[tps_header]Jack Adams Award (Coach of the year): Mike Babcock, Detroit Red Wings[/tps_header]
It’s very likely that Patrick Roy will end up winning this award, and with good reason. Returning to the team where he made a name for himself as one of the greatest goaltenders in NHL history, Roy brought an upbeat attitude and uptempo style of play to a franchise seemingly in disarray. Under his leadership, the Avalanche improved from the second-worst team in the West to the second-best with essentially the same roster. While that feat was extremely impressive, this award should go to Mike Babcock.
Widely regarded as one of the best, if not the best, coach in the NHL, Babcock pulled off perhaps the best coaching performance of his career this season. With Pavel Datsyuk and Henrik Zetterberg not playing a single game in March due to injury, Babcock guided his Red Wings – which looked more like the Grand Rapids Griffins – back to the playoffs for a 23rd consecutive season.
Yes, Roy will probably win this award and Tampa Bay’s Jon Cooper merits consideration as well, but Babcock should finally be given his due in the year where he passed Jack Adams as the winningest coach in Red Wings history.