For the second consecutive season, the Nashville Predators' Barry Trotz has been named a finalist for the Jack Adams Award as the NHL's top head coach. Last summer, he finished second behind Dave Tippet of the Phoenix Coyotes, and this year, his competition includes Dan Bylsma of the Pittsburgh Penguins and Alain Vigneault of the Vancouver Canucks.
Trotz is now the fourth Predator in the running for a major award, with David Poile a finalist for GM of the Year, Pekka Rinne up for the Vezina Trophy, and Shea Weber in the running for the Norris Trophy. The NHL Awards will take place on June 22nd in Las Vegas, and will be broadcast on Versus. If you want to go, the league is actually running a contest to give away an all-inclusive trip for 2.
Over at The Hockey News, Ryan Kennedy just posted an article this morning noting that the Preds' 1st-round triumph over Anaheim has certainly answered some of the questions about Trotz's ability to carry over his regular season success into the playoffs.
...when it came to my preview of the Anaheim-Nashville series for the website, I promptly gave the coaching edge to Randy Carlyle of the Ducks. While Trotz was stuck on the first round, Carlyle had won a Stanley Cup title in 2007, upset the top-seeded Sharks in the first round ('09) and taken another underdog team to the conference final ('06, his first year behind the bench). In the immortal words of Alex Ovechkin, "Cups is Cups."
But now, ironically, the parameters have shifted. Trotz beat Carlyle's Ducks in the first round this season and is now the proud owner of a second series, this time facing the Vancouver Canucks. And hey, for some extra credit, he even did it as a slight underdog - Nashville being the No. 5 seed in the West.
If he can engineer a 2nd-round upset of the Presidents Trophy-winning Vancouver Canucks, Trotz will surely have eliminated any such doubts.