Flames head coach Darryl Sutter wins Jack Adams Award for first time

Calgary Flames' Darryl Sutter won the 2021-22 Jack Adams Award, given to the NHL's coach of the year. The award was presented to Sutter by his older brother Brian, who took home the same honour in 1991 as coach of the St. Louis Blues.

Calgary Flames head coach Darryl Sutter has won the 2021-22 Jack Adams Award, presented annually to the NHL's coach of the year.

It's Sutter's first time winning the award in 20 seasons as an NHL head coach. The 63-year-old was previously a finalist in 2003-04, also with the Flames.

Andrew Brunette of the Florida Panthers and Gerard Gallant of the New York Rangers were the other two finalists in 2021-22.

The NHL announced the award winner on Sportsnet prior to Game 2 of the Western Conference Final on Thursday, with a video of Brian Sutter, a winner of the award in 1991, presenting the honour to his younger brother Darryl.

"Thanks Brian. I am honoured to be informed by you of this award," said Sutter in the video, using the opportunity to speak more about his brother than himself. "Brian won the award in 1991, so that's a long time ago and I think back to when he won it and the great job he did, especially being a young NHL head coach and the pressures that we face. So I'm honoured to be told by Brian.

"I accept the Jack Adams Award on behalf of my family — my wife, Wanda, and son, Christopher."

Sutter began his second stint as Calgary's head coach in 2020-21, taking over from Geoff Ward mid-season.

The Flames missed the playoffs that season, but in the following full season under Sutter, mounted the largest season-to-season improvement of any NHL team in 2021-22 — capturing the sixth-best record in the NHL (50-21-11) and the Pacific Division title.

Sutter then oversaw the Flames through the first round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs, before the team lost to the Edmonton Oilers in Round 2.

After winning Stanley Cups with the Los Angeles Kings in 2012 and 2014, Sutter was an adviser to the Anaheim Ducks coaching staff and appeared headed toward retiring as an NHL coach when he took the job with the Flames.

The Viking, Alta. native has also coached the Chicago Blackhawks and San Jose Sharks.

"The reason I came back was because I watched the teams lots, the (Edmonton) Oilers and Calgary lots," said Sutter in May.

"I thought the Flames were falling behind in terms of what was going on in the division, going on in the league. That was the biggest reason that I came back.

"I've been fortunate to be in the places I've been and with the owners and the type of teams that you'd like to see have success. You get to a point where you can, not pick and choose, but you don't have to go through a process to take that position."

Brunette led the Panthers (58-18-6) to the first Presidents' Trophy in franchise history as the NHL's top regular-season team. Florida went on to lose to the Tampa Bay Lightning in Round 2.

Gallant became just the second head coach in franchise history to win 50-plus games in his first season, guiding the Rangers (52-24-6) to their best record since capturing the Presidents' Trophy in 2014-15. The Rangers remain in the hunt for the Stanley Cup and currently lead the Lightning 1-0 in the Eastern Conference Final.

Members of the NHL broadcasters' association submit ballots for the award at the end of the regular season with the top three vote-earners named finalists.

With files from The Canadian Press

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