As the NHL season comes to a close, we are going to vote on the NHL Awards, and four of us will pick one candidate each to “campaign” for. At the bottom, you will see balloting and the final results.
Guy Boucher, Tampa Bay Lightning by Cujo
When you award the Jack Adams, there is only one guy who truly deserves it, and that is Guy Boucher. The hottest free agent head coach coming into this year for good reason, in his 2 years of head coaching (1 season in QMJHL, and 1 in AHL) he went 106-27. He came in, and took essentially the same Tampa Bay Lightning team that was out of playoff contention last year (34-36-12) and has led them to the playoffs this year (46-25-11). He has played a huge part in making Tampa a dangerous team, and it should be interesting to watch them for years to come.
Dan Bylsma, Pittsburgh Penguins by Realdeal
As a Flyers fan, the last thing I want to see a Penguin win is some hardware. But, as a hockey fan, Dan Bylsma deserves the Jack Adams. Of course, the Penguins had high expectations coming into the season. But the Pens losing their two top players around the same time mid-season, and still staying afloat in the Eastern Conference, almost winning the Atlantic Division, says a lot about Bylsma. HBO’s 24/7 showed how Bylsma is one of the bright, young coaches in this league, and should get some recognition for it.
Jacques Lemaire, New Jersey Devils by Gabbi
Of the four coaches we have selected, the now former New Jersey Devils head coach Jacques Lemaire is the only one to have not clinched a playoff birth. If, then, his team is not in contention for Lord Stanley’s glory, why should he be considered for the Jack Adams? After leading the Devils to the top spot in the Atlantic Division, Lemaire called it quits, saying he wanted to retire from the team he coached to a Stanley Cup in 1995. The club then brought in John MacLean; the team’s all-time leading goal scorer to coach the club. MacLean then proceeded to lead the team to a 9-22-2 record. Upon his firing midseason, Lemaire took the reins back and was given the daunting task to turn the club around. That he did. In 48 games, his neutral zone style brought the New Jersey Devils 28 wins and only 17 losses. Though his club failed to make the playoffs, they were not eliminated until they had 3 games remaining in their season. And while he may not be the team’s coach anymore, the most deserving of these men for the award is Jacques Lemaire, former coach of the New Jersey Devils.
Alain Vigneault, Vancouver Canucks by Joey
Often times the Jack Adams award has an aura more like a lifetime achievement award for the NHL’s coaching brethren. It’s with that thought in mind Alain Vigneault should win the Jack Adams award. Yes he has won once before in 2007 and has a great team at his disposal, but he also leads a team that just gets better and better year after year. That shows that he isn’t there simply for the ride with elite talents like the Sedins and Luongo in your lineup, he is a driving force behind the Canucks success.