On Tuesday, Capitals coach Barry Trotz joked with CSN’s Alan May that he’d like to finish third in voting for the Jack Adams Award as NHL Coach of the Year because it’s been a curse to a few previous winners.
That didn’t seem to matter to voters who gave the 53-year-old coach the first Adams Trophy of his 17-year NHL career Wednesday night at the NHL’s annual awards gala.
Trotz led the Capitals to a 56-18-8 record and a 120-point season to win the Presidents’ Trophy.
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“I think he’s done a great job with the culture within our organization,” said Capitals general manager Brian MacLellan, who finished behind Pittsburgh’s Jim Rutherford for NHL GM of the Year. “He’s helped create, with the assistants and everybody else, an atmosphere where players like to come to the rink.
“They have a lot of fun, they like playing with and for each other. He’s been a big part of that and I think that’s his biggest strength as a coach, to create that environment.”
Trotz won the Sporting News’ Coach of the Year in 2007 (voted on by his peers) when he was in Nashville. He said he’d rather trade in a Jack Adams Award for a Stanley Cup and here’s why:
Last year’s winner, Bob Hartley, led the Calgary Flames to the playoffs in 2015 but was fired last month after the Flames failed to make the playoffs. In 2001, Bill Barber won the Jack Adams and was fired the following year, and in 1997 Ted Nolan won the award and was fired before the start of the following season.
While Trotz won the Jack Adams, the Caps went 0-for-3 on earlier awards. In addition to MacLellan finishing behind Rutherford, Alex Ovechkin lost the Mark Messier Leadership Award to Predators defenseman Shea Weber and Braden Holtby finished behind Patrick Kane for the Ted Lindsay Award for the NHL’s most outstanding player.
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