Gerard Gallant of the Vegas Golden Knights won the Jack Adams Award as NHL coach of the year at the 2018 NHL Awards Presented by Hulu at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Las Vegas on Wednesday.
"It's something I've never dreamed about. I never thought I'd be NHL Coach of the Year," Gallant said. "It's a great honor. I'm the head coach, but we talk about our assistant coaches all the time, we talk about the organization all the time. They're all a big part of this award."
Gallant, 54, coached the Golden Knights to a historic season for a first-year team. Vegas (51-24-7, 109 points) was the first modern-era expansion team from any of the four North American professional sports leagues to start from scratch and win its division, and set records for wins and points by a first-year team.
Gallant helped Vegas win the Pacific Division and advance to the Stanley Cup Final, when it lost to the Washington Capitals in five games.
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"It was a dream season right up until Game 5," Gallant said. "It was an unbelievable year. Obviously, nobody expected us to come out of the gate the way we did, or expected us to get to the playoffs, but we had a great team. We had a great season. We fell a little bit short, but I'll go home this summer really proud of our group and get ready to go again next year."
Video: Gerard Gallant is presented the Jack Adams Award
The Golden Knights started the season 8-2-0, using four goaltenders because of injuries. They won their 34th game Feb. 1 to set the NHL record for wins by a team in its inaugural season, with 32 games remaining.
The Golden Knights had 11 players who had NHL career highs in points, including forward William Karlsson, who had 78 points (43 goals, 35 assists) after he had 25 points (six goals, 19 assists) with the Columbus Blue Jackets last season.
It's the first Jack Adams win for Gallant, who was runner-up to Barry Trotz (Capitals) when he coached the Florida Panthers in 2015-16.
The other finalists were Jared Bednar of the Colorado Avalanche and Bruce Cassidy of the Boston Bruins. Bednar, 46, coached Colorado (43-30-9) to a playoff berth for the first time since 2014. Colorado finished with 95 points, a 47-point increase from when they finished last in the NHL last season. Cassidy, 53, coached the Bruins (50-20-12, 112 points) to a fourth-place finish in the NHL standings and their fourth-highest point total in 40 years.
Here is the voting by the NHL Broadcasters' Association:
1. Gerard Gallant, VGK 525 (102-5-0)
2. Bruce Cassidy, BOS 153 (2-40-23)
3. Jared Bednar, COL 114 (4-25-19)
4. Paul Maurice, WPG 46 (0-12-10)
5. Peter Laviolette, NSH 41 (0-9-14)
6. John Hynes, NJD 39 (0-6-21)
7. Pete DeBoer, SJS 18 (0-4-6)
8. Jon Cooper, TBL 8 (0-2-2)
9. Mike Sullivan, PIT 7 (0-2-1)
10. Randy Carlyle, ANA 6 (0-2-0)