|Posted by Landon Ewaniuk on May 18, 2013 at 5:15 PM|
The finalists for the Jack Adams award for the coach of the year were announced by the NHL on May 17. This season’s nominees are the Anaheim Ducks’ Bruce Boudreau, the Ottawa Senators’ Paul MacLean and the Chicago Blackhawks’ Joel Quenneville. Both Quenneville and Boudreau are former winners of the award. Quenneville won it for the 1999/2000 season when he was head coach of the league-leading St. Louis Blues and Boudreau took it home after the 2007/08 season as coach of the Washington Capitals. MacLean was also nominated for the trophy last season, but he came in second to Ken Hitchcock of the St. Louis Blues in the voting.
If Quenneville or Boudreau happen to beat out MacLean for the award they will become the fifth coach to win it with two different clubs. The only person to win the trophy on three occasions was Pat Burns as he won it with the Boston Bruins, Toronto Maple Leafs and Montreal Canadiens. Boudreau said there are so many good coaches currently in the NHL so it’s an honor to be named as one of the finalists for the award. He said that Quenneville is one of the best hockey caches ever and he and MacLean did a great job with their respective teams this season, especially with all of the injuries the Senators suffered.
Boudreau lost his job with Washington in late 2011 and took over as the Ducks coach in December of that year. He led the Ducks to the Pacific Division championship this season and came in second place in the Western Conference behind Chicago. It was Anaheim’s best regular-season record since they won the Stanley Cup in 2007. Boudreau’s Ducks failed to make the playoffs last season. Veteran forward Teemu Selanne praised his coach by saying that everybody loved playing for Boudreau because he makes all players feel important.
MacLean’s Senators finished seventh in the Eastern Conference this season even though some of the team’s top players were injured. They made the playoffs without forward Jason Spezza and defenseman Erik Karlsson for most of the season. Spezza, the team’s best center, played just five games before undergoing back surgery and Karlsson, a former Norris trophy winner as the NHL’s best defenseman, missed 10 weeks after he tore his Achilles tendon. In addition, goaltender Craig Anderson missed half the season as did forward Milan Michalek. Defenseman Jared Cowen played in just seven games after tearing his labrum. Not only did the Senators make the playoffs, but they knocked off the Eastern conference’s second-place Montreal Canadiens in five games during the first round.
Quenneville coached the Blackhawks to a Stanley Cup triumph in the 2009/10 season, but the team was knocked out of the playoffs in the first round the past two years. The Hawks dominated the league this season as they won the Western Conference and owned the NHL’s best record overall with a 36-7-5 record. Chicago didn’t lose its first game in regulation time until the 24th contest of the 48-game season. Quenneville said he’s pleased to be nominated for the award, but the players are the ones who deserve all the credit as do his assistant coaches.
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Categories: NHL News