BABCOCK, McLELLAN AND TORTORELLA VOTED JACK ADAMS AWARD FINALISTS
Mike Babcock of the Toronto Maple Leafs, Todd McLellan of the Edmonton Oilers and John Tortorella of the Columbus Blue Jackets are the three finalists for the 2016-17 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 21, during the 2017 NHL Awards at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.
Following are the finalists for the Jack Adams Award, in alphabetical order:
Mike Babcock, Toronto Maple Leafs
Babcock guided the Maple Leafs (40-27-15, 95 points) to a fourth-place finish in the Atlantic Division and the second Wild Card playoff berth in the Eastern Conference. The Maple Leafs, who finished 30th in the NHL standings last season, became the first team since the 2007-08 Philadelphia Flyers to qualify for the postseason the year after ranking last in the overall standings. Toronto recorded 26 more points than last season, all while becoming the first team in League history to have six different rookies each appear in at least 70 games. Babcock is a Jack Adams Award finalist for the third time, finishing second in voting in 2013-14 and third in 2007-08 with the Detroit Red Wings.
Todd McLellan, Edmonton Oilers
McLellan led the Oilers (47-26-9, 103 points) to a berth in the Stanley Cup Playoffs for the first time since 2005-06, their first 100-point campaign since 1986-87 and a League-leading 33-point improvement over 2015-16. The club stayed in the hunt for the Pacific Division title until the final day of the regular season, winning 12 of its last 14 games and posting a franchise-record nine-game home winning streak to close the season. The Oilers’ total of 207 goals-against (excluding shootouts) was their fewest over an 82-game season since 2001-02. McLellan is a Jack Adams Award finalist for the second time, finishing third in voting with the San Jose Sharks in 2008-09.
John Tortorella, Columbus Blue Jackets
Under Tortorella the Blue Jackets (50-24-8, 108 points) set franchise records for wins, points, home wins (28) and road points (51). The club posted a 32-point gain over 2015-16, jumping from 29th to 2nd in team defense (3.02 to 2.35 GA/G). The Blue Jackets reeled off 16 straight victories from Nov. 29 – Jan 3, the second-longest single-season winning streak in NHL history behind the Pittsburgh Penguins’ 17-game run in 1992-93. Tortorella is a Jack Adams Award finalist for the fourth time, tying Ken Hitchcock and Alain Vigneault for the most among active coaches. He won the trophy in 2003-04 with Tampa Bay and finished second with the Lightning in 2002-03 and New York Rangers in 2011-12.
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.
The three finalists for NHL trophies are being announced by NBCSN in the United States and Sportsnet/TVA in Canada on Stanley Cup Playoff broadcasts through May 2, during pregame programming. The series of announcements continues on Thursday, April 27, when the three finalists for the Mark Messier NHL Leadership Award will be unveiled.
* Information provided via NHL Press Release