Which NHL coach should win the Jack Adams Award?

Toronto Maple Leafs head coach Mike Babcock draws a play for his team in the third period of an NHL hockey game against the Washington Capitals, Wednesday, March 2, 2016, in Washington. The Capitals won 3-2. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

Mike Babcock, John Tortorella and Todd McLellan were named NHL Coach of the Year finalists. Who should win? Why?

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The story:

On Wednesday the NHL announced that Toronto Maple Leafs coach Mike Babcock, Edmonton Oilers coach Todd McLellan and Columbus Blue Jackets coach John Tortorella were finalists for the Jack Adams Award. This is given to the coach who “contributed the most to his team’s success.” The NHL Professional Broadcasters’ Association votes on the Jack Adams Award.

From the NHL, on Mike Babcock:

Babcock guided the Maple Leafs (40-27-15, 95 points) to a fourth-place finish in the Atlantic Division and the second Wild Card playoff berth in the Eastern Conference. The Maple Leafs, who finished 30th in the NHL standings last season, became the first team since the 2007-08 Philadelphia Flyers to qualify for the postseason the year after ranking last in the overall standings. Toronto recorded 26 more points than last season, all while becoming the first team in League history to have six different rookies each appear in at least 70 games. Babcock is a Jack Adams Award finalist for the third time, finishing second in voting in 2013-14 and third in 2007-08 with the Detroit Red Wings.

James Tanner from Fansided:

Fun fact – this one I knew – is that Mike Babcock, who is generally considered to be the best coach in the NHL, has never won the Jack Adams award before.  It would be pretty cool for him to win the trophy named after the guy whose record he broke. I think Babcock is a shoe-in here to win the award. He deserves it, but mainly, just to apologize for not giving it to him sooner! As for the Toronto Maple Leafs, no coach of theirs has won the award since Pat Burns in 1993. In fact, no major award has gone to a Toronto player since that year when Doug Gilmour also won the Selke Trophy.

On Todd McLellan:

McLellan led the Oilers (47-26-9, 103 points) to a berth in the Stanley Cup Playoffs for the first time since 2005-06, their first 100-point campaign since 1986-87 and a League-leading 33-point improvement over 2015-16. The club stayed in the hunt for the Pacific Division title until the final day of the regular season, winning 12 of its last 14 games and posting a franchise-record nine-game home winning streak to close the season. The Oilers’ total of 207 goals-against (excluding shootouts) was
their fewest over an 82-game season since 2001-02. McLellan is a Jack Adams Award finalist for the second time, finishing third in voting with the San Jose Sharks in 2008-09.

Sammi Silber from Fansided:

McLellan’s resume may be impressive, but his time with the Oilers has been even more so. He has turned this team into a winning squad, one with a positive mentality and elite culture. Not to mention, McLellan combined lines and did everything he could to work with the players he had, and turned them into a playoff-ready team. Because of his leadership, and many other aspects, the Oilers dug their way out of an 11-year playoff drought and even put up a fight for the head of the Pacific Division. He is completely a deserving candidate and has shown that he is not only a leader but a role model for the rest of the team. McLellan knows how to drive his team forward and help his players.

John Tortorella:

Under Tortorella the Blue Jackets (50-24-8, 108 points) set franchise records for wins, points, home wins (28) and road points (51). The club posted a 32-point gain over 2015-16, jumping from 29th to 2nd in team defense (3.02 to 2.35 GA/G). The Blue Jackets reeled off 16 straight victories from Nov. 29 – Jan 3, the second-longest single-season winning streak in NHL history behind the Pittsburgh Penguins’ 17-game run in 1992-93. Tortorella is a Jack Adams Award finalist for the fourth time, tying Ken Hitchcock and Alain Vigneault for the most among active coaches. He won the trophy in 2003-04 with Tampa Bay and finished second with the Lightning in 2002-03 and New York Rangers in 2011-12.

What do the fans think?

What do you think? Who deserves the award?

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