Say you've injured your knee, and it doesn't work very well. It might get better with conservative therapy, but it might need surgery. Surgery has its downsides, so you try conservative therapy first (plus the surgeons insist on that).
So you diligently do your physiotherapy, and look for signs of improvement. You're very interested in the timeline of your improvement, because you need to determine whether this course is going to work, or whether you will need surgery. (If you need surgery, it's better to get on the list sooner.) It takes patience, recovery trajectories vary, but sooner or later, you have to say "OK, we've tried this long enough, and we are not happy with the performance, its time to try another treatment modality." (Or yes, maybe "Wow, my knee works great ! Brilliant job, medical team !")
A reasonable question for your surgeon and physiotherapist is, how long is long enough ?
If you want to assert that 4 years is not long enough to assess the work of an NHL GM, I'm sure a reasonable case can be made for that. But it is still fair to ask how much time is enough.