The Calgary Flames’ bench boss has received one of the league’s top honours for his part in leading the club to one of their best-ever regular seasons. Darryl Sutter has been named the 2021-22 recipient of the Jack Adams Award as the National Hockey League’s top coach, as voted by the National Hockey League Broadcasters Association.
Sutter, 63, returned to the Flames bench in March 2021, taking over mid-season for Geoff Ward. He led the club to a .500 finish over the final 30 games of the pandemic-shortened season, but the work he put in during that season (and during a full training camp in the fall of 2021) really set the tone for the Flames going forward.
This season under Sutter, the Flames broke out in a big way. They finished in the top 10 league-wide in goals for, goals against, power play and penalty killing, and emerged as one of the top teams in the league. At mid-season, the team saw their schedule massively adjusted due to a COVID-19 outbreak on the club (and subsequently due to changes in Alberta’s event attendance policy that led to games being moved to minimize revenue losses). The Flames played their final 40 games over just 80 days: they went 27-8-5 in that span.
This is the first Jack Adams Award for Sutter, who was previously a finalist in 2003-04. He’s the second Flames head coach to win the award, following Bob Hartley in 2014-15. Brian Sutter, Darryl’s brother, won the award in the 1990-91 season.
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