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Best GMs of all-time

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12-20-2011, 09:04 AM
  #1
Megahab
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Best GMs of all-time

Name some of the best GMs of all-time and why. Please try to include some moves that they made that make you feel this way.

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12-20-2011, 10:21 AM
  #2
steve141
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In the modern era Jimmy Devellano certainly is one of the strongest candidates. Like his prodigy Ken Holland he is more known for building strong organisations and for good scouting than any blockbuster trades though.

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12-20-2011, 10:46 AM
  #3
brianscot
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Didn't Sam Pollock win something like 9 cups?

Ralph Backstrom to help bolster LA in order to make sure Oakland finished last?

Guy Allen and Paul Reid for the rights to some goalie named Dryden?

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12-20-2011, 11:07 AM
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Killion
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As far as Im concerned "Best Ever" would be Tommy Gorman, Frank Selke & Sam Pollock in Montreal, an astute & unbroken chain from 1940-1978. A rung lower,

* Smythe & Selke 1927-57, Imlach from 58-69
* Lester Patrick with the Rangers from 1926-41
* Jack Adams in Detroit from 1927-1962
* Tommy Ivan in Chicago from 1954-1977
* Art Ross in Boston from 1924-54, Emms/Schmidt/Sinden 65-2000
* Keith Allen in Philadelphia from 1969-1983
* Bill Torrey, Islanders, from 1972-1992
* Glen Sather, Edmonton, 1980-2000
* Lou Lamoriello in Jersey, 87-Present
* Devellano/Holland/Bowman in Detroit since 97

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12-20-2011, 11:25 AM
  #5
Canadiens1958
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Frank Selke Sr

Quote:
Originally Posted by Killion View Post
As far as Im concerned "Best Ever" would be Tommy Gorman, Frank Selke & Sam Pollock in Montreal, an astute & unbroken chain from 1940-1978. A rung lower,

* Smythe & Selke 1927-57, Imlach from 58-69
* Lester Patrick with the Rangers from 1926-41
* Jack Adams in Detroit from 1927-1962
* Tommy Ivan in Chicago from 1954-1977
* Art Ross in Boston from 1924-54, Emms/Schmidt/Sinden 65-2000
* Keith Allen in Philadelphia from 1969-1983
* Bill Torrey, Islanders, from 1972-1992
* Glen Sather, Edmonton, 1980-2000
* Lou Lamoriello in Jersey, 87-Present
* Devellano/Holland/Bowman in Detroit since 97
Frank Selke Sr.

Somewhat overrated. Note the success the Leafs had after Selke left in 1946 after the dispute with Conn Smythe. leafs won 4 SC in 5 seasons.

In Montreal Selke eventually was the GM of the 1956-60 dynasty after making a long overdue coaching change, Blake for Irvin Sr.

When Selke retired Sam Pollock tookover and with a bit of tinkering produced the late sixties and seventies championship teams.

Selke basically mismanaged the farm system letting assets leave. Pollock`s key moves involved going outside the farm system - Ferguson, Harris and rebuilding the junior and top minor league teams while preparing for expansion.


Last edited by Canadiens1958: 12-20-2011 at 11:26 AM. Reason: wording
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12-20-2011, 11:35 AM
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Re: Sam Pollock

I heard that one weekend the Habs were scheduled to play an afternoon game the day after playing a game the night before. Pollock called the league office about a week prior and had them change the schedule to have the Habs play in the evening instead of the afternoon so that his team would get few more hours rest between games.

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12-20-2011, 11:56 AM
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Killion
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Originally Posted by Canadiens1958 View Post
Selke basically mismanaged the farm system letting assets leave.
It was all just part of the plan C58. It took a couple of Good ol' Boy's from Ontario (Gorman was from Ottawa, Selke Kitchener) by way of Toronto to shine a light on the path out of the Wilderness that was Montreal. Lord knows you guys were incapable of it left to your own devices.

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12-20-2011, 01:35 PM
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Just an aside, I was a Linesman for the 1959 Memorial Cup between the Winnipeg Braves and Peterborough Petes. Scotty Bowman was coaching Peterborough and Sam Pollock was the GM. In what turned out to be the fifth and final game of the series, that Winnipeg won four games to one, Bowman was thrown out of the game in the third period and Pollock took over as coach.

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12-20-2011, 01:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Canadiens1958 View Post
Selke basically mismanaged the farm system letting assets leave. Pollock`s key moves involved going outside the farm system - Ferguson, Harris and rebuilding the junior and top minor league teams while preparing for expansion.
Didn't Selke actually create the farm system concept as we know it?

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12-20-2011, 02:48 PM
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In Defence of Francis Joseph Aloysious Selke, Sr..

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Originally Posted by Psycho Papa Joe View Post
Didn't Selke actually create the farm system concept as we know it?
... against the audacious, pert, brash & galling attack by none other than C58 in a breathtaking revision of the record books, and yes, he most certainly did Psycho Joe, so lets just iron out the kinks in our friends Implausible History of the World.

At 14yrs of age, Young Frank was Managing & Coaching the Iroquois Bantams. In 1919, he Managed & Coached UTS (Univ of Toronto Schools) to the Memorial Cup in their first year of competition, and also Coached & Managed the OHA's St. Marys Team to several SPA Championships. He started up, Managed & Coached the Toronto Ravinas' of the CPHL, joining Smythe in the late 20's, where in addition to co-managing the Leafs, he Coached the Marlies, winning another Memorial Cup in 1929. The Leafs meanwhile winning in 32, followed by 7 straight Finals appearances from 1932-40. Absolutely instrumental in raising the funds to build Maple Leaf Gardens. When Smythe formed his "Battery of Sportsman" and left for WW2, Selke left as sole custodian, laying the tracks for all of the great teams & cups that followed from the late 40's to 1967.

While Smythe was away, Selke fleeced the Montreal Canadiens but good, sending Franky Eddols east, receiving a 17yr old Teeder Kennedy back. Smythe was apoplectic upon his return in finding this out, though really, the true story is that the Board of Directors wanted Selke to be President of Maple Leaf Gardens and a power struggle ensued, Selke eventually resigning & moving to Montreal. As born out by events that followed in Toronto, Selke was right about Kennedy, he was right to have built up the farm system the way he did, he was instrumental in booking non hockey related events into the Gardens and boosting its revenues, etc etc etc. The Leafs were running on his fumes right through the 60's, the first implosions heard when Conn appointed his Son Stafford as GM in 58, followed by his eventual departure in the early 60's, Harold Ballard, the handcuffs' and the 50 years of ineptitude, incompetence & contempt for the Blue & White that followed.

Toronto's loss was Montreals gain. Selke's farm system bore yields such as; Jean Beliveau, Dickie Moore, Tom Johnson and Henri Richard to name several, though the list is really endless & quite astounding. No, Frank Selke' wasnt perfect, he shouldve pulled triggers a lot earlier on coaches, players, but in the overall scheme of things, within the pantheon of "Brilliant" hockey minds & astute businessmen he ranks at the top along with Gorman (who protected a lot of the clubs assets) & Pollock.

I rest my case Your Honor...

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12-20-2011, 04:54 PM
  #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Psycho Papa Joe View Post
Didn't Selke actually create the farm system concept as we know it?
i always thought Tommy Gorman did

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12-20-2011, 05:04 PM
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Canadiens1958
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Not Really

Quote:
Originally Posted by Psycho Papa Joe View Post
Didn't Selke actually create the farm system concept as we know it?
Frank Selke created the Canadiens farm system when he bought the QSHL to get Jean Beliveau. Until then the Leafs and Red Wings were further ahead.The relationship between the Canadiens and the Senior Montreal Royals pre-dated Selke's arrival in Montreal.

He facilitated building the junior system the Canadiens sponsored from the late 1940's until the NHL draft changed things by letting Sam Pollock have a free hand.

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12-20-2011, 05:17 PM
  #13
Canadiens1958
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Details

Quote:
Originally Posted by Killion View Post
... against the audacious, pert, brash & galling attack by none other than C58 in a breathtaking revision of the record books, and yes, he most certainly did Psycho Joe, so lets just iron out the kinks in our friends Implausible History of the World.

At 14yrs of age, Young Frank was Managing & Coaching the Iroquois Bantams. In 1919, he Managed & Coached UTS (Univ of Toronto Schools) to the Memorial Cup in their first year of competition, and also Coached & Managed the OHA's St. Marys Team to several SPA Championships. He started up, Managed & Coached the Toronto Ravinas' of the CPHL, joining Smythe in the late 20's, where in addition to co-managing the Leafs, he Coached the Marlies, winning another Memorial Cup in 1929. The Leafs meanwhile winning in 32, followed by 7 straight Finals appearances from 1932-40. Absolutely instrumental in raising the funds to build Maple Leaf Gardens. When Smythe formed his "Battery of Sportsman" and left for WW2, Selke left as sole custodian, laying the tracks for all of the great teams & cups that followed from the late 40's to 1967.

While Smythe was away, Selke fleeced the Montreal Canadiens but good, sending Franky Eddols east, receiving a 17yr old Teeder Kennedy back. Smythe was apoplectic upon his return in finding this out, though really, the true story is that the Board of Directors wanted Selke to be President of Maple Leaf Gardens and a power struggle ensued, Selke eventually resigning & moving to Montreal. As born out by events that followed in Toronto, Selke was right about Kennedy, he was right to have built up the farm system the way he did, he was instrumental in booking non hockey related events into the Gardens and boosting its revenues, etc etc etc. The Leafs were running on his fumes right through the 60's, the first implosions heard when Conn appointed his Son Stafford as GM in 58, followed by his eventual departure in the early 60's, Harold Ballard, the handcuffs' and the 50 years of ineptitude, incompetence & contempt for the Blue & White that followed.

Toronto's loss was Montreals gain. Selke's farm system bore yields such as; Jean Beliveau, Dickie Moore, Tom Johnson and Henri Richard to name several, though the list is really endless & quite astounding. No, Frank Selke' wasnt perfect, he shouldve pulled triggers a lot earlier on coaches, players, but in the overall scheme of things, within the pantheon of "Brilliant" hockey minds & astute businessmen he ranks at the top along with Gorman (who protected a lot of the clubs assets) & Pollock.

I rest my case Your Honor...
Jean Beliveau was missed as a prospect by all the NHL teams. He was a free agent who joined the Canadiens when Selke bought the the QSHL including the Quebec Aces franchise.

Dickie Moore was initially rejected by the junior Canadiens. Played for the junior Montreal Royals. Pollock and Selke were tipped that Moore was going to sign with the Leafs like Fleming Mackell and Jim Morrison so they stepped up. Bernie Geoffrion was a Palestre Nationale product that initially was overlooked and could have signed with any NHL team.

Tom Johnson was part of the junior pipeline from out west, Tom Gorman legacy building a series of sponsorship arrangements in Winnipeg and Regina. Henri Richard was a junior product - never played a minor league game.

The great junior system that the Canadiens built post WWII was the work of Sam Pollock with help from Scotty Bowman. Frank Selke recognized their strengths and gave them a free hand. Up thread a comment was made about the 1959 Memorial Cup. Both finalists were Canadien sponsored junior teams.

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Old
12-20-2011, 08:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Canadiens1958 View Post
Frank Selke recognized their strengths and gave them a free hand.
Indeed he did, surrounding himself with smart hockey minds, letting
them run, the mark of a great Manager which is why he's on my list...

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12-21-2011, 12:09 AM
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Pollock is the answer and I don't think it's even close.

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12-21-2011, 08:07 AM
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Sam Pollock had a tremendous run as GM, no doubt in my mind that he's the best GM ever.

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12-21-2011, 08:56 AM
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Pollock is my choice as well, but he sure was in a favorable situation when the NHL let him write expansion rules that favored Montreal

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12-21-2011, 10:42 AM
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Canadiens1958
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Good Point

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Indeed he did, surrounding himself with smart hockey minds, letting
them run, the mark of a great Manager which is why he's on my list...
Good point - the opposite of Conn Smythe who favoured employees he could control.

Interestingly Sam Pollock`s main failure was not insuring an orderly succession when he retired in 1978. Irving Grundman, Ron Caron proved to be lacking while Scotty Bowman left.

Still would rank the Canadiens trio as Pollock followed by Gorman then Selke.

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12-21-2011, 11:09 AM
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Killion
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Canadiens1958 View Post
Good point - the opposite of Conn Smythe who favoured employees he could control.

Interestingly Sam Pollock`s main failure was not insuring an orderly succession when he retired in 1978. Irving Grundman, Ron Caron proved to be lacking while Scotty Bowman left.

Still would rank the Canadiens trio as Pollock followed by Gorman then Selke.
Agreed. In mixed order of accession; 1) Pollock 2) Gorman 3) Selke, though with numbers 2&3 we could debate the meritorious services of the trio in Detroit from 94 onward as being superior (Devellano/Holland/Bowman). Over an extended period however, 1940-78, the Habs' were top shelf.... As for Smythe, yes, upon return from the War he wasnt universally welcomed back to Maple Leaf Gardens by its Directors, several of whom had come to the conclusion that not only was Selke a superior hockey mind, but so too a far more astute leader in managing & running the entire organization, increasing revenues. Conn wasnt short on ego, preferring "Yes Men" and Sycophants to surrounding himself with shrewd & savvy talent. Guys who would do what they were told without question, and that meant absolutely everyone from a player on a 'D' form happily accepting his assignment to the Outer Hebrides' & $1500 a year to his Coaches, the Ref's, the Goal Judges, you name it. And may God have mercy on your soul if you had the temerity to show up at the Gardens as a patron in the Reds sans suit & tie. The man used to cruise the building in his White Fedora & spats just looking for the slightest thing out of place, any imperfection, shoes lacking enough polish, anything.

"The Major". Very Old Toronto that one.


Last edited by Killion: 12-21-2011 at 11:16 AM. Reason: Typo
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Old
12-21-2011, 11:24 AM
  #20
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Spending Money

Quote:
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Agreed. In mixed order of accession; 1) Pollock 2) Gorman 3) Selke, though with numbers 2&3 we could debate the meritorious services of the trio in Detroit from 94 onward as being superior (Devellano/Holland/Bowman). Over an extended period however, 1940-78, the Habs' were top shelf.... As for Smythe, yes, upon return from the War he wasnt universally welcomed back to Maple Leaf Gardens by its Directors, several of whom had come to the conclusion that not only was Selke a superior hockey mind, but so too a far more astute leader in managing & running the entire organization, increasing revenues. Conn wasnt short on ego, preferring "Yes Men" and Sycophants to surrounding himself with shrewd & savvy talent. Guys who would do what they were told without question, and that meant absolutely everyone from a player on a 'D' form happily accepting his assignment to the Outer Hebrides' & $1500 a year to his Coaches, the Ref's, the Goal Judges, you name it. And may God have mercy on your soul if you had the temerity to show up at the Gardens as a patron in the Reds sans suit & tie. :naughty:
Detroit in the Ilitch era was willing to spend money. His management spent it very wisely.

Pre 1978 - Pollock era none of the teams were willing to spend money. The Canadiens trio of GMs were known for squeezing everyone in the system while getting results. New Jersey with Lou Lamoriello are throwbacks in this regard.

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12-21-2011, 04:02 PM
  #21
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New Jersey with Lou Lamoriello are throwbacks in this regard.
Ya, good comparison. Interestingly, Lamoriello's background prior to joining New Jersey was almost exclusively with College Hockey (he was a Math Teacher at one time) in the US... Youve come a long way Baby.

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