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Bruins’ Don Sweeney named finalist for NHL’s General Manager of the Year Award

Sweeney named finalist for NHL’s General Manager of the Year Award originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston

Another member of the Boston Bruins organization has been named as a finalist for one of the NHL’s end-of-season awards.

The league announced the finalists for the General Manager of the Year Award on Wednesday afternoon, and Bruins GM Don Sweeney is among the group. The other two finalists are Jim Nill of the Dallas Stars and Bill Zito of the Florida Panthers.

Sweeney joins Patrice Bergeron (Selke Trophy), Linus Ullmark (Vezina Trophy), David Pastrnak (Hart Trophy) and Jim Montgomery (Jack Adams Award) as Bruins who are finalists for major awards.

The Bruins’ run in the 2023 Stanley Cup Playoffs ended far earlier than expected with a first-round exit to the Panthers in Game 7 at home. That said, Sweeney built a behemoth of a roster that won the Presidents’ Trophy and set league records for most points (135) and wins (65) in a single regular season.

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Most of his roster decisions paid huge dividends, including the offseason trade for Pavel Zacha, plus the trade-deadline acquisitions of Tyler Bertuzzi, Dmitry Orlov and Garnet Hathaway.

Bruins players admitted to management after the season that the roster Sweeney built was a “wagon” and they didn’t live up to expectations.

“I had a couple players at the exit meetings actually apologize, say, ‘You guys gave us a wagon of a team, and we didn’t execute.'” Bruins president Cam Neely said at a press conference on May 9. the players, they know. Players know when you have a chance to win and when you don’t. They knew we had a chance to win. They knew we had a chance to go deep. And for whatever reason, we didn’t play the way we played in the regular season.”

Sweeney won the GM of the Year Award in 2018-19 after building a team that lost in Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Final.