Hakstol, Montgomery, Ruff named Jack Adams Award finalists for best coach

Seattle Kraken’s Dave Hakstol, Boston Bruins’ Jim Montgomery and New Jersey Devils’ Lindy Ruff were named finalists for the Jack Adams Award on Friday.

The award is presented annually to the coach in the NHL who, as voted by the National Association of Broadcasters, has “contributed the most to the success of their team,” and the winner will be announced at the 2023 NHL Awards at Bridgestone Arena in Nashville on June 26 (8 p.m. ET; TNT, SN, TVAS).

Hakstol, 54, led the Kraken (46-28-8) to a berth in the Stanley Cup Playoffs as the first Western Conference wild card in their second NHL season. Seattle improved by 19 wins and 40 points (from 60 to 100) since its inaugural season and ranked in the top five in shots versus per game (27.0, 2nd), goals per game (3.52, tied fourth) and 5 -on -5 shot attempts (401, fifth).

Hakstol is a finalist for the award for the first time.

Hired by Boston on June 30 to replace Bruce Cassidy, 53-year-old Montgomery led the Bruins to the most wins (65) and points (135) in a single season in NHL history. Boston, who won the Presidents’ Trophy for best regular-season record (65-12-5), had a .823 point percentage and plus128 goal difference and ranked first in goals conceded per game (2, 12) and penalty-killing percentage (87.3), and finished second in goals per game (3.66) and 12th in power play (22.2 percent). Eleven players scored at least 10 goals for the Bruins during the regular season, led by David Pastrnakwho had an NHL career-high 61.

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Montgomery is also a first-time finalist. He would be the fifth Bruins coach to win the award and the first since Cassidy in 2019-20.

Ruff, 63, led the Devils (52-22-8) to their most wins and points (112) in a season and a third-place finish in the NHL. It was an improvement of 25 wins and 49 points from last season when they finished 28th in the standings. New Jersey tied fourth in the league with Seattle in goals per game (3.52), fourth with the Calgary Flames in penalty kicks (82.6 percent), and eighth in goals per game (2.71). The Devils tied with the Pittsburgh Penguins for fourth in shots per game (34.4) and fifth in shots per game (28.2). The 28 road wins was a Devils record, and their 11-game winning streak from October 20 through December. 3 was the second longest in NHL history.

A four-time finalist, Ruff won the Jack Adams with the Buffalo Sabers in 2005-06, finished second with the Sabers in 2006-07, and finished third with the Dallas Stars in 2015-16. He ranks fifth in NHL history in games (1,713) and wins (834) and would be the second Devils coach to receive that honor (Jacques Lemaire, 1993-94).

Darryl Sutter won the Jack Adams with the Calgary Flames last season.

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