by PuckStopsHere on 02/16/13 at 02:25 PM ET
I have been picking leaders for the various NHL awards. The last award that I am interested in but have not commented upon is the Adams Trophy for coach of the year. It is difficult to decouple a strong coaching job from an improving you team or merely a lucky run. The voters far too often give coach of the year to the coach of the most improved team. One problem with that method is longstanding coaches rarely are considered for the award because there is no reason their team should improve as a result of their coaching. After all they have the same coaching they had last year and the year before.
I think the top coach in the NHL is the only coach in the history of his franchise. I think the coach of the year is Barry Trotz in Nashville. He has his team in fourth place in the West Conference despite a lack of any top scorers. Colin Wilson and Martin Erat lead the team with nine points each. On defence they lost Ryan Suter to free agency, yet they have the best goals against in the league.
Nashville has had a strong defensive system for years regardless of their personnel. Trotz is responsible for this. It helps that they have talented Shea Weber as a lynchpin on their defence but he is not off to a great start and it isn't affecting the team in the standings.
No team owes as much of their success to coaching as the Nashville Predators do and that is why Barry Trotz is my pick for the coach of the year.
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