The Calgary Flames have another finalist for a major National Hockey League award, and this time it’s behind the bench. Flames head coach Darryl Sutter has been named one of three finalists for the Jack Adams Award, which goes to the NHL’s top coach as voted by the NHL’s Broadcasters Association. The other two finalists are Florida’s Andrew Brunette and the NY Rangers’ Gerald Gallant.
The Jack Adams is typically an award that goes to the coach of the team that exceeded expectations the most – if you look at the year-over-year change in standings points, that’s typically a good predictor for who gets consideration for the award. Under Sutter, the Flames went from being a pretty blah team defensively (and one outside of the playoffs) to a very good team in all three zones that won the Pacific Division. That’s a pretty big swing after just a half-season behind the bench and an off-season of plotting, planning and preparation.
Bob Hartley won the award as Flames coach in 2014-15, and Terry Crisp (1987-88 and 1988-89) and Sutter himself (2003-04) were previously finalists while coaching the Flames. Darryl Sutter has never won the Jack Adams in any of his coaching stops, despite being a very good coach whose teams won a couple Stanley Cups, though his brother Brian won the award in 1990-91 while coaching the St. Louis Blues. If Darryl wins, the brothers would be the first to both capture the award.
The NHL awards will be handed out later during the Stanley Cup playoffs. The Flames have several award finalists including Jacob Markstrom (Vezina Trophy) and Elias Lindholm (Selke Trophy).
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