The NHL has announced the Jack Adams Award finalists for the 2013-14 season. This award is presented to the head coach who has, “contributed the most to his team’s success,” the NHL states.
This year’s finalists are Mike Babcock of the Detroit Red Wings, Jon Cooper of the Tampa Bay Lightning and Patrick Roy of the Colorado Avalanche. The NHL Broadcasters’ Association is the group that submitted ballots at the end of the season, and the top three coaches with the most votes became these three finalists.
Mike Babcock led the Red Wings to their 23rd consecutive Stanley Cup Playoffs, finishing the regular season with 93 points and a record of 39-28-15. The Red Wings currently hold the longest active streak of playoff appearances in North American professional sports history. The Red Wings overcame losing two of their star players, and two of their leaders, Pavel Datsyuk and Henrik Zetterberg, for a large part of the season. The Red Wings had to play without their dynamic duo for 37 games and Babcock figured out how to win without them. They used 38 players in the regular season, and nine of those players made their NHL debut this season with the Wings. Babcock made this mix work and lead his team to another playoff apperence. This is the second time Babcock has been a finalist for the Jack Adams Award, he finished in third in the 2007-08 season.
This is coach John Cooper’s first full season behind the Tampa Bay Lightning bench. He led the Lightning to second place in the Atlantic Division, with a record of 46-27-9 and 101 points after finishing 28th overall the previous season. He was previously the head coach of Tampa’s AHL affiliate team in Norfolk, and lead them to the Calder Cup in 2012. Cooper managed to incorporated eight rookies into the line up for 40 of the Lightning’s games this season, which was a league high and five more games played with that number of rookies beyond any other team in the NHL. He led the Lightning to 21 road wins which is just one win shy of the franchise record.
Patrick Roy turned the Colorado Avalanche around in his first season as an NHL head coach. He led the Avalanche to a third overall league finish, with a 42-22-8 record and 112 points. The Avalanche finished 29th overall in the 2012-2013 season. The Avalanche became the first team since the NHL expanded to 21 teams in 1979 to go from the bottom three to the top three in one season. They have matched a franchise record for wins, recorded the NHL’s best road record, ranked fourth in the league in goals (250), and they did not suffer a regulation loss after leading through two periods.
The Jack Adams Award winner will be announced during the NHL Awards on Tuesday, June, 24th.