Rangers Gerard Gallant should win the Jack Adams Award

gerard gallant
Mar 22, 2022; Newark, New Jersey, USA; New York Rangers head coach Gerard Gallant behind the bench against New Jersey Devils during the first period at Prudential Center. Mandatory Credit: Tom Horak-USA TODAY Sports
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The New York Rangers season will come to a close on Friday night when they square off against the Washington Capitals. Win, Lose, or Draw (actually lose in OT or a Shootout) Gerard Gallant should be the winner of the Jack Adams Award as head coach of the year.

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

Based on that criteria, Gallant should get a significant amount of votes after leading a Rangers team to the playoffs after a four year drought.

“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.” 

Jack Adams Award betting odds

According to Vegas Insider, Darryl Sutter is a slim favorite to win it at +200 with Gerard Gallant tied with two others just behind him at +300.

Darryl Sutter (Calgary)50-20-10 (1st)+200
Gerard Gallant (N.Y. Rangers)51-24-6 (2nd)+300
Rod Brind’Amour (Carolina)53-20-8 (1st)+300
Andrew Brunette (Florida)57-17-6 (1st)*+300
Vegas Insider

When the three finalists are announced, I fully expect that both Darryl Sutter and Gerard Gallant will be two of the three. My expectation after Rod Brind’Amour won it last season is that Andrew Brunette will be the third finalist.

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.

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

Darryl Sutter and Gerard Gallant

gerard gallant
Danny Wild-USA TODAY Sports

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 +88 to the Rangers +46. That could be a big factor voters consider.

A quick look at special teams shows the Calgary Flames 6th on the PK (83.6) and 9th on the PP (23.5). The New York Rangers are tied for 7th on the PK (82.4) and 4th on the PP (25.5). 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 with a possibility of the Kings becoming the 6th if they win their last game.

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 (the Kings could make it three) 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.

What’s next for Vegas Golden Knights?

The Vegas Golden Knights have officially been eliminated. So what’s next for the franchise after missing the playoffs for the first time? Read more.

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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