Mike Babcock of the Detroit Red Wings, Jon Cooper of the Tampa Bay Lightning, and rookie coach Patrick Roy of the Colorado Avalanche were voted
as the finalists for the Jack Adams Award (Best Coach) by the NHL Broadcasters’ Association, the NHL announced today.Who should win the prestigious award? Let’s take a look at how each coach fared this season:
With an injury-beaten Detroit squad, Babcock was still able to get the team into the playoffs with a roster comprised of many young players from the team’s AHL affiliate for the 23rd time in a row. He is known for his amazing development of young players and ability to resurrect older players’ careers (Jonas Gustavsson arguably had a big comeback season). Since taking the reigns for the Red Wings back in 2005-06, he has led the team to a Stanley Cup Final twice and many times deep in the playoffs. He really deserves to have at least one Jack Adams Trophy under his belt. Could this be his year?
He really is the underdog to win the award, but many people don’t understand that he led a young and not-so-stacked Tampa Bay roster to a second place finish in the Atlantic Division without Steven Stamkos for most of the season. This was his first full season as an NHL head coach. Although he does not have too much of a hockey playing career, Cooper worked his way up by coaching many minor and junior teams. He even has a law degree. After changing the direction of a franchise in a single season, Cooper deserves recognition and has a good shot at winning the award.
Considered the favorite by many, Roy shot the Colorado Avalanche up the standings in his first season behind the bench. After finishing last in the West in 2012-13, his team came in second in the West this season, ahead of powerhouses like Chicago, St. Louis, and San Jose. What is most impressive is that his team never suffered a regulation loss after leading after two periods, posting a record of 35-0-3. This is amazing, especially for an inexperienced young team. He was also credited for finally unleashing the potential of goaltender Semyon Varlamov.
After analyzing the three coaches, I want to say Babcock should win because he really deserves to after many seasons, but Patrick Roy, in my opinion, should win. A turnaround like that is truly remarkable for a team, especially when front office did not even boost the roster in the offseason.