Cassidy, Tortorella and Vigneault named finalists for Jack Adams Award

By WGR 550 SportsRadio

The National Hockey League announced on Wednesday the finalists for the Jack Adams Award for the NHL's coach of the year. This award is given every year to "the NHL coach adjudged to have contributed the most to his team's success," and is voted upon by the NHL Broadcasters' Association.

This year's finalists for the Jack Adams Award are Boston Bruins head coach Bruce Cassidy, Columbus Blue Jackets head coach John Tortorella and Philadelphia Flyers head coach Alain Vigneault.

2020 Jack Adams Award finalists for coach of the year, as voted by broadcasters: Bruce Cassidy (BOS), John Tortorella (CBJ) and Alain Vigneault (PHI).

— Frank Seravalli (@frank_seravalli) July 15, 2020

In his fourth season as head coach of the Bruins, Cassidy helped lead Boston to a league-best 44-14-12 record and 100 points, which earned the Bruins the Presidents' Trophy as the team with the most points during the NHL regular season. Cassidy has led the Bruins to the Stanley Cup Playoffs in all four years under his leadership, and this finish comes after falling one game short of winning the Stanley Cup in 2019 to the St. Louis Blues. Overall, Cassidy has a 161-66-34 record in his Bruins tenure, including a 22-20 record in the postseason.

It is the second time that Cassidy has been named a finalist for the Jack Adams Award, with his other nod coming back in 2018.

The Bruins will take part in the seeding round-robin tournament in the Eastern Conference, where they will compete for the chance to be the No. 1 seed in the Eastern Conference playoff picture.

The @NHLBruins own the NHL's second-best regular-season record since Cassidy took over as head coach, boosted by a run of three straight 100-point seasons since 2017-18. #NHLAwards #NHLStats

— NHL Public Relations (@PR_NHL) July 15, 2020

This past offseason was a deconstructive one for the Blue Jackets after losing a number of key roster players to free agency. This left Columbus in a tough situation heading into the 2019-20 season, with many people believing that they would take a steep decline in production from the year before.

However, Tortorella kept his team in contention for most of the season, leading the Blue Jackets to a 33-22-15 record and 81 points in 70 games played this season. At the time of the league's shut down due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Blue Jackets were in fourth place in the Metropolitan Division.

Tortorella is up for his third Jack Adams Award of his coaching career. He won his first award back in the 2003-04 season with the Tampa Bay Lightning, while also winning in 2016-17 season with the Blue Jackets.

With the way the league's Return To Play format is structured, the Blue Jackets placed as a ninth-seed in the Stanley Cup Qualifying Round and will take on the Toronto Maple Leafs in the best-of-five series in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

The @BlueJacketsNHL recorded points in 33 of their final 41 games after Dec. 8 (22-8-11), highlighted by a pair of double-digit point streaks in that span. #NHLAwards #NHLStats

— NHL Public Relations (@PR_NHL) July 15, 2020

As for Vigneault, he was able to lead the Flyers to an impressive 41-21-7 record in his first season behind the bench in Philadelphia, which resulted in a second place finish in the Metropolitan Division.

The Flyers were a team coming off a 2018-19 season where they missed the playoffs and ended up firing head coach Dave Hakstoll 31 games into the season. The team responded really well this season, especially right out of the NHL All-Star break, where Philadelphia would go 14-3-1 in 18 games to climb towards the top of the division standings. This stretch included a nine-game winning streak for the Flyers just before the regular season was suspended on March 12 due to the coronavirus.

Vigneault is up for his second Jack Adams Award after winning back in the 2006-07 season as head coach of the Vancouver Canucks.

When the NHL makes its return for the Return To Play plan on Aug. 1, the Flyers will compete in the Eastern Conference seeding round-robin tournament, where they will compete with the Bruins, Tampa Bay Lightning and Washington Capitals for the top-seed in the playoffs.

Alain Vigneault and the @NHLFlyers had an NHL-best 14 wins (tied) and League-leading .778 points percentage (tied) since Feb. 1. #NHLAwards #NHLStats

— NHL Public Relations (@PR_NHL) July 15, 2020

An announcement of the winner of the Jack Adams Award will come at a later date.

Here is the list of other award finalists to be named in the coming days:
  • Thursday, July 16: Lady Byng Trophy, Masterton Trophy
  • Friday, July 17: Willie O’Ree Award, Vezina Trophy
  • Monday, July 20: Norris Trophy, Selke Trophy
  • Tuesday, July 21: Hart Trophy