Rod Brind’Amour of the Carolina Hurricanes, Dean Evason of the Minnesota Wild and Joel Quenneville of the Florida Panthers are the three finalists for the 2020-21 Jack Adams Award, the NHL announced Friday.
The honour is presented to the head coach who has “contributed the most to his team’s success.”
Brind’Amour led the Hurricanes to a Central Division title, their first division crown since their Stanley Cup- winning season in 2005-06, with a 36-12-8 record, good for third in the NHL, and a franchise-record .714 points percentage.
Under Brind’Amour’s leadership, the 2020-21 Hurricanes were the only NHL team to rank top-three on the power play (second, 25.6 per cent) and penalty kill (third, 85.2 per cent).
They’ve also reached the post-season in all three of his seasons behind the bench, the team’s longest playoff streak since moving to Carolina in 1997-98.
The Hurricanes great, who won two Selkes in his 1,484-game NHL career, is vying to become the franchise’s first Jack Adams winner, and is its first coach to be a finalist since Peter Laviolette in that ’05-06 season.
Evason, meanwhile, help the Wild (35-16-5) stun the league as they achieved their best regular-season points percentage in franchise history (.670) and clinched a post-season berth for the eighth time in nine seasons in his first full season as an NHL head coach.
Under his tutelage, the Wild saw breakout offensive campaigns from rookie goal-scoring leader and Calder Trophy finalist Kirill Kaprizov, Joel Eriksson-Ek and Jordan Greenway.
This is hardly new territory for three-time finalist and 1999-2000 winner (with the St. Louis Blues) Quenneville, who is aiming to become the Panthers’ first Jack Adams winner.
The 24-year head coach, who is second on the NHL’s all-time list for regular-season wins with 962, led the Panthers (37-14-5) to franchise records in points percentage (.705) and goals per game (3.36). The team also overcame a devastating season-ending injury to captain and No. 1 defenceman Aaron Ekblad to finish second in the Central Division.