On Tuesday, the NHL announced the three finalists for the Jack Adams Award. Voted on by the NHL Broadcasters Association, the award is given out annually by the league to the coach that “contributed the most to his team’s success.”
Named after former Detroit Red Wings Coach Jack Adams, the award has been given out each season since 1974. Last season, the award went to Paul Maclean of the Ottawa Senators. This season, three coaches who have never won the award will vie for the honor. The three leading vote getters were: Mike Babcock of the Detroit Red Wings, Jon Cooper of the Tampa Bay Lightning and Patrick Roy of the Colorado Avalanche.
The winner will be announced at the 2014 NHL Awards ceremony on June 24, in Las Vegas. Here is a brief overview of each of the three candidates vying to be the 2013-2014 recipient of the Jack Adams Award.
Team: Colorado Avalanche Record: 52-22-8, 112 points
A rookie head coach, the legendary goaltender Patrick Roy guided the Colorado Avalanche back to the playoffs for the first time in four seasons. In fact, it marked the first time since the NHL expanded in 1979 that a team had gone from the bottom three in the league standings to the top three the very next season. The Avalanche tied a franchise record for wins, and had the best road record in the league (26-11-4). Roy also deserves some credit for the turnaround of goaltender Semyon Varlamov, who is nominated for the Vezina Trophy as the league’s top netminder.
Team: Tampa Bay Lightning Record: 46-27-9, 101 points
After joining the club in the middle of the season during the lockout-shortened 2012-2013 campaign, this year was Cooper’s first full season behind the Lightning bench. All Cooper had to deal with was the loss of franchise sniper Steven Stamkos for an extended period to a broken leg, and the team captain Martin St. Louis demanding a trade. The Lightning also had more rookies appear in at least 40 games than any other squad (8). Still, he guided the Lightning back to the playoffs after they finished 28th in the 2012-2013 season.
Team: Detroit Red Wings Record: 39-28-15, 93 points
Between the Stanley Cup ring and the Olympic gold medals, it is somewhat surprising that Mike Babcock has never won a Jack Adams. Nominated in 2007-2008, this may be his best chance. Despite the fact the Wings lost a team-record 421 man games to injury, Babcock was still able to guide his club to their 23rd consecutive playoff appearance (the longest current streak in professional sports).