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Photo Credit: James Guillory-USA TODAY Sports

McLellan named Jack Adams finalist

This evening, Oilers head coach Todd McLellan was named a finalist for Jack Adams trophy as coach of the year.

The other nominations were Leafs head coach Mike Babcock and Blue Jackets head coach John Tortorella.

It took only two years for the coach to nearly turn the Oilers franchise around. In his first season with the team in 2015-2016, he led the Oilers to a 31-43-8 record for 70 points – good enough for 7th in the Pacific Division.

This year has seen great success as the Oilers finished the year with a 47-26-9 record for 103 points.

A 33 point difference was enough for the Oilers to reach the playoffs for the first time in over a decade.

McLellan is certainly in tough against Babcock and Tortorella. Both of them were critical in the turn around of the Leafs and Blue Jackets respectively.

The race will be an interesting one as all three coaches impacted their respective teams with big turnover in their second years.

Much like McLellan did with the Oilers, Torts took the Blue Jackets from being a 76-point team last year to a 108 point team this year.

Tortorella’s Blue Jackets were eliminated in five games in the first round of the playoffs this season against the Penguins.

Babcock took the Leafs from being a 69 point team last year, to a 95 point team this year.

Like the Blue Jackets, the Leafs got eliminated in the first round of this years playoffs. The Caps downed the Leafs in six games.

The NHL Awards takes place on June 21st, 2017 and the winner will be announced then.

    • amos65

      Voting was done before the playoffs and it is entirely based off the regular season.

      That said, I hope it’s McLellan. If not, Torts. You have to have pretty thick Toronto glasses to pick someone who coached a team that barely made the playoffs over two coaches who were competing for division titles.

    • Cheap Shot Charlie

      I’d agree. Often the team who wins either regresses the following year or the team was trending up and the Jack Adams winner replaced a coach when the team was faltering. I would bet Babcock wins it and the Leafs don’t make the playoffs next year.

      2006–07 Alain Vigneault Vancouver Canucks
      2007–08 Bruce Boudreau Washington Capitals
      2008–09 Claude Julien Boston Bruins
      2009–10 Dave Tippett Phoenix Coyotes 1
      2010–11 Dan Bylsma Pittsburgh Penguins
      2011–12 Ken Hitchcock St. Louis Blues
      2012–13 Paul MacLean Ottawa Senators
      2013–14 Patrick Roy Colorado Avalanche
      2014–15 Bob Hartley Calgary Flames
      2015–16 Barry Trotz Washington Capitals

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jack_Adams_Award

      • The older I get, the better I was...

        Boy that’s some ugly “where are they now” types when you see Roy and Hartley on the list and what happened to their teams the following year(s).

  • ubermiguel

    Happy for McLellan, but I have no doubt he’ll come in 3rd because of McDavid. Voters will discount the Oilers success as a team because we have the best player in the world. Besides, I hope he doesn’t win; winning that award is the kiss of death for coaches.

  • YFC Prez

    This was the exact three coaches I was hoping would be nominated, that never happens lol. I think torts should get the award. But would not be surprised to see any of the three win.

  • Can't Fix Stupid

    I would think it should go to Todd. Here is my reasoning:

    The Jackets caught lightning in a bottle with their 16 game winning streak. Even if they won 10 of those they are situated a little differently in the standings. They also improved this year in large part because they had a healthy Bobrovsky instead of Korpisalo who carried them last year.

    They Leafs, although they had a good turn around season under Babcock, didn’t crack 100 points where as the other two finalists did. Babcock has done a great job with his rookies and a defense that doesn’t have a true number one defenseman.

    Todd was able to get a 70 point season out of Draisaitl, gave Maroon a career year for goals, and looked like a wizard with Letestu on the LW PP. The way he has been able to get the team to COMPLETLEY change their ways from 2 years ago from cheating for offense to playing on the right side of the puck shows the respect and trust that he has earned from the players.

    • Cheap Shot Charlie

      I would doubt Todd wins it. Here is my reasoning:

      The Jackets have never found their way as an organization. They play in a division with Wash, Pit and NYR and took 3rd place with 108pts. They don’t have any superstar. Tortz got the most out of every player. I doubt they replicate this years success (a trademark of Jack Adams winners).

      The Leafs were the absolute worst team in the league and got into the playoffs with only 1 first overall pick. The voting members can see every game on TV and every player is highly scrutinized. So, when they though players like Kadri and JVR were busts it was pointed out on a nightly basis that they are meeting their potential under Babcock. Also, as the season progressed you could see a struggling team go from below to above average. It looks good when they team steadily trends up all season.

      Todd had players who every expected to progress this season. McDavid and Draisaitl had some really big games against good teams which often means they are televised nationally. If a voting media member is going to watch an Oiler game it’s going to be when McDavid is up against another superstar. So, it took a long time to recognize that the Oilers weren’t a one line team. Eberle, RNH, Pouliot, Lucic all had sub optimal point production years and stats are the first thing many people look to. I highly doubt that voters will recognize that he made those players better 2-way players.

      I think Todd will come in 3rd in voting and I really hope he does. He’s too good to get this cursed award that is given for 1 year of success when he is obviously a long term success kind of guy.