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Who runs the 31 NHL teams and where did they come from?

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Quick, how many GMs can you name? What about assistants and special advisors?

2015 Hockey Hall Of Fame Induction - Red Carpet Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

You might not know the names of all 31 General Managers, but even if you don’t, many are familiar. When you look at the list of them, you’ll note that a lot of these men played hockey. There seem to be three main routes to the executive suites in NHL teams: come off an NHL bench, have four years of NCAA hockey and presumably a degree in some useful field or be a lawyer that ended up working for a team at some time.

A lot of these men have been in charge of AHL teams or junior teams before they got the top job. And you will note that there is a lot of similarity in age and therefore era of playing career. Lou Lamoriello is the only one whose playing career was in the sixties.

NHL General Managers as of June 1, 2017

Team General Manager Age Hired Pro career Leagues
Team General Manager Age Hired Pro career Leagues
Anaheim Ducks Bob Murray 62 November 12, 2008 1974–1990 NHL
Arizona Coyotes John Chayka 27 April 11, 2016 None Nerdstown Nerds
Boston Bruins Don Sweeney 50 May 20, 2015 1984–2004 NHL
Buffalo Sabres Jason Botterill 47 May 11, 2017 1997–2005 ECHL/AHL
Calgary Flames Brad Treliving 47 April 28, 2014 1990–1995 ECHL/AHL
Carolina Hurricanes Ron Francis 54 April 28, 2014 1981–2004 NHL
Chicago Blackhawks Stan Bowman 43 July 14, 2009 None Dad's coat tails
Colorado Avalanche Joe Sakic 47 September 19, 2014 1988–2009 NHL
Columbus Blue Jackets Jarmo Kekalainen 50 February 13, 2013 1985–1995 Finland/AHL
Dallas Stars Jim Nill 59 April 29, 2013 1981–1990 NHL/AHL/CHL
Detroit Red Wings Ken Holland 61 July 18, 1997 1976–1985 AHL
Edmonton Oilers Peter Chiarelli 52 April 24, 2015 1987–1988 NCAA
Florida Panthers Dale Tallon 66 April 10, 2017 1970–1980 NHL
Los Angeles Kings Rob Blake 47 April 10, 2017 1989–2010 NHL
Minnesota Wild Chuck Fletcher 50 May 22, 2009 None Dad's coat tails
Montreal Canadiens Marc Bergevin 51 May 2, 2012 1984–2004 NHL
Nashville Predators David Poile 67 July 9, 1997 1970–1971 AHL
New Jersey Devils Ray Shero 54 May 4, 2015 None NCAA
New York Islanders Garth Snow 47 July 18, 2006 1994–2006 NHL
New York Rangers Jeff Gorton 49 July 1, 2015 None NASCAR
Ottawa Senators Pierre Dorion 44 April 10, 2016 None Dad's coat tails
Philadelphia Flyers Ron Hextall 53 May 7, 2014 1984–1999 NHL
Pittsburgh Penguins Jim Rutherford 68 June 6, 2014 1969–1983 NHL
San Jose Sharks Doug Wilson 59 May 13, 2003 1977–1993 NHL
St. Louis Blues Doug Armstrong 52 July 1, 2010 None I got nothing clever
Tampa Bay Lightning Steve Yzerman 52 May 25, 2010 1983–2006 NHL
Toronto Maple Leafs Lou Lamoriello 74 July 23, 2015 1960-1961 NCAA
Vancouver Canucks Jim Benning 54 May 21, 2014 1981–1992 NHL
Vegas Golden Knights George McPhee 58 July 13, 2016 1978–1989 NHL
Washington Capitals Brian MacLellan 58 May 26, 2014 1982–1992 NHL
Winnipeg Jets Kevin Cheveldayoff 47 June 8, 2011 1989–1994 AHL
Average age: 53

No two NHL teams seem to use the same organizational structure. Some, like the Leafs, have a president in Brendan Shanahan who is very involved in the team. Some have other managerial positions above the GM, who aren’t hockey people and are largely not visible outside the team.

Some teams have a whole room full of Assistant Genaral Managers, and some fired them all and haven’t replaced any yet. Which is fine, Buffalo. It’s fine to be a few days from the expansion draft and not really have a management team or a coach or anything.

We’ve included some assistants to the GM, not to be confused with AGM, just to show you how complex the divvying up of responsibility is.

Some ages were impossible to get, as the AGM ranks are where the lawyers start showing up. They don’t have every bit of their vital statistics on the internet. Some dates of hire have been rounded off for simplicity.

About those ages. Were you expecting the AGMs to be a lot younger than the GMs? Well, they aren’t. Demographics may have something to do with that. At 50 or so, you aren’t a baby boomer, so you’ve spent your career looking at the massive crowd of people just a bit older holding down all the jobs.

NHL Assistant General Managers as of June 1, 2017

Team Name Title Age Hired Pro Career Leagues
Team Name Title Age Hired Pro Career Leagues
Anaheim Ducks Dave Nonis Consultant to GM 51 July 3, 2015 1984-1990 NCAA
Anaheim Ducks Dave Baseggio Assistant to the GM 49 June 23, 2014 1984-2000 AHL/IHL
Arizona Coyotes Steve Sullivan Assistant GM 42 May 18, 2017 1992-2013 NHL
Arizona Coyotes Chris O'Hearn Assistant GM 35 June 1, 2015 None N/A
Boston Bruins Scott Bradley Assistant GM 53 June 27, 2014 1981-1984 BCJHL
Buffalo Sabres N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
Calgary Flames Craig Conroy Assistant GM 45 June 6, 2014 1990-2011 NHL
Calgary Flames Brad Pascal Assistant GM 46 June 6, 2014 1992-1995 ECHL
Carolina Hurricanes Mike Vellucci AGM/Dir. Hockey Ops 50 April 29, 2014 1983-1995 IHL
Carolina Hurricanes Ricky Olczyk Assistant GM 47 June 20, 2014 1988-1992 NCAA
Carolina Hurricanes Brian Tatum Assistant GM 42 April 28, 2014 N/A N/A
Chicago Blackhawks Norm Maciver Assistant GM 52 May 7, 2012 1982-1999 NHL
Colorado Avalanche Craig Billington Assistant GM 50 June 24, 2013 1983-2003 NHL
Colorado Avalanche Chris MacFarland Assistant GM 47 May 21, 2015 90s US College
Columbus Blue Jackets Bill Zito Assistant GM 52 August 12, 2013 1984-1987 NCAA
Dallas Stars Les Jackson Senior Advisor to GM 64 July 6, 2000 1970-1977 WIHL
Dallas Stars Scott White Assistant GM 49 September 1, 2016 1985-1994 NCAA/ECHL
Dallas Stars Mark Janko Assistant GM 41 September 1, 2016 N/A N/A
Detroit Red Wings Ryan Martin Assistant GM 49 June 15, 2010 N/A N/A
Detroit Red Wings Kris Draper Special Assistant to GM 46 September 1, 2011 1990-2011 NHL
Edmonton Oilers Keith Gretzky Assistant GM 50 August 2, 2016 1987-1993 IHL
Florida Panthers William Torrey Special Assistant to GM 82 September 1, 2014 1953-1955 NCAA
Florida Panthers Eric Joyce Assistant GM 38 May 16, 2016 1998-2002 NCAA
Florida Panthers Steve Werier Assistant GM May 16, 2016 N/A N/A
LA Kings Lee Callans A2GM / Scouting Ops Coord September 1, 2006 N/A N/A
Minnesota Wild Brent Flahr Assistant GM 42 September 1, 2009 1992-1996 NCAA
Montreal Canadiens Larry Carrière Assistant GM 65 September 1, 2010 1972-1980 NHL
Montreal Canadiens Scott Mellanby Assistant GM 50 September 1, 2014 1986-2007 NHL
Nashville Predators Paul Fenton Assistant GM 57 September 1, 2006 1982-1992 NHL
New Jersey Devils Tom Fitzgerald Assistant GM 48 September 1, 2015 1988-2006 NHL
New York Islanders Doug Weight AGM / Head Coach 46 May 26, 2011 1991-2011 NHL
New York Islanders Kerry Gwydir Assistant to the GM N/A N/A
New York Rangers Jim Schoenfeld Senior VP / AGM 64 September 1, 2007 1972-1985 NHL
New York Rangers Chris Drury Assistant GM 40 September 2, 2016 1998-2011 NHL
Ottawa Senators Randy Lee Assistant GM 55 January 14, 2014 N/A N/A
Ottawa Senators Bryan Murray Sr Hockey Advisor 74 April 10, 2016 N/A N/A
Philadelphia Flyers Barry Hanrahan Assistant GM 49 September 1, 2005 N/A N/A
Philadelphia Flyers Chris Pryor AGM / Director of Hockey Ops 56 August 10, 2016 1985-1993 AHL
Pittsburgh Penguins Bill Guerin Assistant GM 46 June 6, 2014 1991-2010 NHL
San Jose Sharks Joe Will Assistant GM 52 September 1, 1997 N/A N/A
St. Louis Blues Martin Brodeur Assistant GM 45 September 1, 2014 1992-2015 NHL
St. Louis Blues Kevin McDonald Assistant GM September 1, 2009 N/A N/A
St. Louis Blues Al MacInnis Senior Advisor to the GM 53 September 1, 2012 1982-2004 NHL
Tampa Bay Lightning Julien BriseBois Assistant GM 40 September 1, 2010 N/A N/A
Tampa Bay Lightning Pat Verbeek AGM / Director of Player Ops 53 September 1, 2012 1982-2002 NHL
Tampa Bay Lightning Tom Kurvers Senior Advisor to the GM 54 September 1, 2011 1984-1996 NHL
Toronto Maple Leafs Kyle Dubas Assistant GM 30 July 22, 2014 N/A N/A
Toronto Maple Leafs Mark Hunter Assistant GM 54 August 22, 2016 1981-1993 NHL
Toronto Maple Leafs Brandon Pridham Assistant to the GM August 19, 2014 N/A N/A
Toronto Maple Leafs Cliff Fletcher Special Advisor 81 September 1, 2009 N/A N/A
Vancouver Canucks John Weisbrod Assistant GM 48 August 4, 2015 1987-1993 NCAA
Vancouver Canucks Stan Smyl Sr Advisor 2 GM/Dir Player Dev 59 September 1, 2008 1978-1991 NHL
Vegas Golden Knights Kelly McCrimmon Assistant GM 56 August 2, 2016 1980-1984 NCAA
Washington Capitals Ross Mahoney Assistant GM 60 September 1, 2014 N/A N/A
Washington Capitals Don Fishman AGM / Director of Legal Affairs 47 September 1, 2005 N/A N/A
Winnipeg Jets* Craig Heisinger AGM/ Senior VP/Dir Hockey Ops 54 September 1, 2011 N/A N/A
Winnipeg Jets* Larry Simmons Assistant GM & VP 44 September 1, 2011 N/A N/A
Average Age: 51

If you find any glaring errors, let us know and we’ll correct them, but also, what do you see in these lists of the brains running all the teams?