Lindy Ruff – Jack Adams Award
We really struggled with this one. It’s very rare that a Jack Adams candidate wins the award the next season. That coach has to do a miraculous job. Does Ruff have that in him right now? We’re not even sure how long Ruff is signed on for to be head coach. There is a lot of storylines here. That might be enough for Ruff to gain traction on the award.
Really, Ruff has to be the head coach for the best team in the league. He doesn’t have to go Boston Bruins nuclear, but if he can get close to the Presidents’ Trophy, then he should be a finalist for the trophy. Taking this young team to the top of the league means something. He didn’t get the trophy last season because the Bruins were a wagon. However, he did do a phenomenal coaching job.
This season, he’s lost a ton of veterans. Ryan Graves, Damon Severson, Tomas Tatar, Miles Wood, and Yegor Sharangovich are just some of the regulars playing for different teams. Most teams would falter after losing that much veteran talent. If Ruff can keep this team not only on the winning track, but on a step ahead of that, then he will get a lot of love in the national media.
That’s all that really matters for this award, right? It’s basically a popularity contest. If Ruff is the most popular coach, he’ll be the Jack Adams winner.