The Jack Adams Award goes to the best head coach in the NHL, as voted upon by the NHL Broadcasters Association. It is named after the legendary coach and GM of the Detroit Red Wings, and has been won most often by the late Pat Burns, who turned the trick in Montreal, Toronto, and Boston.
It's an absolute travesty that Burns isn't in the Hockey Hall of Fame, especially since the opportunity was there to induct him before his death in 2010. Unfortunately, the committee which selects members for the Hall is famously secretive about their deliberations, leaving themselves open to accusations from all corners.
But enough about the schmucks at the Hockey Hall of Fame - let's move on to this year's Jack Adams Award finalist...
Boudreau ignited a lightning-fast turnaround in Anaheim, where the Ducks went from 13th place in the West in 2011-2012 to 2nd this season, running away with the Pacific Division. While the trio of star forwards (Ryan Getzlaf, Corey Perry & Bobby Ryan) led the way, Boudreau also got a strong season out of veteran defenseman Francois Beauchemin.
Boudreau previously won the Jack Adams in 2008 with the Washington Capitals.
Many thought that the Ottawa Senators would have a tough time making it into the playoffs before the season began, but once Jason Spezza and Erik Karlsson went down with season-threatening injuries during the first few weeks, the obituaries were drafted up pretty quickly. The Sens defied conventional wisdom, however, by playing the tightest defense in the Eastern Conference and knocking Montreal out in the first round of the playoffs.
This is only MacLean's second year as head coach, and he was a finalist for the Jack Adams last season as well (the winner was Ken Hitchcock of St. Louis).
Quenneville led the Chicago Blackhawks to one of the most dominant regular season records in recent memory, although the 48-game schedule diminishes that accomplishment to some extent. Nevertheless, the Hawks were outstanding in all elements of the game, and Quenneville once again boasted perhaps the finest facial hair in all of sport.
OTF Staff Picks
|Dirk||Paul MacLean||Joel Quenneville||Bruce Boudreau||Formerly known to me as "the other guy in that damned Adam Oates trade", he's turned out to be a pretty good coach, even though he's a fat, bug-eyed walrus, apparently.|
|Sam||The Chicago guy||The Ottawa guy||Hitchcock||Can't deny 48-0-0|
|Caroline||Paulrus MacLean (OTT)||Todd McLellan (SJS)||Jack Capuano (NYI)||Lookit what he did with the roster he had this year. LOOK AT WHAT HE DID. Winner.|
|Jonathan||Paul MacLean||Bruce Boudreau||Adam Oates||MacLean wins. But turned a floundering team into a powerhouse, and Oates rescued his from certain doom.|
|Chris||Paul MacLean||EVERYONE ELSE||EVERYONE ELSE||If anyone but MacLean wins, it's theft. No coach has done more with less this year.|
|George||Joel Quenneville||Jack Capuano||Mike Babcock||I agree with Sam. In all seriousness, Chicago re-emerged this year from their post-2010-Cup-fire-sale rebuild in spectacular fashion, capturing the Presidents Trophy with room to boot. Sure, they've got Toews, Kane, Ho$$a, and other great talent; but to dominate and roll the four lines they rolled all over every team they played requires a great bench boss.|
|Jason||Paul MacLean||Bruce Boudreau||Adam Oates||For the facial hair alone, he merits serious consideration.|