As fans of National Hockey League (NHL) teams, most of us believe we could do the job of a general manager and much better than most current managers at that. If you're a fan of the Edmonton Oilers and you've got Connor McDavid on your team, you probably believe it wouldn't be that difficult to build a championship contender. You wouldn't have traded Taylor Hall or Jordan Eberle and you wouldn't have signed Milan Lucic. As a result, the Oilers would be easily into the playoffs right now instead of staring down the possibility of another first overall draft pick.
But there's a lot more that goes into making those decisions than you might believe. As a GM, you have to answer to the owner and, in some instances, a team president. You also have to consider player contracts and fan reaction. For instance, you might think it's the smart thing to trade John Tavares if you're the Islanders GM and you know he's not re-signing with the team, but the team's owner might not be too thrilled with how that reflects on his commitment to winning, which could ultimately turn fans away from the team. Think carefully about each of the decisions and see if you can put together a Stanley-Cup-winning team.
1Which player would you pick as your first line center?
You can make the case for a No. 1 defenseman and a starting goaltender, but there's nothing more important than having an All-Star center. Look at the No. 1 center on the teams that won the Stanley Cup in recent years: Sidney Crosby, Anze Kopitar, Jonathan Toews, Patrice Bergeron.
2Which player would you pick as your second line center?
While having a skilled all-around player centering your top line is crucial, so is having a capable second-line center who can jump up in the event of an injury and play on both the penalty kill and power play. He should be able to play anywhere from 15 to 20 minutes a night.