Welcome to another edition of the Hockeybuzz hotstove.
Continuing on with the season preview theme, we’ll be predicting this year’s Jack Adams award winner. Todd Cordell: Lindy Ruff
Generally to win this award you have to a) coach an elite team or; b) coach a team on the rise in a big way.
I think the Dallas Stars fit into the latter, and that Lindy Ruff will work wonders with the upgraded roster he has at his disposal.
The Stars had quite a few underrated depth guys in Antoine Roussel, Ryan Garbutt and co. but with two established top-6 guys in Jason Spezza and Ales Hemsky thrown into the mix, he’ll have a lot more to work with.
Dallas plays in a very tough division, but I think there’s a good chance the Stars surpass the 100-point plateau and become one of the top teams in all of hockey.
If that happens, Ruff is a good bet for this award. Ryan Wilson: Mike Babcock
I’ll just come out and say this, I am not a fan of the Jack Adams Award. Is it for the coach who commands a great team to a great record? Is it for the coach who gets a team with low expectations to play above their ceiling? Is it for a coach who gets his team to play through injuries? I don’t know, its a little too subjective for my liking. As a coach some of my best coaching has come during seasons where our record was far from ideal. I think sometimes the same can be said at the NHL level. For my money Mike Babcock is one of the best coaches in hockey. His team probably won’t fall under one of the three examples I used above but whatever. He hasn’t won one of these yet, he deserves his accolades, I’ll go with him. Michael Stuart: Jon Cooper
I think Jon Cooper will win the Jack Adams this year. My personal belief is that he should have won it last year. I guess Semyon Varlamov’s case was too compelling to ignore.
If you look at what Cooper did for the Lightning in 2013-14, it’s easy to make an argument for him moving forward. He took a Lightning team that was, quite frankly, dreadful in so many areas and transformed it into a team that is now regarded as legitimately competitive. Look at the possession numbers as evidence of that. And he did this without his superstar for most of the year, with a bunch of raw rookies, and with a miserable captain.
With new additions like Anton Stralman and Jason Garrison on the blue line, the Lightning’s roster looks a lot better now than it did at the end of 2013-14. Getting a healthy Steven Stamkos back won’t hurt either. The bottom line is that Cooper has a lot more to work with now than he did at the end of last year. Let’s just sit back and watch him work his magic. Bill Meltzer: Barry Trotz
It is not a slam-dunk that the Washington Capitals will have a bounceback season. Much of it will depend on Alexander Ovechkin’s buy-in and the new pieces gelling together. However, if it does work out, Barry Trotz will deservedly get a big share of the credit. He was long one of the NHL’s best coaches during his stint in Nashville, and he has a deeper overall roster with which to work in DC. Recent posts Predicting the Selke winner Predicting the Rocket Richard winner Predicting the Calder winner Predicting the Hart winner Predicting the Vezina winner Predicting the Norris winner Predicting Conference winners Predicting a couple disappointment teams for 2014-15 Predicting a couple surprise teams for 2014-15
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