2010 NHL Awards: Five Alternative Nominees for the Jack Adams
The NHL Awards will be taking place in Las Vegas on Wednesday night, and the three nominees for the Jack Adams award for Best Coach are definitely deserving of the honor.
They include Dave Tippett of the Phoenix Coyotes, Joe Sacco of the Colorado Avalanche, and Barry Trotz of the Nashville Predators.
Here are a list of five other coaches that could've been nominated for the award, based on what each of them accomplished during the 2009-10 regular season.
Bruce Boudreau, Washington Capitals
Before I forget, remember that these awards don't pertain to the playoffs, so what happened to the Capitals in the first round is irrelevant.
However, during the regular season, Washington was unstoppable. A 54-15-13 record is absolutely impressive, and all that without a consistent No.1 goaltender.
Mind you, having one of the greatest offensive talents in the game in Alexander Ovechkin helps, not to mention the best offensive blueliner in the league as well in Mike Green.
Lindy Ruff, Buffalo Sabres
There is no head coach in the league that gets more out of his players than Buffalo's Lindy Ruff.
The 50-year-old is the longest tenured coach in the league, as he has been behind the Sabres bench since 1997.
He was able to lead the Sabres back to the playoffs in 09-10 after a two-year absence, and has had to adapt to the post-lockout NHL and be successful, while also showing great success pre-lockout as well. In 12 seasons, he has had a losing record only once.
Mike Babcock, Detroit Red Wings
Despite a slow start to the season, Babcock was able to get the Detroit Red Wings back into a playoff position late in the season, and then advance past the first round before eventually falling to the San Jose Sharks in the second round.
He had to deal with a lot of injuries throughout the season, but was able to juggle his lines all season long to get enough out of his aging squad to hit the century mark for the fifth consecutive season.
Along the way, he also was able to snag a Gold Medal at the 2010 Olympics for Team Canada.
Terry Murray, Los Angeles Kings
After only his second season behind the bench for the LA Kings, Murray was able to get Los Angeles to the playoffs, after an impressive 22-point improvement from his first season in 2008-09.
Like Babcock, Murray was also forced to juggle his lines when key forward such as Justin Williams and Ryan Smyth went down with injuries.
He was able to lead the Kings back to the playoffs for the first time since 2001-02, and also had one of the most successful seasons that the franchise has had in terms of points, crossing the 100-point mark for only the third time in the team's 42 years of existence.
Peter Laviolette, Philadelphia Flyers
The 45-year-old Laviolette only came on to the job in December, as he replaced John Stevens behind the bench.
However, he was able to instill his own system, and turn a dismal season for the Flyers around, and the rest as you know, is history.
Of course, his 28-24-5 record doesn't stand out as much, but don't forget, he did this mainly without his No.1 goaltender in Ray Emery, and had to mix and match the lines as much as possible, as he always had a centre playing out of position in Daniel Briere, Jeff Carter or Claude Giroux.