2022 NHL Awards: PHT’s ballots for the Jack Adams Award

jack adams
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[UPDATE: Darryl Sutter has been voted the NHL’s 2021-22 winner.]

The NHL has started announcing winners for some its annual awards. Beginning with the Mark Messier Leadership Award Wednesday night, we will find out the winners of the Jack Adams Awards, Bill Masterton Trophy, Willie O’Ree Community Hero Award, Selke Trophy, Lady Byng Trophy, and King Clancy Trophy over the next week.

The other major NHL award winners will be revealed on June 21 in a one hour live show during the 2022 Stanley Cup Final. That night, we’ll learn who won the Hart, Norris, Calder, and Vezina Trophies, along with the Ted Lindsay Award.

(According to the NHL, the finalists for the Jim Gregory General Manager of the Year, which is voted on after the Second Round, will be announced on June 21. The winner will be revealed during the NHL Draft on July 7-8.)

The Pro Hockey Talk staff made our own votes for a collective ballot. Each place was given a numerical value with 10 points for first, 7 points for second, and 5 points for third.

Votes were submitted by PHT writers Sean Leahy, James O’Brien, and Adam Gretz, as well as Michael Finewax, Rotoworld Senior Hockey Writer/Editor, and Jake Abrahams, NBCSports.com Managing Editor of NHL content. All ballots were submitted before the start of the 2022 Stanley Cup Playoffs.

Andrew Brunette, Gerard Gallant and Darryl Sutter are the finalists for the 2021-22 Jack Adams Award, which is voted on by the NHL Broadcasters’ Association.

Here is how the ballots came out from the PHT team:

1. Darryl Sutter, Calgary Flames (30-7-5) 42 pts.
2. Todd McLellan, Los Angeles Kings (10-14-0) 24 pts.
3. Andrew Brunette, Florida Panthers (10-7-0) 17 pts.
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4. Gerard Gallant, New York Rangers (0-0-10) 10 pts.
5. Dean Evason, Minnesota Wild (0-0-5) 5 pts.
Mike Sullivan, Pittsburgh Penguins (0-0-5) 5 pts.
Bruce Cassidy, Boston Bruins (0-0-5) 5 pts.

Jack Adams Award
Brian Babineau/NHLI via Getty Images

JACK ADAMS AWARD (Awarded to the NHL head coach “adjudged to have contributed the most to his team’s success.”)

James O’Brien, NHL writer

1. Darryl Sutter, Calgary Flames
2. Todd McLellan, Los Angeles Kings
3. Bruce Cassidy, Boston Bruins

The night-and-day difference between the Flames before and after Darryl Sutter is one heck of an argument for coaches actually making a big difference in the NHL. While they accomplished things with very different teams (at least age-wise), McLellan and Cassidy got the most out of the rosters they were given. All three of these coaches deserve recognition for setting up teams with outstanding structure, especially (but not exclusively) on defense.

Michael Finewax, NBC Sports Edge Senior Hockey Writer/Editor

1. Darryl Sutter, Calgary Flames
2. Dean Evason, Minnesota Wild
3. Gerard Gallant, New York Rangers

Not too many pundits thought that the Flames would be near the top of the Pacific Division, especially considering they did not make the playoffs last season in the all-Canadian division but lo and behold, Sutter got the Flames to finish first quite easily. Evason’s Wild were great to finish second in the Central while Gallant got the Rangers a playoff spot in the Metropolitan after he was let go by Vegas in Jan. 2020.

Jake Abrahams, Managing Editor, NHL content

1. Andrew Brunette, Florida Panthers
2. Todd McLellan, Los Angeles Kings
3. Darryl Sutter, Calgary Flames

I am not a believer in just picking the coach of the Presidents’ Trophy winner for this award, but in this case, it is warranted. Although the Panthers came into the year with an extremely talented team, Joel Quenneville’s departure early on meant that Andrew Brunette inherited a challenging situation, and he was able to keep the team on track through that adversity. I could see this award being extremely tight in the voting, with both Todd McLellan and Darryl Sutter leading impressive turnarounds of non-playoff teams from a year ago in the Pacific Division.

Sean Leahy, NHL writer

1. Darryl Sutter, Calgary Flames
2. Andrew Brunette, Florida Panthers
3. Gerard Gallant, New York Rangers

Sutter, like he did in LA, showed up in Calgary and proceeded to begin a franchise turnaround for the Flames. It paid off as they went from out of the playoffs in the North Division in 2020-21 to Pacific Division winners and the sixth-best record in all of the NHL. They are now contenders, as long as they can retain some of their bigger names, and with the play of Jacob Markstrom, they should remain near the top of the league.

Adam Gretz, NHL writer

1. Todd McLellan, Los Angeles Kings
2. Darryl Sutter, Calgary Flames
3. Mike Sullivan, Pittsburgh Penguins

McLellan helped guide a young, rebuilding team to a surprising playoff berth and he did not need a goalie to carry his team there. They were simply a good hockey team and their future is extremely bright. Sullivan does not get enough attention in this discussion every year and deserves to at least be a finalist. His team dealt with constant injuries all season and still finished in the top-three of a tough division and was well over 100 points again.

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