On the first anniversary of his hiring, Nashville Predators head coach Peter Laviolette has been named a finalist for the Jack Adams Award, the NHL’s Coach of the Year award, the league announced today.
Bob Hartley of the Calgary Flames and Alain Vigneault of the New York Rangers are the other two nominees, as voted by members of the NHL Broadcasters’ Association at the end of the regular season. The winner will be announced this June at the NHL Awards in Las Vegas.
Laviolette has enjoyed unprecedented success in his first season at the helm in Music City. He led Nashville to a 16-point jump in the standings and their first playoff berth since 2012. General manager David Poile brought in Laviolette to help the team become more offensively-inclined, and he delivered, big-time. According to the official release, Laviolette brought the Predators’ goal differential at 5v5 from -21 to +35 in just one season.
He also helped the Predators boast four 20+ goal-scoring forwards (Forsberg, Smith, Neal and Wilson) for the first time since the 2007-2008 season (Dumont, Arnott, Radulov, and Erat).
This is Laviolette’s second nomination for the Jack Adams, as he finished second in the voting for the award in 2006 with the Carolina Hurricanes (he also won a Stanley Cup with the Hurricanes that season).
The official release from the NHL:
HARTLEY, LAVIOLETTE AND VIGNEAULT VOTED JACK ADAMS AWARD FINALISTS
NEW YORK (May 6, 2015) — Bob Hartley of the Calgary Flames, Peter Laviolette of the Nashville Predators and Alain Vigneault of the New York Rangers are the three finalists for the 2014-15 Jack Adams Award, presented to the head coach who has “contributed the most to his team’s success,” the National Hockey League announced today.
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Members of the NHL Broadcasters’ Association submitted ballots for the Jack Adams Award at the conclusion of the regular season, with the top three vote-getters designated as finalists. The winner will be announced Wednesday, June 24, during the 2015 NHL Awards from the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.
Following are the finalists for the Jack Adams Award, in alphabetical order:
Bob Hartley, Calgary Flames
Hartley led the Flames (45-30-7, 97 points) to a 20-point gain in standings points over 2013-14, the highest jump among Western Conference teams and third-highest in the League overall, in capturing their first playoff berth since 2009. Calgary was among the NHL’s best late-game teams, tying for first place in overtime wins (nine), ranking second in third-period goal differential (+31), third in wins when trailing after two periods (10) and fifth in points percentage when leading after 40 minutes (.923, 24-1-1). The Flames also recorded 1,557 blocked shots, tops in the League and the highest single-season total since the statistic was introduced. Hartley is a first-time Jack Adams Award finalist.
Peter Laviolette, Nashville Predators
The Predators showed gains across the board in Laviolette’s first season in Nashville. The team’s 47 wins and 104 points were up nine and 16, respectively, over the corresponding figures from 2013-14 as the club qualified for the Stanley Cup Playoffs for the first time since 2012. The Predators were dramatically improved on home ice, posting a 28-9-4 mark at Bridgestone Arena after going 19-17-5 there in 2013-14. The team’s goal differential at 5-on-5 went from -21 to +35 and their performance inside the Central Division improved from 12-13-4 to 15-9-5. Laviolette is a Jack Adams Award finalist for the second time, having finished second in voting with Carolina in 2005-06.
Alain Vigneault, New York Rangers
Vigneault guided the Rangers (53-22-7, 113 points) to the Presidents’ Trophy as the NHL’s top regular-season club, establishing franchise records for wins and points. The Rangers also led the NHL and set club records for road wins (28) and points (58) – only the 2005-06 Red Wings have won more games as visitors in a season. New York was dominant at both ends of the ice, ranking third League-wide in both offense (3.02 goals scored per game) and defense (2.28 goals allowed per game). Vigneault is a Jack Adams Award finalist for the fourth time, tying St. Louis’ Ken Hitchcock for the most among active head coaches. He won the trophy in 2006-07 with Vancouver and finished runner-up with Montreal in 1999-2000 and Vancouver in 2010-11.