BOSTON, MA -
The NHL announced today that Boston Bruins head coach Claude Julien has been named one of three finalists for the Jack Adams Award, which is awarded “to the head coach who has contributed the most to his team’s success.” Julien joins San Jose’s Todd McLellan and St. Louis’ Andy Murray as this year’s Jack Adams finalists. This is the first time Julien has been a finalist for the award in his career.
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.
Members of the NHL Broadcasters' Association submitted ballots for the Jack Adams Award at the conclusion of the regular season, with the top three vote-getters designated as finalists. The winner will be announced Thursday, June 18, during the 2009 NHL Awards that will be broadcast live from the Pearl Concert Theater inside the Palms Hotel Las Vegas on VERSUS in the United States and on CBC in Canada.
The other two finalists for the Jack Adams Award are:Todd McLellan, San Jose Sharks
McLellan could become the second NHL rookie head coach in as many seasons to capture the Jack Adams Award, following Washington's Bruce Boudreau in 2007-08. The former Detroit Red Wings assistant led the Sharks to the Presidents' Trophy as the NHL's top regular-season club, posting a 53-18-11 record for 117 points and setting a franchise record for victories. They charged out of the gate with a 25-3-2 record, surpassing the 1929-30 Boston Bruins for the best start through 30 games in NHL history, and went 20-0-2 in their first 22 games at HP Pavilion.Andy Murray, St. Louis Blues
Murray earned his first career berth as an Adams finalist by helping the Blues engineer one of the greatest comebacks in NHL history over the second half of the season, posting the League's best record in their second 41 games (25-9-7) and jumping from 15th place in the Western Conference standings to the #6 seed for their first playoff participation since 2003-04. What's more, they made their epic run without a trio of core players, defensemen Eric Brewer and Erik Johnson and LW Paul Kariya, all sidelined with long-term injuries.History
The award was 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.