Gerard Gallant named a finalist for Jack Adams Award, can the Rangers coach win it?

gerard gallant jack adams
Dec 3, 2021; New York, New York, USA; New York Rangers head coach Gerard Gallant speaks to the media after a 1-0 win against the San Jose Sharks at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Danny Wild-USA TODAY Sports
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The NHL announced Gerard Gallant as one of the finalists for the Jack Adams Award as Coach of the Year. Also named were Calgary’s Darryl Sutter and Florida’s Andrew Brunette.

Each year, the NHL Broadcasters Association votes on the head coach who has “contributed the most to his team’s success.”

This should be a tightly contested vote as all three candidates are worthy of winning the honor.

Jack Adams Award betting odds

According to Vegas Insider, Darryl Sutter is a slim favorite to win it at +200 with Gerard Gallant and Andrew Brunette tied at +300.

Darryl Sutter (Calgary)50-21-11 (1st)+200
Gerard Gallant (N.Y. Rangers)52-24-6 (2nd)+300
Andrew Brunette (Florida)58-18-6 (1st)+300
Vegas Insider

Sutter is rightfully the favorite to win thanks to a strong regular season leading to a Pacific Division Title.

Brunette has done a wonderful job stepping us from his assistant coach role to head coach after Joel Quenneville resigned. Of course, Brunette inherited a 7-0-0 team that was already a top pick to win the Stanley Cup.

Of course, the Rangers were projected to be a fringe wild card team but finished second in the Metropolitan Division. His steady hand has guided a young team to an amazing season.

“With Turk, it’s never about what we can’t do. It’s always about what we can do if we put our minds to it,” Chris Kreider said about his coach. “You don’t know what that means to a group.” 

Past is prologue?

Something that could immediately be in Gerard Gallant’s favor is the fact that 5 of the last 12 Jack Adams Award winners were in their first season behind the bench with a new team.

Darryl Sutter is in his second season with the Flames taking over for Geoff Ward after he was dismissed in 2020-21. So he already had his systems established coming in and knew his team.

Voters obviously weigh heavily what a coach does in their first season behind the bench with a new team.

Of course, Sutter may win the Jack Adams simply because this is his 20th season behind the bench and he’s never won it before.

Never underestimate the sympathy factor.

YEARWINNER, TEAMRecordDiv. FinishSeason w/Team
2021Rod Brind’Amour, Carolina Hurricanes36-12-81st3
2020Bruce Cassidy, Boston Bruins44-14-121st4
2019Barry Trotz, New York Islanders48-27-22nd1
2018Gerard Gallant, Vegas Golden Knights51-24-71st1
2017John Tortorella, Columbus Blue Jackets50-24-83rd2
2016Barry Trotz, Washington Capitals56-18-81st2
2015Bob Hartley, Calgary Flames45-30-73rd3
2014Patrick Roy, Colorado Avalanche52-22-81st1
2013Paul MacLean, Ottawa Senators25-17-64th2
2021Ken Hitchcock, St. Louis Blues43-15-111st1
2011Dan Bylsma, Pittsburgh Penguins49-25-81st3
2010Dave Tippett, Phoenix Coyotes50-25-72nd1
List of recent Jack Adams Winners

Can Gerard Gallant win it?

gerard gallant
Tom Horak-USA TODAY Sports

Although Brunette deserves consideration, I believe it will come down to Sutter and Gallant in the end. So can Gallant win the award?

Let’s start by disregarding the two losses the Rangers took to the Flames by a combined 11-1 score because they were both in October. Gallant had barely even implemented his systems at that time.

When you look at the total body of work both Sutter and Gallant have done this year it’s obvious they are both deserving. Their records are fairly even, but the Flames have a goal differential of +85 to the Rangers +47. That could be a big factor voters consider.

A quick look at special teams shows the Calgary Flames 6th on the PK (83.2) and 10th on the PP (22.9). The New York Rangers are 7th on the PK (82.3) and 4th on the PP (25.2). This is something Gallant has really done well with in his first year.

Here’s the question that the voters will have to ask themselves, which coach made the biggest impact to their team’s record and the answer should come up Gerard Gallant for one very big reason– the Conference/Divisions their teams play in.

The Eastern Conference made history with all 8 teams that qualified for the playoffs cracking 100 points. In the Western Conference, only 5 teams broke the century mark.

Regarding the division they play in, the Metropolitan had four teams finish with 100 points or better and a .625 points percentage or better. The Pacific had only two teams finish with 100 points and three teams finish with a .605 or better points percentage.

Finally, how can a voter not ask themselves, if the Vegas Golden Knights were healthy this season would the Flames have finished first in the Pacific?

I don’t think so.

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Anthony Scultore is the founder of Forever Blueshirts and has been covering the New York Rangers and the NHL... More about Anthony Scultore

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