FanPost

Long-Term GMs and the Stanley Cup

A few weeks ago, right after the Paul Gaustad signing, a bunch of us were discussing the success rate of general managers around the NHL. You probably remember this. I offered to do the research, and I have not forgotten! One looooooooooooooong Saturday night, 30 Wikipedia pages, and five sheets of notebook paper later, I have the coveted information!!

For anyone who wasn't involved in the discussion, or doesn't remember it, here is the general plot: David Poile has been a GM for almost 30 years (28 to be exact), with two different teams, and has no Stanley Cups to show for it.

(1) Is this or is this not acceptable for a GM of his length of tenure?

(2) Are there other GMs who have also been around this long without any Cups to show for it?

(3) Are there other GMs who have been around this long with only one or two teams and have no Cups to show for it?

(4) Of the GMs who have also been around this long, how many of them have won Cups, and how many Cups have they won?

Boys and girls, tonight is your lucky night. There does not exist a Wikipedia page for every GM in NHL history, so I had to do a bunch of writing down and double checking and cross-referencing and re-writing. Luckily this wasn't nearly as bad as the research for the playoff history article. After the jump, I have listed all NHL General Managers who have at least twenty years of experience managing... generally. There are only 14 GMs in the history of the NHL with more than twenty years of experience.

Jack Adams

GM Length: 35 years (1927-1962)

Team(s): Detroit Red Wings

Stanley Cup(s): 7

Glen Sather (ACTIVE)

GM Length: 32 years (1980-2000; 2000-Present)

Team(s): Edmonton Oilers; New York Rangers

Stanley Cup(s): 5 (Edmonton Oilers)

Harry Sinden

GM Length: 29 years (1972-2001)

Team(s): Boston Bruins

Stanley Cup(s): 0

David Poile (ACTIVE)

GM Length: 28 years (1982-1997; 1998-Present)

Team(s): Washington Capitals; Nashville Predators

Stanley Cup(s): 0

Cliff Fletcher

GM Length: 26 years (1972-1991; 1991-1997; 2000-2002)

Team(s): Calgary Flames; Toronto Maple Leafs; Phoenix Coyotes

Stanley Cup(s): 1 (Calgary Flames)

Lou Lamoriello (ACTIVE)

GM Length: 25 years (1987-Present)

Team(s): New Jersey Devils

Stanley Cup(s): 3

Emile Francis

GM Length: 24 years (1964-1976; 1976-1983; 1993-1989)

Team(s): New York Rangers; St. Louis Blues; Hartford Whalers

Stanley Cup(s): 0

Tommy Ivan

GM Length: 23 years (1954-1977)

Team(s): Chicago Blackhawks

Stanley Cup(s): 1

Craig Patrick

GM Length: 23 years (1980-1986; 1989-2006)

Team(s): New York Rangers; Pittsburgh Penguins

Stanley Cup(s): 2 (Pittsburgh Penguins)

Bobby Clarke

GM Length: 22 years (1984-1990; 1990-1992; 1993-1994; 1994-2006)

Team(s): Philadelphia Flyers; Minnesota North Stars; Florida Panthers; Philadelphia Flyers

Stanley Cup(s): 0

Punch Imlach

GM Length: 22 years (1958-1969; 1979-1981; 1970-1978)

Team(s): Toronto Maple Leafs; Toronto Maple Leafs; Buffalo Sabres

Stanley Cup(s): 4 (Toronto Maple Leafs - 1st Run)

Bob Pulford

GM Length: 22 years (1977-1990; 1992-1997; 1999-2000; 2003-2005)

Team(s): Chicago Blackhawks

Stanley Cup(s): 0

Bill Torrey

GM Length: 21 years (1972-1992; 2000-2001)

Team(s): New York Islanders; Florida Panthers

Stanley Cup(s): 4 (New York Islanders)

Art Ross

GM Length: 20 years (1924-1954)

Team(s): Boston Bruins

Stanley Cup(s): 3


GMs Based on Cup-Winning-ness

GMs with 0 Cups: 5 (Harry Sinden, David Poile, Emile Francis, Bobby Clarke, Bob Pulford) = 35.71%

GMs with 1 Cup: 2 (Cliff Fletcher, Tommy Ivan) = 14.28%

GMs with 2 Cups: 1 (Craig Patrick) = 7.14%

GMs with 3 Cups: 2 (Lou Lamoriello, Art Ross) = 21.43%

GMs with 4+ Cups: 4 (Jack Adams, Glen Sather, Punch Imlach, Bill Torrey) = 28.57%

.

GMs Based on Team-Loyalty-ness

GMs with 1 Team: 6 (Jack Adams, Harry Sinden, Lou Lamoriello, Tommy Ivan, Bob Pulford, Art Ross)

GMs with 2 Teams: 5 (Glen Sather, David Poile, Craig Patrick, Punch Imlach, Bill Torrey)

GMs with 3 Teams: 3 (Cliff Fletcher, Emile Francis, Bobby Clarke)

.

GMs Based on both Team-Loyalty-ness and Cup-Winning-ness

GMs with 1 Team and 0 Cups: 2 (Harry Sinden, Bob Pulford)

GMs with 1 Team and 1 Cup: 1 (Tommy Ivan)

GMs with 1 Team and 3 Cups: 2 (Lou Lamoriello, Art Ross)

GMs with 1 Team and 4+ Cups: 1 (Jack Adams)

.

GMs with 2 Teams and 0 Cups: 1 (David Poile)

GMs with 2 Teams and 2 Cups: 1 (Craig Patrick)

GMs with 2 Teams and 4+ Cups: 3 (Glen Sather, Punch Imlach, Bill Torrey)

.

GMs with 3 Teams and 0 Cups: 2 (Emile Francis, Bobby Clarke)

GMs with 3 Teams and 1 Cup: 1 (Cliff Fletcher)

.

Let's Return to the Questions...

(1) Is this or is this not acceptable for a GM of his length of tenure? I'll come back to this.

(2) Are there other GMs who have also been around this long without any Cups to show for it? Yes, 4; 5 total.

(3) Are there other GMs who have been around this long with only one or two teams and have no Cups to show for it? Yes, 2 GMs with one team and no Cups; Poile is the only GM to be with two teams and have no Cups.

(4) Of the GMs who have also been around this long, how many of them have won Cups, and how many Cups have they won? 9 GMs have won 30 Cups over a combined total of 227 seasons.

.

So now back to that first question! I'm gonna risk creating a thread full of chaos and in-fighting. After looking at all this information, does it still seem reasonable or unreasonable that David Poile has not yet won a Stanley Cup??

Pro-Poile: He is up against legendary competition, including the guy with the Coach of the Year trophy named after him, the guy who won five Cups with the Oilers in seven years, and the guy who won four Cups with the Islanders in four years. They were very talented GMs, but they also had everything line up perfectly at the perfect times - they are such stuff as dreams are made on... not anyone can do what they did whenever they want. A lot of these guys also won Cups when there were significantly fewer teams in the NHL - meaning that there was not only less competition for the Cup in the playoffs, but also less competition over things like players being traded (5 or 20 teams to fight with, not 29).

Anti-Poile: It really doesn't matter who he's up against because they're all just other GMs who were doing their best to win the Cup during the times they were in charge of their respective teams. They all developed strong, competitive hockey teams around the league who could all win Cups. Sometimes things just don't work out, but after 20 years in the league as a GM, the general expectation is that you should have won at least one Cup by now, right? 9 of the 14 guys have won at least one Cup, so Poile should probably have won at least one Cup. He's also on the high end of the 20+ year spectrum at 28, so if he doesn't win soon, he's going to be the longest tenured GM with zero Cups.

This FanPost was written by an OTF reader, and does not represent the views of the editorial staff. Got something you'd like to share? <a href="http://www.sbnation.com/admin/entries/new?community_id=208&entry_type=FanPost" target="new">Post your own</a>!

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