Want A Job In NHL Management? Play Professionally.

ST PAUL, MN - JUNE 25: General manager Pierre Gauthier of the Montreal Canadiens answers questions after day two of the 2011 NHL Entry Draft at Xcel Energy Center on June 25, 2011 in St Paul, Minnesota. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

In doing some research for a story I was writing, I tracked common traits among NHL General Managers. What I found reinforced a belief I've held for some time.  The fastest way to the executive washroom is through the locker room.


Team General Manager Ex-Player Legacy Agent Other
Anaheim Ducks Bob Murray x

Boston Bruins Peter Chiarelli

Buffalo Sabres Darcy Regier x

Calgary Flames Jay Feaster

Carolina Hurricanes Jim Rutherford x

Chicago Blackhawks Stan Bowman

Colorado Avalanche Greg Sherman

Columbus Blue Jackets Scott Howson x

Dallas Stars Joe Nieuwendyk x

Detroit Red Wings Ken Holland x

Edmonton Oilers Steve Tambellini x

Florida Panthers Dale Tallon x

Los Angeles Kings Dean Lombardi

Minnesota Wild Chuck Fletcher

Montreal Canadiens Pierre Gauthier

Nashville Predators David Poile x

New Jersey Devils Lou Lamoriello

New York Islanders Garth Snow x

New York Rangers Glen Sather x

Ottawa Senators Bryan Murray

Philadelphia Flyers Paul Holmgren x

Phoenix Coyotes Don Maloney x

Pittsburgh Penguins Ray Shero

San Jose Sharks Doug Wilson x

St. Louis Blues Doug Armstrong

Tampa Bay Lightning Steve Yzerman x

Toronto Maple Leafs Brian Burke x

Vancouver Canucks Mike Gillis x

Washington Capitals George McPhee x

Winnipeg Jets Kevin Cheveldayoff x


  • 19 of 30 (63%) NHL General Managers count "hockey player" as their most significant qualification for the job.
  • 3 others, Bowman, Fletcher and Shero are legacies - their fathers were influential pillars in the NHL.
  • 2, Chiarelli and Lombardi, were player agents
  • The remaining 6 came to their jobs through other means - scouting, business, hockey ops.

Hockey is a place where the old adage, "It's not what you know, it's who you know" doesn't hold.  The NHL adage should be, "It's not what you know, it's where you played."

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