Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Paul on 04/30/12 at 01:02 PM ET
NEW YORK (April 30, 2012)—Ken Hitchcock of the St. Louis Blues, Paul MacLean of the Ottawa Senators and John Tortorella of the New York Rangers are the three finalists for the 2011-12 Jack Adams Award, presented to the head coach who has “contributed the most to his team’s success,” the National Hockey League announced today.
Members of the NHL Broadcasters’ Association submitted ballots for the Jack Adams Award at the conclusion of the regular season, with the top three vote-getters designated as finalists. The winner will be announced Wednesday, June 20, during the 2012 NHL Awards from Encore Theater at Wynn Las Vegas. The 2012 NHL Awards will be broadcast by NBC Sports Network in the United States and CBC in Canada.
Following are the finalists for the Jack Adams Award, in alphabetical order:
Ken Hitchcock, St. Louis Blues
Hitchcock made his debut behind the St. Louis bench Nov. 8 with the club at 6-7-0 and posted a 43-15-11 record the rest of the way; the 109-point season was the Blues’ best since capturing the Presidents’ Trophy in 1999-2000. The club broke or tied 13 franchise records, including a 21-game home points streak and 30 home wins overall. The Blues allowed the NHL’s fewest goals against by a wide margin (165), the fewest shots per game (26.7) and posted the most shutouts (15). Hitchcock earned his fourth career nomination as a Jack Adams finalist and the first in 13 years; he finished second in 1997 and third in 1998 and 1999, all with Dallas.
Paul MacLean, Ottawa Senators
MacLean made his NHL debut as head coach after spending six seasons as an assistant with the Detroit Red Wings and led the Senators (41-31-10, 92 points) to a Stanley Cup Playoff berth and an 18-point improvement over last season’s 13th-place East finish. The biggest change was on offense, where Ottawa jumped from 26th to fourth in the League in goals per game. MacLean is the third rookie head coach in the past four years to earn a Jack Adams finalist berth: Washington’s Bruce Boudreau captured the award in 2008, followed by third-place finishes by San Jose’s Todd McLellan in
2009 and Colorado’s Joe Sacco in 2010.
John Tortorella, New York Rangers
Tortorella guided the Rangers to first place in the Eastern Conference with a 51-24-7 record, their best regular-season performance since the Stanley Cup season of 1993-94. The club’s goals-against figure (187) was tops in the East, third in the NHL overall and was the fewest by a Rangers club over a full season since 1970-71. The Rangers led all clubs in hits (2,419) and ranked fourth in blocked shots (1,338). Tortorella is a Jack Adams finalist for the third time; he finished second in the voting in 2003 and captured the award in 2004, the season in which he guided the Tampa Bay Lightning to the Stanley Cup.
The award was presented by the NHL Broadcasters’ Association in 1974 in honor of the late Jack Adams, longtime coach and general manager of the Detroit Red Wings.
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Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.
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