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Adams finalists: Boudreau, MacLean, Quenneville

by John Kreiser

Bruce Boudreau of the Anaheim Ducks, Paul MacLean of the Ottawa Senators and Joel Quenneville of the Chicago Blackhawks were named Friday as the finalists for the Jack Adams Award, presented "to the NHL coach adjudged to have contributed the most to his team's success."

Boudreau and Quenneville have won the award, but with a different team. Quenneville was recognized for leading the St. Louis Blues to the Presidents' Trophy in 1999-2000, and Boudreau received the award in 2007-08 for coaching the Washington Capitals. If either wins, he would become the fifth coach to capture the award with two teams. Pat Burns is the only coach to win the Adams three times; he did it once each with the Montreal Canadiens, Toronto Maple Leafs and Boston Bruins.

"I know how many great coaches there are in this League. To be picked as one of three is really a great compliment," said Boudreau, who was quick to praise his fellow nominees. "They did phenomenal jobs. The great job with Joel, other than the fact that he's one of the best coaches ever, is that he kept his team at such a high level for such a long time. For Paul, for a guy that could keep his team in the running with all the adversity that they had to go through, I think both of them did a tremendous job."

MacLean is an Adams finalist for the second year in a row. He finished as runner-up to Ken Hitchcock of the St. Louis Blues in 2012.

Boudreau, who took over as coach in December 2011, led Anaheim to the Pacific Division title and the No. 2 seed in the Western Conference -- their best finish since winning the Stanley Cup six years ago. This season's success came after the Ducks missed the playoffs in 2011-12.

"He's a players' coach. He makes everybody feel very important," forward Teemu Selanne said. "Everybody just [loves] to play for him."

Five years ago, Boudreau became one of only three men to win the Adams after taking over as coach during the season. He came aboard at Thanksgiving and led the Capitals to the Southeast Division title.

MacLean led the Senators into the Stanley Cup Playoffs despite a rash of injuries that would have wiped out many teams. The Senators were without No. 1 center Jason Spezza for all but five games due to back surgery, lost Norris Trophy-winning defenseman Erik Karlsson for almost 10 weeks due to an Achilles tendon injury, and were without starting goaltender Craig Anderson for nearly half the season after he went down with a high-ankle sprain. High-scoring forward Milan Michalek was limited to 23 games due to knee problems, and defenseman Jared Cowen missed all but the last seven games due to a torn labrum.

Despite those injuries, MacLean led the Senators to seventh place in the Eastern Conference; they upset the second-seeded Montreal Canadiens in the first round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

"I think it gives you a stamp of approval that what you thought and what you believe in can actually work," MacLean said of his second nomination for the award. "If you work real hard at it, you can have success at it. And I think that what it really gives us is credibility as a coaching staff and as a team."

Quenneville led Chicago to the Stanley Cup in 2010, but the Blackhawks were one-and-done the next two years before dominating the NHL this season. Chicago started on a 21-0-3 run and finished with a record of 36-7-5, earning the Blackhawks the Presidents' Trophy as the NHL's regular-season champions.

"We're happy with where we're at as a coaching staff, but all the credit is reserved for the players," Quenneville said. "You have to commend them for the way they prepared themselves, the consistency, the way they competed. It was fun being a part of it. The fun factor with this group was over the top."

He joins three of his players as finalists for individual awards. Brandon Saad is among the final three for the Calder Trophy, given to the rookie of the year; captain Jonathan Toews is a finalist for the Selke Trophy, awarded to the League's top defensive forward, and Patrick Kane was named Thursday as a finalist for the Lady Byng Memorial Trophy, given for skillful and gentlemanly play.

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