Musthafa Ebadi
Is It A New Era of Management in NHL?
by Musthafa Ebadi on August 25th, 2011

Monday, January 24, 2011

The 2010 - 2011 season in NHL so far as been a season of unexpected, inconsistent, and unpredictable for majority of the teams in both eastern and western conference.

The top teams so far this season in Eastern Conference are Philadelphia Flyers, Tampa Bay Lighting, Boston Bruins, Pittsburg Penguins, Washington Capitals, and Montreal Canadiens while in Western Conference the Vancouver Canucks, Detroit Red Wings, Dallas Starts, Chicago Blackhawks, and Colorado Avalanche share reins.

On the contrary the worst teams today in NHL are Edmonton Oilers, New Jersey Devils, NY Islanders, Ottawa Senators, Calgary Flames, Toronto Maple Leafs and Buffalo Sabers.

While the inconsistency with these teams’ performance continues one thing most of the top echelon teams in NHL and those at the bottom of barrel have, is one consistent factor - one common ground. Before we get to that one consistent trend consider the interesting fact for each of the above mentioned teams and their respective General Managers:

Philadelphia Flyers -Paul Holmgren; Managing in the league since 2006
Tampa Bay Lighting - Steve Yzerman; Managing in the league since 2010
Boston Bruins - Peter Chiarelli ; Managing in the league since 2006
Pittsburg Penguins - Ray Shero ; Managing in the league since 2006
Washington Capitals - George; McPhee Managing in the league since 1997
Montreal Canadiens - Pierre Gauthier; Managing in league since 2010
Vancouver Canucks - Mike Gilles; Managing in the league since 2008
Dallas Stars - Joe Nieuwendyk; Managing in the league since 2009
Detroit Red Wings - Ken Holland; Managing in the league since 1998
Chicago Blackhawks - Stan Bowman; Managing in the league since 2009
Colorado Avalanche - Greg Sherman; Managing in the league since 2009

New Jersy - Lou Lamoriello; Managing in the league since 1988
Ottawa Senators - Bryan Murray; Managing in the league since 1990
Toronto - Brian Burke; Managing in the league since 1998
Buffalo - Darcy Regier; Managing in the league since 1997
Carolina - Jim Rutherford; Managing in the league since 1994
Calgary - Darryl Suttor; Managing in the league since 2002*

By now its clear that most of the elite teams and/or those which are in upswing
have managers who have assumed the top job in the last few year, while the teams that are in a downward spiral with a bleak immediate future have managers from the "previous era" of NHL management.

You also have to keep in mind that while the managers of top performing teams assumed their General Manager post in recent years they were General Manager-in-Training (occupying other managerial roles ) in the last 10 years or so. Also the likes of Lou Lamoriello, Bryan Murray, and Brian Burke et al have been in management for atleast 25+ years now.

We have recently seen a shift in paradigm of management in almost every industry. While the old style of management always dictated the autocratic style where the leader made all necessary decisions unilaterally, the new era of managers are more permissive where as a leader we listen to our people, value their opinion and make them part of our decision making, and also gives them a considerable degree of autonomy and latitude in completing routine work activities - my next blog outline the pros and cons of both styles of management.

Its also worth noting that of the bottom six teams listed above the General Manager of at least three teams (New Jersey, Ottawa, Buffalo) are in hot seat while the transition in Calgary as already started by Jay Feaster taking over the role from Darryl Suttor earlier this month.

Based on the above observations do you think it’s a new era of management in NHL?

Thanks for reading.

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Posted in Sports    Tagged with Hockey Management Leadership


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