The NHL announced the three finalists for the coach of the year award (the Jack Adams trophy). Anaheim Ducks coach Bruce Boudreau is one of the three, the first time a Ducks coach has been nominated. Joel Quenneville (Chicago) and Paul MacLean (Ottawa) are the other two finalists.
The criteria for the award is the coach who has “contributed the most to his team’s success.” The NHL Broadcasters’ Association votes on this award.
Boudreau has been nominated before and won the award in the 2007-2008 season as head of the Washington Capitals.
"He's a players' coach," said Teemu Selanne. "He makes everybody feel very important. Everybody just [loves] to play for him."
Boudreau took over as coach in December 2011, succeeding Randy Carlyle in the position. His turnaround was almost immediate. This season he helped lead the Ducks to the Pacific Division title and the second seed in the Western Conference. It was their best finish since winning the Stanley Cup six years ago. The Ducks missed the playoffs last year.
"I was very surprised," said Boudreau. "It’s a great honor. It’s hard coming on the heels of probably your most depressing moment in a year, when you’re still decompressing from losing in the playoffs. It’s certainly a great honor. I just know how many great coaches there are in this league, and how many great jobs were done by coaches this year. To be picked out as one of three is, I don’t know the right word, but it brings you down to earth. It’s a great compliment."
What are his odds of winning the award this time around, considering his competition? Not very good, if you believe Boudreau.
"I’m just happy to be involved," Boudreau said. "It would be a really nice thing, but just to have your name mentioned among those guys, and the guys who weren’t mentioned who had great years and could very easily be here, it’s really an honor. I humbly accept the honor. But sometimes, it overwhelms me."
The winner will be announced during the 2013 Stanley Cup Final.