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NHL names Avs Joe Sacco Adams award finalist

Avs in action
Avs in action
aP Photo Paul Sakuma

On Wednesday the National Hockey League announced the three finalists for the 2010 Jack Adams Award, given to the Coach of the Year. The nominees are:

Joe Sacco of the Colorado Avalanche. In his first year as head coach, he led the Avs to a 43-30-9 record, good for 96 points, a 26 point increase over 2008-09. He led the Avs to the playoffs for the first time in two years, making them the first team to make the playoffs after finishing last in their conference since the NHL expanded to 30 teams in 2000.

Barry Trotz of the Nashville Predators. Trotz coached the Preds to the playoffs for the fifth time in six years. The Predators finished seventh in the Western Conference with a 47-29-6 record equaling100 points.

The unofficial favorite is Dave Tippitt of the Phoenix Coyotes. With a poor performance in 2000-09 and all sorts of ownership trouble, the Coyotes were expected to finish at the bottom of the NHL in 2009-10. Due to management's hassle with former coach Wayne Gretzky, Tippitt didn't get the job until a week before the regular season began. Tippitt led the Coyotes through the off-ice turmoil to a 50-25-7 record. The Coyotes 107 points earned them 4th place in the West.

The winner will be announced June 23rd at the NHL Awards Ceremony, to be held at the Palms Hotel in Las Vegas.