The only coach that the Nashville Predators have ever known finally has been recognized for 12 years of pulling rabbits out of his hat to consistently exceed everyone's expectations with the limited talent that he has had on a yearly basis.
Trotz is one of three finalists for the Jack Adams Award given to the coach who has "contributed the most to his team's success." Dave Tippett of Phoenix and Joe Sacco of Colorado also received nominations. The winner will be announced June 23 at the NHL Awards show at the Palms in Las Vegas.
Trotz has been deserving of consideration for several years. Even with Pred’s recent playoff loss, it should be satisfying for Trotz, the organization, and the fans to see Barry on the national stage as a top three coach.
Speaking on NHL Live today after the announcement, Trotz said, "I was a little surprised by the nomination. All three finalists have great assistants and staffs."
Trotz commented on the series with Chicago, he said "This team had the mindset for an upset. Our team has matured and had the ability to go further. Our young leadership group matured and is ready to move forward. Shea Weber, Ryan Suter, Pekka Rinne, they were all key"
Trotz discussed the issues with the Predator’s power play, "We were stubborn in making changes. On the power play you have four portals of opportunity and we did not execute on them."
On Pekka Rinne, "Pekka is emerging into a top end goaltender. His being able to recover from situations has really been key. In game five and in game six with the odd goal he was able to come back and in the past, he may not have been able to."
On Jason Arnott as captain, " Jason has matured and done a good job but still has some areas that he needs to work on as anyone would in a situation that he's not completely comfortable with."
Looking to off season changes, Trotz listed keeping Dan Hamhuis, improvement on face offs, and finding additional offense as key goals.
When asked who would be the eventual cup winner, Trotz would not commit to a specific team but said that the winner would come from the west.
Here is the full release from the National Hockey League...
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE / APRIL 28, 2010
SACCO, TIPPETT AND TROTZ NAMED JACK ADAMS AWARD FINALISTS
NEW YORK (April 28, 2010) -- Joe Sacco of the Colorado Avalanche, Dave Tippett of the Phoenix Coyotes and Barry Trotz of the Nashville Predators are the three finalists for the 2009-10 Jack Adams Award, presented to the head coach who has "contributed the most to his team's success," the National Hockey League announced today.
Members of the NHL Broadcasters' Association submitted ballots for the Jack Adams Award at the conclusion of the regular season, with the top three vote-getters designated as finalists. The winner will be announced Wednesday, June 23, during the 2010 NHL Awards that will be broadcast live from the Pearl Concert Theater inside the Palms Hotel Las Vegas on VERSUS in the United States and on CBC in Canada.
Following are the finalists for the Jack Adams Award, in alphabetical order:
Joe Sacco, Colorado Avalanche
In his first NHL season behind the bench, Sacco guided the rookie-laden Avalanche to a berth in the Stanley Cup Playoffs with a 43-30-9 record just one year after the club finished last in the Western Conference. The Avalanche became the first Western Conference team to make the playoffs after finishing last in the conference the previous year since the current alignment was introduced in 2000-01. The club opened the season on a 10-1-2 run and went on to post a 26-point gain over its total from 2008-09 (69 to 95), second in the NHL to the Phoenix Coyotes' 28-point increase.
Dave Tippett, Phoenix Coyotes
Hired less than a week before the start of the regular season, Tippett led the Coyotes to the Stanley Cup Playoffs for the first time since 2002 by posting a 50-27-5 record for 107 points. The club posted an NHL-best 28-point gain over its 2008-09 total, edging Colorado's 26-point improvement, and set franchise records for wins and points in a season, home wins (29) and longest home winning streak (10 games, Nov. 21 to Dec. 29). The Coyotes ranked third in the NHL in team defense (2.39 goals/game), up from 24th in 2008-09 (3.04), and were sixth in the League in penalty killing (84.5%).
Barry Trotz, Nashville Predators
Trotz guided the Predators to the Stanley Cup Playoffs for the fifth time in the past six seasons with a 47-29-6 record for 100 points, placing third behind 2009 Western Conference Finalists Chicago Blackhawks and Detroit Red Wings in the tough Central Division. The club played its best hockey down the stretch, posting the NHL's fourth-best record after the Olympic break (14-6-1). Trotz coached his 900th NHL game, all with Nashville, on Apr. 3 at Detroit, joining Al Arbour (N.Y. Islanders), Billy Reay (Chicago), Lindy Ruff (Buffalo), Jack Adams (Detroit) and Toe Blake (Montreal) as the only coaches to reach the milestone with one team.
The award was presented by the NHL Broadcasters' Association in 1974 in honor of the late Jack Adams, longtime coach and general manager of the Detroit Red Wings.
Buddy Oakes for PredsOnTheGlass