In the wake of the Johnny Boychuk extension, SI's Allan Muir points towards Snow's October acquisitions of his top pairing defensemen as Exhibit A in the case for Snow as the NHL's General Manager of the Year.
"By locking in Boychuk and fellow summer heist Nick Leddy, Snow now has his top-four defensemen under contract for at least the next three years -- Travis Hamonic and Calvin de Haan are both signed through 2017-18 -- with the all of them counting $15.4 million collectively toward the cap. Compare that to what a team like the Flyers are paying and it's easy to see what a bargain that is."
For as much grief as Garth took for his activity -- or lack thereof -- prior to the 2013-14 season, this year's moves deserve the highest praise. Snow has not only turned the NHL club into a serious Cup contender, but there is plenty of youth on the horizon that can make this team viable for years to come. That's important in a cap league, where your window of contention has be extended by slotting up-and-coming talent into spots previously by higher priced veterans.
The majority of his tenure as GM, Snow has operated with no room for error, being hindered by financial limitations or because some players just didn't want to come to this franchise. But this season, with his core group developing and the long rebuild finally paying off, he's been able to operate from a position of strength, whether it has been dealing from a surplus of prospects or shelling out big bucks to retain his own talent. It's hard to argue with the results.