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Shero named NHL's General Manager of the Year

| Friday, June 14, 2013, 5:33 p.m.
Chaz Palla | Tribune-Review
Penguins general manager Ray Shero speaks to the media on Wednesday, June 12, 2013, at Consol Energy Center.

Penguins general manager Ray Shero's bold season was rewarded Friday.

Shero was named NHL General Manager of the Year in a ceremony in Chicago. Two of his players — center Sidney Crosby and defenseman Kris Letang — have been nominated for awards that will be revealed later this weekend.

Shero stunned the hockey world this spring with the addition of four players, two of whom were coveted. He landed future hall-of-famer Jarome Iginla, Brenden Morrow, Douglas Murray and Jussi Jokinen before the trading deadline.

“It's a great honor,” Shero told the NHL Network. “It means a lot. I think it's a reflection of our organization.”

Although the moves weren't enough to lift the Penguins to the Stanley Cup Final, they did help secure the Atlantic Division title and the No. 1 seed in the Eastern Conference playoffs.

Those four moves weren't the only ones that helped the Penguins.

Last June, Shero possessed little leverage when it became apparent that former Penguins center Jordan Staal was intent on playing with his brother, Eric, in Carolina.

Instead of letting Staal become a free agent in the summer of 2013, Shero traded him during the NHL Entry Draft in Pittsburgh. The return Shero received — the eighth overall pick in the 2012 draft, which was used on defenseman Derrick Pouliot, defenseman Brian Dumoulin and center Brandon Sutter — was roundly praised.

Earlier that off-season, Shero dealt a seventh-round draft pick to the Washington Capitals for the rights of goaltender Tomas Vokoun, who was only six weeks away from becoming an unrestricted free agent.

Vokoun had a strong regular season and guided the Penguins to the Eastern Conference final after starter Marc-Andre Fleury faltered in the first round.

Along with winning their division and the overall conference standings during the regular season, the Penguins finished with the NHL's second-best record (36-12-0).

Josh Yohe is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach him at jyohe@tribweb.com or via Twitter @JoshYohe_Trib.

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