The NHL announced the three finalists for the Jack Adams award this year with Rod Brind’Amour, Dean Evanson, and Joel Quenneville getting the top three nods.
But did members of the NHL Broadcasters’ Association, who submit ballot votes for the award, miss out on another name in Oilers head coach Dave Tippett?
This year, he led the Oilers to a 35-19-2 record that secured them second place in the North Division and 11th overall. The Oilers posted a .643 win percentage this season, a significant increase from the .585 the Oilers posted in 2019-20.
The clubs 2020-21 regular season was one of the best in franchise history, too. The .643 points percentage ranked seventh in the club’s history, and the Oilers’ highest since 1986-87.
The Oilers scored the 7th most goals for per hour (3.26) while giving up the 13th least goals against per hour (2.74), both of which were significant increases from the year prior (3.11 GF/60, 3 GA/60).
Edmonton’s powerplay operated at a 27.6 percent clip this year leading the league in that category, while their 82.5 percent penalty kill ranked ninth in the league. Both numbers fell roughly two percent from the year prior, but remained among the top in the NHL.
His players saw some improvement, too. Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl had the most productive seasons of their career, and Tippett was able to get the most out of a 39-year-old Mike Smith, who suddenly looked 10 years younger.
The award itself is handed out annually “to the coach adjudged to have contributed the most to his team’s success.”
For Tippett himself, there’s no denying his contributions to helping the Oilers have as strong of a season as they did. He did a great job in pushing the club and his communication skills with his players remained apparent.
The messaging from the team was consistent through the year by working to build towards something greater: the playoffs. While the Oilers faltered in the first round and were unable to break through a stingy Jets team and a goaltender in Connor Hellebuyck who had the series of his career, I think there’s an argument to be made for Adams to have, at the very least, been named a finalist.
What do you think? Do you think Dave Tippett was snubbed for the Jack Adams award?