The NHL will announce the three finalists for coach of the year tonight. The Jack Adams Award is voted on by the National Hockey League Broadcasters Association. Last year, it was presented to Patrick Roy, head coach of the Colorado Avalanche, who beat out finalists Mike Babcock (Detroit) and Jon Cooper (Tampa Bay).
This year, there’s no shortage of candidates. But one — Calgary’s Bob Hartley — is considered the favorite, after leading the Flames to the playoffs.
Not only were the Flames expected by many to be among the league’s worst teams in 2014-15, they were forced to play without captain Mark Giordano down the stretch. Missing one of the best defensemen in hockey, they went 12-6-3, clinching a postseason berth for the first time since 2009.
Other candidates include Ottawa’s Dave Cameron, Winnipeg’s Paul Maurice, Nashville’s Peter Laviolette, New York Rangers’ Alain Vigneault, and Washington’s Barry Trotz.
Related: PHT’s awards picks for 2014-15
Ilya Kovalchuk isn’t ruling out a return to the NHL.
“I have two more years on my contract (with SKA Saint Petersburg of the KHL),” Kovalchuk told ESPN.com yesterday. “Then, we’ll see.”
Kovalchuk, who turned 32 in April, hasn’t played in the NHL since his shock “retirement” in July of 2013. He may not be eligible to return to the NHL until he’s 35.
The former Thrashers and Devils star had 25 goals and 30 assists in 54 regular-season games this season, then helped his team to a KHL championship in the playoffs.
NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman has been ordered by a U.S. federal court judge to offer testimony in the concussions lawsuit filed by 60 former players against the league.
TSN has learned that late Tuesday, a judge ordered Bettman to testify in July on matters related to the high-stakes litigation.
The lawyers for the players have taken issue with a number of things that Bettman has said in the past regarding brain injuries in hockey, the insinuation being that he hasn’t taken the issue as seriously as he should have. They’ll also no doubt question how much scientific information the league did or did not pass on to the players.
Related: Ask a Lawyer: Do the players suing the NHL over concussions have a case?