Who shall claim you this year?
During the Stanley Cup Playoffs, the Aerys NHL writers have been revealing their picks for the NHL award categories. You can find the previous prognostics over on the side bar.
The Jack Adams Award is awarded to the NHL coach who, according to Wikipedia, is ”adjudged to have contributed the most to his team’s success”.
This season was a year of comebacks when it came to coaches. Bruce Boudreau, fired by the Washington Capitals last year and hired by the Anaheim Ducks, has taken them near the top of the Western Conference. Michel Thierren, who was fired by the Pittsburgh Penguins in 2009, was hired by his former team the Montreal Canadiens and took them from the bottom of the Eastern Conference to near the top. So no surprise these two are widely predicted to be finalists for the trophy. Is there a better story than that?
Yes. The Chicago Blackhawks.
The Blackhawks led the league in wins, going for 25 straight games without a regulation loss. They led the Western Conference, won the President’s Trophy, and are the favourite from the West to go to the Stanley Cup Final. So, of course, Chicago Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville is the favourite to win the Jack Adams award.
Who can play spoilers to these three? A couple of other coaches.
Dan Bylsma of the Pittsburgh Penguins took his team to the top of the Eastern Conference, even with injuries to star players Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin, and James Neal.
Speaking of injuries, no team experienced more than the Ottawa Senators. Yet coach Paul MacLean still found ways to help his team win without feeling sorry for themselves. Could they be nominated? Possibly.
However, I think the three finalists will be Michel Thierren, Bruce Boudreau, and Joel Quenneville.