May 25, 2024

Rick Bowness, Andrew Brunette, Rick Tocchet up for Adams Award

Rick Bowness, Andrew Brunette and Rick Tocchet are the finalists for this year’s Jack Adams Award, the NHL announced Friday.

The award is given annually to the coach who is “adjudged to have contributed the most to his team’s success.”

Bowness spent his second season in Winnipeg guiding the Jets to a 52-24-6 record, good for second in the Central Division and fourth in the NHL with 114 points. The Jets dominated defensively, tying for the fewest goals against in the league (2.41 per game) while sitting 15th in offense (3.16 goals per game). Winnipeg also posted an eight-game win streak for the first time, as part of a larger 14-game run when the Jets earned at least one point. Bowness balanced his coaching responsibilities with handling personal matters, including when he stepped away from the team to care for his wife following a seizure.

Brunette took on his first full-time head-coaching job with Nashville this season, after previously being the interim bench boss in Florida. The Predators started slowly under Brunette but ignited halfway through the season to hit a 47-30-5 record that placed them 11th in the league standings with 99 points while earning a late postseason berth. The Predators established a strong structure and consistency under Brunette’s guidance, ranking 14th in defense (3.02 GA) and 10th in offense (3.24 GF).

Tocchet is coming off his first full season as Vancouver coach, as he led the Canucks atop the Pacific Division with a 50-23-9 record to place them sixth in the league (109 points). That was a major gain from the season prior, when the Canucks finished 22nd. Vancouver was top-10 in key categories through the 2023-24 campaign, including offense (sixth) and defense (sixth), and it generated the 11th-best power play (22.7%). Under Tocchet, the Canucks returned to the postseason after failing to qualify since 2019-20.