Bob Hartley, Calgary Flames
Hartley led the Flames (45-30-7, 97 points) to a 20-point gain in standings points over 2013-14, the highest jump among Western Conference teams and third-highest in the League overall, in capturing their first playoff berth since 2009. Calgary was among the NHL's best late-game teams, tying for first place in overtime wins (nine), ranking second in third-period goal differential (+31), third in wins when trailing after two periods (10) and fifth in points percentage when leading after 40 minutes (.923, 24-1-1). The Flames also recorded 1,557 blocked shots, tops in the League and the highest single-season total since the statistic was introduced. Hartley is a first-time Jack Adams Award finalist.
Peter Laviolette, Nashville Predators
The Predators showed gains across the board in Laviolette's first season in Nashville. The team’s 47 wins and 104 points were up nine and 16, respectively, over the corresponding figures from 2013-14 as the club qualified for the Stanley Cup Playoffs for the first time since 2012. The Predators were dramatically improved on home ice, posting a 28-9-4 mark at Bridgestone Arena after going 19-17-5 there in 2013-14. The team’s goal differential at 5-on-5 went from -21 to +35 and their performance inside the Central Division improved from 12-13-4 to 15-9-5. Laviolette is a Jack Adams Award finalist for the second time, having finished second in voting with Carolina in 2005-06.
Alain Vigneault, New York Rangers
Vigneault guided the Rangers (53-22-7, 113 points) to the Presidents' Trophy as the NHL's top regular-season club, establishing franchise records for wins and points. The Rangers also led the NHL and set club records for road wins (28) and points (58) – only the 2005-06 Red Wings have won more games as visitors in a season. New York was dominant at both ends of the ice, ranking third League-wide in both offense (3.02 goals scored per game) and defense (2.28 goals allowed per game). Vigneault is a Jack Adams Award finalist for the fourth time, tying St. Louis' Ken Hitchcock for the most among active head coaches. He won the trophy in 2006-07 with Vancouver and finished runner-up with Montreal in 1999-2000 and Vancouver in 2010-11.
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.