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2021 NHL Awards: PHT’s ballots for the Jack Adams Award

Jack Adams Award

Brian Babineau/NHLI via Getty Images

NHLI via Getty Images

The NHL will be announcing the winner of the 2020-21 Jack Adams Award during Thursday night’s Game 3 of the Islanders-Lightning series (8 p.m. ET; USA Network / Peacock). The award is given to the coach “adjudged to have contributed the most to his team’s success.”

It is an award that is voted on by members of the NHL Broadcasters’ Association at the end of the regular season.

Carolina’s Rod Brind’Amour, Minnesota’s Dean Evason, and Florida’s Joel Quenneville are this year’s finalists.

Prior to the start of the 2021 Stanley Cup Playoffs, the Pro Hockey Talk team submitted their ballots for the major individual NHL awards. Here’s our voting breakdown for the Jack Adams, using the NHL’s 5-3-1 points allocation for places:

1. Rod Brind’Amour, Carolina - 14 points (5-9-0) 2. Joel Quenneville, Florida - 11 points (5-3-3) 3. Dean Evason, Minnesota - 10 points (5-5-0) 4. Mike Sullivan, Pittsburgh - 9 points (5-3-1) 5. Jared Bednar, Colorado - 1 point (0-0-1)

James O’Brien, NHL writer

1. Joel Quenneville
2. Mike Sullivan
3. Jared Bednar

To many, the Jack Adams Award is the “whose team was expected to be bad, but ended up pretty good, and may have also had a goalie playing out of their minds.” It’s really difficult to gauge how well a coach does in this sport, but I judge Coach Q, Sullivan, and Bednar as standouts because their teams were excellent, even when the breaks didn’t go their way. Quenneville got the most out of new players, and navigated injuries. Both Sullivan and Bednar led their teams to division titles despite significant injury issues. It’s not Ted Lasso-level, rah-rah scrappy stuff; instead, it’s about staying great even when there are challenges.

Marisa Ingemi, NHL writer

1. Dean Evason
2. Rod Brind’Amour
3. Joel Quenneville

No one expected Minnesota to be this kind of a team this year, and it’s been more than just Kaprizov. The entire vibe is different. They’re a team that actually contended for the entire season, and Evason deserves recognition for it.

[NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs 2021 schedule, TV info]

Adam Gretz, NHL writer

1. Mike Sullivan
2. Rod Brind’Amour
3. Joel Quenneville

If you go back to the start of the season I think a lot of people would have had Sullivan as a coach on the hot seat and maybe even one of the first coaches fired or replaced. Then after dealing with a season full of significant injuries he helped lead his team to a regular season division title in what might have been the toughest division in the league. Maybe not his best coaching job (that would still be the 2015-16 season) but definitely not far off from his best. He did an incredible job this season.

Rod Brind'Amour

Getty Images

Getty Images

Sean Leahy, NHL writer

1. Rod Brind’Amour
2. Joel Quenneville
3. Mike Sullivan

Brind’Amour’s work in Carolina has paid off in turning the franchise from a playoff team to a Cup contender. They won the Central Division this season with 80 points, one fewer than they accumulated than the 81 in 68 games during the shortened 2019-20 regular season.

Michael Finewax, NBC Sports Edge Senior Hockey Writer/Editor

1. Dean Evason
2. Rod Brind’Amour
3. Joel Quenneville

Evason took a Minnesota team that was supposed to battle for fourth in the West and actually challenged Colorado and Vegas for first for most of the season. Brind’Amour and Quenneville did an outstanding job in the Central as both beat out Tampa Bay for first and second place. Mike Sullivan deserves honorable mention.