Top GM candidates among assistant GMs

Penguins assistant GM Bill Guerin celebrated a Stanley Cup win with the club last year. Is he ready to run his own team? Gregory Shamus/NHLI via Getty Images

Over the past few years, there has been a run on the hiring of talented assistant general managers, providing promotions for guys like Washington GM Brian MacLellan, Montreal GM Marc Bergevin, Calgary GM Brad Treliving, Boston GM Don Sweeney, Buffalo GM Tim Murray and Philadelphia GM Ron Hextall, among others.

And in the time since, the turnover at general manager leaguewide has slowed a bit, as these executives have worked through the learning curve that comes with a new position.

Meanwhile, the assistant GM position has evolved. In some cases, that’s the result of the more common structure of a high-profile team president with more influence (like Brendan Shanahan or Trevor Linden) or teams hiring more executives in their front office in order to specialize.

“Phoenix was great for me because I got to do everything,” Treliving said of his experience coming up through the Coyotes' front office. “But it seems like it’s more specialized -- guys coming in are either on the admin side or scouting side.”

So when there are well-rounded assistant GMs, they become ripe for a promotion. This should be an interesting offseason around the league, including potential front-office changes. Will the Islanders keep Garth Snow in the same role? Do the Florida Panthers have another front-office hire with Tom Rowe behind the bench? Does anyone know what’s happening in Colorado?

If teams are looking to make a move at GM, the league is loaded again with top assistant general managers ready to take the next step. Here’s our annual look at 10 of them: