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Julien, Chara and Thomas Capture League Honors at NHL Awards

by Staff Writer / Boston Bruins
LAS VEGAS, NV – The NHL announced today that Boston Bruins head coach Claude Julien was named the winner of the 2009 Jack Adams Award, which is awarded “to the head coach who has contributed the most to his team’s success,” defenseman Zdeno Chara was named the winner of the 2009 Norris Trophy, which is awarded "to the defense player who demonstrates throughout the season the greatest all-round ability in the position” and goaltender Tim Thomas was named the winner of the 2009 Vezina Trophy, which is awarded “to the goalkeeper adjudged to be the best at his position.”

The Bruins were presented with these honors during the 2009 NHL Awards at the Palms Hotel in Las Vegas. The voting tallies for the three finalists for these awards can be found at the bottom of this release.

Julien beat out St. Louis’ Andy Murray and San Jose’s Todd McLellan by a vote of 224 to 135 to 98 win his first Jack Adams Award.

Julien, who is in his second season with the Bruins, guided Boston to the Eastern Conference's top record, finishing 53-19-10 for 116 points. This includes a two-month stretch from November 1 through January 1 where the team posted a record of 24-2-1. The club’s 116 points was the third-highest total in franchise history, a 22- point increase over 2007-08 and 40 points more than 2006-07. The Bruins ranked second in the NHL in offense with 274 goals, a dramatic turnaround from their #25 ranking in 2007-08 when they tallied 212, and ranked first in the NHL in defense with 196 goals allowed. They hit the 30-win mark in their 41st game of the season (30-7-4) on Jan. 8 vs. Ottawa, the fastest they have reached 30 wins since 1929-30 (30-4-1). Julien was also the head coach of the Eastern Conference All-Star team this year.

Julien coached the Bruins to their first Eastern Conference Semifinals appearance since 1999, before falling to the Carolina Hurricanes.

Julien is the third Bruin head coach to win the Jack Adams Award in team history, joining Pat Burns who won in 1998 and Don Cherry who won in 1976.

Chara edged Mike Green from the Washington Capitals and Nicklas Lidstrom of the Detroit Red Wings to win this year’s award.  This is Chara’s third Norris Trophy nomination (2008, 2004) and first win.

Chara anchored a Bruins blue line that allowed the lowest goals per game figure in the NHL this season (2.29). He led the Bruins and ranked sixth overall in the league in average ice time (26:04) and finished the regular season with a career-high 19 goals, 31 assists and a +23 rating. His 19 goals ranked fourth in the league amongst all defensemen, while his 11 power play strikes ranked third.

Chara played in all 11 postseason games for the Bruins finishing with one goal and three assists.

He is the third different Bruin to capture the Norris, joining legends Ray Bourque who won the award five times and Bobby Orr who won the award eight times. He was also a final nominee for the 2009 Mark Messier Leadership Award, which was awarded to Calgary’s Jarome Iginla.

Thomas, who captured 22 of 30 possible first place votes, edged out Columbus’ Steve Mason and Minnesota’s Niklas Backstrom to win his first Vezina Trophy.

Thomas - who set a career high with 36 wins this year and played in his second straight NHL All-Star Game -finished the 2008-09 regular season as the league leader in Goals Against Average (2.10) and Save Percentage (.933). He helped lead the Bruins to their highest victory (53) and points (116) totals since 1971-72, and he and teammate Manny Fernandez shared the NHL’s William Jennings Trophy as the goaltenders for the club finishing the regular season having surrendered the fewest goals (196).

Thomas played in all 11 postseason games for the Bruins this year, finishing with the playoff’s best Goals Against Average (1.85) and second best Save Percentage (.935).

Thomas is just the second Bruin goaltender in the last 50-years to capture the Vezina, joining Pete Peeters who won in 1983.

2008-09 Jack Adams Award Finalists Voting (Voted on by NHL Broadcasters’ Association at the conclusion of the regular season)
Coach/ Pts (1st, 2nd, 3rd place votes)
1.  Claude Julien, BOS/ 224 (35-14-7)
2.  Andy Murray, STL/ 135 (15-17-9)
3.  Todd McLellan, SJS/ 98 (9-14-11)

2008-09 Norris Trophy Finalists Voting (Voted on by members of the Professional Hockey Writers’ Association at the conclusion of the regular season)
Player/ Pts (1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th place votes)
1.  Zdeno Chara, BOS/ 1034 (68-36-18-4-0)
2.  Mike Green, WSH/ 982 (50-53-19-4-4)
3.  Nicklas Lidstrom, DET/ 733 (14-34-58-19-8)

2008-09 Vezina Trophy Finalists Voting (Voted on by the general managers of the 30 NHL clubs at the conclusion of the regular season)
Player/ Pts (1st, 2nd, 3rd place votes)
1.  Tim Thomas, BOS/ 127 (22-5-2)
2.  Steve Mason, CBJ/ 33 (3-4-6)
3.  Niklas Backstrom, MIN/ 31 (1-8-2)

Jack Adams Award History
The award was first 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.

Norris Trophy History
The Norris Trophy was presented to the National Hockey League in 1953-54 by the four children of the late James Norris, in memory of the former owner-president of the Detroit Red Wings.

Vezina Trophy History
Leo Dandurand, Louis Letourneau and Joe Cattarinich, former owners of the Montreal Canadiens, presented the trophy to the National Hockey League in 1926-27 in memory of Georges Vezina, the outstanding Canadiens goaltender who collapsed during an NHL game on Nov. 28, 1925, and died of tuberculosis a few months later. Until the 1981-82 season, the goaltender(s) of the team allowing the fewest number of goals during the regular season were awarded the Vezina Trophy.
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