After leading the Minnesota Wild to their best regular season finish in four years last season, Dean Evason looks to the start of the upcoming campaign listed as a +250 co-favourite on the Jack Adams Award odds at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com.
Evason guided the Wild to a 35-16-5 record last season, good enough for third place in the West Division. That performance has boosted the team's position on the Stanley Cup odds for the season ahead, where they sit just shy of the favourites as a +2500 wager. However, a shaky postseason track record and the uncertain status of last year's top rookie Kirill Kaprizov complicate the Wild's bid to build on last season's breakthrough.
The Wild made yet another early exit from the NHL playoffs last season, bowing out in the opening round for the fifth time in as many postseason appearances after losing in seven games to the Vegas Golden Knights. In addition, the team has reached an impasse in contract talks with Kaprizov, who played a huge role in Minnesota's success while racking up a team-best 27 goals and 51 points.
Evason must also contend with stiff competition from Jon Cooper, who joins him atop the Jack Adams Award odds as a +250 wager at online betting sites. Currently the longest serving head coach in the NHL, Cooper led the Tampa Bay Lightning to a second straight Stanley Cup championship win last season.
With their championship core returning largely intact, the Lightning are set as a strong +550 wager to become the first team to record three straight Stanley Cup wins since 1983. Tampa Bay has also enjoyed a consistent presence at or near the top of the NHL standings under Cooper's leadership, finishing among the top two in the division standings in six of the past eight seasons, and making the playoffs on seven occasions during that stretch.
Further down the Jack Adams Award odds, last season's winner Rod Brind'Amour of the Carolina Hurricanes is set at +500. Brind'Amour is joined by Boston's Bruce Cassidy, Florida's Joel Quenneville, and the New Islanders' Barry Trotz. Colorado's Jared Bednar leads the middle of the pack as a +1600 wager, just ahead of Dallas Stars head coach Rick Bowness, who sits alongside Sheldon Keefe of the Toronto Maple Leafs at +1800 on those NHL odds.
Edmonton's Dave Tippett sits tied on the list at +2500 odds with Winnipeg's Paul Maurice and Dominique Ducharme, who opens his first full season as the head coach of the Montreal Canadiens. Vancouver's Travis Green sits off the pace at +6600, ahead of Calgary's Darryl Sutter at +8000, while Ottawa Senators coach D.J. Smith is listed as a +10000 longshot.