgary that brought Hart Trophy finalist Matthew Tkachuk to Florida.

The winner will be announced June 28 during the first round of the 2023 NHL draft in Nashville, Tenn.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 24, 2023.

The Canadian Press