We are now officially in the homestretch of the 2011-12 NHL season and as always awards start to become a recurring topic of conversation. As a hockey fan, I like the fact that most of the awards this year have 3-4 legitimate candidates and no real runaway winners. However, the Jack Adams award does not fall under this category. I don’t say that because there is no clear cut front runner, I say it because by my count there are 11 coaches that could win it. That’s right 11, and before you call me crazy (although I’m sure you already have), let’s go through them in random order.
Ken Hitchcock- St Louis
Why he should win: Did YOU think the St Louis Blues would be in a battle for the President’s trophy? I know I didn’t. There were many people (myself included) that didn’t like the move St Louis made by firing Davis Payne and hiring Hitch after just 13 games…this crow tastes awful!
John Tortorella- New York
Why he should win: Because the Rangers could win the President’s trophy despite not having a top 10 offense (Something that has only been done once since the 1967 expansion). Also making a jump from 8th to 1st in the East in one year deserves recognition.
Paul MacLean- Ottawa
Why he should win: Because he has finally brought a winning attitude back to Ottawa. This team was actually turning into a joke until MacLean showed up, now they find themselves holding a playoff spot and he has Jason Spezza acting like a leader.
Dave Tippett- Phoenix
Why he should win: The man lost his starting goaltender Ilya Bryzgalov to free agency, had to “settle” for Mike Smith, and still has his team on top of their division. Oh yeah, all while the cloud of ownership issues hangs over this team’s head (again) .
Kevin Dineen- Florida
Why he should win: Go look at this team’s roster, then go look who sits on top of the Southeast, I think the argument ends there.
Barry Trotz- Nashville
Why he should win: (See Barry Trotz coaching stats 2003-Present)
Mike Babcock- Detroit
Why he should win: because his team could not only finish 1st in the NHL but they made history by winning 23 straight at home. Why he won’t win: history repeats itself; coaches with good teams rarely get the respect they deserve.
Alain Vigneault- Vancouver
Why he should win: Because he once again has his team near the top if every statistical category that you would want your team to be in. They are battling for first, 4th in offense, 6th in defense, and the Sedin twins are both in the top 10 in scoring. All this after a heartbreaking game 7 loss in the Stanley Cup finals last season.
Dan Bylsma- Pittsburgh
Why he should win: Stop me if you have heard this one, Bylsma losses one of the best players in the world and still keeps his team competitive? The last time we heard that he won the Jack Adams.
Peter DeBoer- New Jersey
Why he should win: Did you ever have a friend buy a house that was a complete “fixer-upper” and you shook your head at his decision? Then you head to his house months later and it looks fantastic? Just sayin.
Bruce Boudreau- Anaheim
Why he should win: The Ducks would HAVE to make the playoffs for Boudreau to be considered, but if they do, he should be a strong contender. I take you back to 2007-08, he took over in Washington as an “interim” coach, turned things around and won the Jack Adams, I told you earlier history repeats itself.
Let’s head to the links
How do you allow 13 goals and still get selected first star? This is how (Pro Hockey Talk)
Dirty Dangle breaks down Don Cherry’s Ontario Rant.
Katie Baker of Grantland takes a look at the Ottawa Senators goaltending situation
Alexander Ovechkin said yesterday’s loss was his fault….I swear gaa (Washington Post)
A confusing Ilya Bryzgalov interview??? Surely you jest (Puck Daddy)
A shutout in your second NHL Game…not bad kid! (North Jersey)
Speaking of the Devils, looks like Travis Zajac will play this year (NJ.com)
NHL is set to make 3.2 billion in revenue (Puck Drunk Love)
and let’s end with a nice dangle from Louis Eriksson