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2024 Stanley Cup Playoffs

NHL Awards: Bill Zito Named GM of the Year Finalist

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Florida Panthers general manager Bill Zito shares the stage after acquiring Matthew Tkachuk in a blockbuster deal with the Calgary Flames in 2022. // Photo @GeorgeRichards

For the third time in his four years with the Florida Panthers, Bill Zito has been named a finalist for the Jim Gregory General Manager of the Year Award.

Voting for this award was conducted among NHL general managers and a panel of league executives as well as print and broadcast media at the conclusion of the second round.

The winner will be announced on June 10.

Jim Nill of the Dallas Stars won the award last year and is a finalist again this year; Vancouver GM Patrik Allvin is the other finalist.

Zito, who took over the Panthers before the pandemic-shortened 2021 season, is the first to be a finalist for this award in three of his first four seasons on the job.

He is also the sixth GM to be a finalist three times joining Bob Murray, Marc Bergevin, Steve Yzerman, David Poile and Nill.

Bill Zito: Sleepless Nights Trying to Keep Panthers Together 

Zito, who recently signed a contract extension with the Panthers and was named the team’s President of Hockey Operations, had himself a busy year.

Not long after the Panthers lost to the Vegas Golden Knights in the 2023 Stanley Cup Final, Zito got to work retooling his team.

With Aaron Ekblad and Brandon Montour expected to miss the first few months of the season — they returned in mid-November — Zito signed Oliver Ekman-Larsson, Niko Mikkola and Dmitry Kulikov to help solidify Florida’s defense.

He also traded for Steven Lorentz and signed Kevin Stenlund, Evan Rodrigues and Jonah Gadjovich.

Florida also signed backup goalie Anthony Stolarz on July 1.

During the season, Florida traded for Vladimir Tarasenko and Kyle Okposo.

For the most in-depth coverage of the Florida Panthers:

STANLEY CUP PLAYOFFS
EASTERN CONFERENCE FINAL
FLORIDA PANTHERS (ATL1) V. NEW YORK RANGERS (MET1)
Panthers lead Best-of-7 Series 1-0
GAME 2
  • When: Friday, 8 p.m.
  • Where: Madison Square Garden, New York
  • National TV: ESPN
  • Streaming: ESPN+/Hulu
  • Radio: WQAM 560-AM; WPOW 96.5-FM2; WBZT 1230-AM (West Palm Beach); WCTH 100.3-FM (Florida Keys); WCZR 101.7-FM (Treasure Coast); SiriusXM
  • Panthers Radio Streaming: SiriusXM 932, NHL app
  • Series Schedule — Game 1: Panthers 3, Rangers 0; Game 2:Panthers at Rangers, Friday 8 (ESPN); Game 3:Rangers at Panthers, Sunday 3 (ABC); Game 4: Rangers at Panthers, Tuesday 8 (ESPN): Game 5*: Panthers at Rangers, Thursday May 30, 8 (ESPN); Game 6*: Rangers at Panthers, Saturday June 1, 8 (ABC); Game 7*: Panthers at Rangers, Monday June 3, 8 (ESPN). (*) — If Necessary.
  • How They Got Here: Florida d. Tampa Bay 4-1, Boston 4-2; Rangers d. Washington 4-0, Carolina 4-2.
  • Last Season vs. Rangers — Regular Season: Rangers won 3-0
  • This Season (Panthers Won 2-1) — At Florida: Panthers 4 Rangers 3 (Dec. 29). At MSG: Panthers 4, Rangers 2 (March 4); Rangers 4, Panthers 3 OT (March 23).
  • All-time Regular Season Series: Rangers lead 61-34-8, 6 ties
  • Postseason History: Rangers Lead 1-0 (1997 1st)

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