Awarded for the league's worst management
And the nominees are:
The New York Islanders
Let's see, where do we start...how about in goal?
If The New York Rangers are where great players go to die, the Islanders are where mediocre goalies go. Garth Snow as GM. Mike Dunham as goalie coach. DiPietro, Roloson, and Biron in net last year.
As Captain Sparrow pointed out, the Islanders raised some eyebrows when they entered the season with THREE goalies, each with starter credentials. But who could blame them? They had Rick DiPietro signed until the end of time, and they knew as soon as a puck touched him he would be on the IR for the rest of the season. So this year the Islanders spent 4.5 million dollars for 8 games, and two wins from DiPietro. That comes to $562,500 per game. DiPietro's contract will haunt the Islanders for years to come, virtually assuring their place on this list for a long time.
The Tampa Bay Lightning
When you think "God-awful management", Tampa Bay should be one of the first things that comes to mind. Tampa's problems begin, and end, with Vincent Lecavalier. His contract makes him unmovable, and impossible to afford good teammates. He has had coaches fired, and is a cancer in the team's locker room.
Look for things to change in the upcoming year, though.
The Lightning have a new owner, who has fired the old figurehead GM Brian Lawton, as well as Vinny's personally endorsed coach Rick Tocchet. With Steve Yzerman as the new GM, look for a return to competitiveness. Perhaps we'll even see a few sparks once Lecavalier realizes he cannot bully Yzerman. My money's on a trade next year, and I fully expect Tampa to be gone from this list next summer.
The thing that put the lightning over the top for a nomination this year was their fugly, nonsensical third jersey.
Gary Bettman, you make it too easy. In an award normally reserved for team ownership and management, you still somehow found your way onto this list.
How did he accomplish that? By owning a team, of course. You see, the NHL OWNS the Phoenix Coyotes. They divert resources to keep the franchise alive, even when all the evidence screams that the team must move. They intervened to stop a lucrative sale that would have stopped the bleeding for the franchise, brought a team to an enthusiastic market, and ended the millions of dollars being paid in corporate welfare by the fans and owners of legitimate teams. Now the NHL is stuck with a team that they still cannot sell. Of course, they could sell it very easily, but the NHL insists that any buyer MUST keep the team in Phoenix. So, no deal.
We've already covered how the NHL is actively engaged in a conflict of interest, that they cannot advance the best interests of their own team while simultaneously treating the rest of the league impartially.
And how much money does Gary Bettman earn for this unethical behavior? $7,230,783 per year. That's 7 MILLION dollars, in case you weren't counting the commas.
There's plenty more ammunition in this gun for why the the NHL deserves its very own award for bad management: horrendous FIFA-like officiating, absurd disciplinary decisions, atrocious apparel and uniform decisions, ridiculous TV deals, and more I'm sure I'm forgetting. But the bad management of a failing franchise is already enough to qualify Gary and the League for the award.
HM: Atlanta Thrashers, Calgary Flames