Rod Brind’Amour, Dean Evason and Joel Quenneville were named finalists for the Jack Adams Award on Friday.
The award is given annually to the coach voted the best in the NHL by members of the NHL Broadcasters’ Association. The winner will be announced as part of the 2021 NHL Awards presented by Bridgestone during the Stanley Cup Semifinals or Stanley Cup Final.
Brind’Amour coached the Carolina Hurricanes (36-12-8) to their best-ever points percentage (.714), first in the Discover Central Division and the third-best record in the NHL. The Hurricanes were second in power-play percentage (25.6) and third in penalty-killing percentage (85.2), the only team to rank in the top three in each. They were tied with the Boston Bruins for fourth in goals-against per game (2.39), third in face-off winning percentage (53.9) and fifth in shots per game (32.0) and won a division title for the first time since 2005-06.
A first-time finalist for the award, Brind’Amour has guided the Hurricanes to the Stanley Cup Playoffs in each of his three seasons and would be the first coach in Hurricanes/Hartford Whalers history to win it.
Evason guided the Minnesota Wild (35-16-5) to their best-ever points percentage (.670) and a playoff berth in his first full season as coach, one season after taking over and going 8-4-0 to help Minnesota qualify. The Wild scored 3.21 goals per game, the most in team history, and had three winning streaks of at least five games, including a seven-game run that was part of a stretch when Minnesota earned points in 14 of 15 games (11-1-3) from April 10-May 8.
A first-time finalist, Evason would be the second Wild coach to win the award. Jacques Lemaire won it in 2002-03.
Quenneville helped the Florida Panthers (37-14-5) qualify for the playoffs for the second straight season, finishing one point behind the Hurricanes in the Central Division. The Panthers had their highest points percentage (.705) and most goals per game (3.36) in their history. Florida tied for fourth with the Washington Capitals in goals per game and were ninth in goals-against per game (2.70), after allowing 3.25 last season (tied with the New Jersey Devils for third worst in NHL). They were first in shots per game (34.9).
A three-time finalist, Quenneville won the award with the St. Louis Blues in 1999-00 and was runner-up with the Chicago Blackhawks in 2012-13. He would be the first Panthers coach to win it after second-place finishes by Doug MacLean (1995-96) and Gerard Gallant (2015-16), and set the record for most years between wins (21), breaking the mark held by Scotty Bowman (19).
Bruce Cassidy of the Bruins won the Jack Adams Award last season.