NASHVILLE — Jim Nill of the Dallas Stars was named winner of the Jim Gregory GM of the Year Award during the first round of the draft on Wednesday night.
Florida Panthers general manager Bill Zito, a finalist for the award in two of the past three seasons, and Boston’s Don Sweeney were the other two finalists.
“It’s a humbling thing to even be a finalist,” Zito said following the end of the first round at Bridgestone Arena.
“Jimmy Nill is one of the best people you will ever meet. One of the hardest working guys and an excellent scout. I couldn’t be happier for or prouder for him.”
Zito said that there were a lot of congratulatory comments from those around the league after the Panthers made it to the Stanley Cup Final.
“It was a little essay on our league as a whole: There is a lot of kindness,” Zito said. “A lot of people were sincere and congratulatory. It is a hard thing … but humbling and restores your faith in humanity because of how many nice people out there that we work with.”
Voting on the NHL GM of the Year was done by league general managers as well as a select panel.
Although other NHL awards were voted on prior to the playoffs, the GM of the Year Award was voted on following the conclusion of the second round.
Of the 40 ballots, Nill was named on 25 of them; Zito placed third behind Sweeney and ended up getting four first-place votes after being named on 18 of the 40 ballots.
FLORIDA PANTHERS ON DECK
- Thursday: NHL Draft, Nashville (Florida has picks in Rounds 2, 4, 5, 6 & 7); Nashville, 11 a.m. (NHL Network)
- Friday: Buyout period ends
- Saturday: Free agency opens, noon
- Mid-September: Training Camp, South Florida
- Sept. 25: Preseason starts, doubleheader v. Nashville @ Sunrise
- Oct. 7: Preseason ends, vs. Tampa Bay Lightning
- Mid-October: Start of 2023-24 Regular Season