John Tortorella of the Columbus Blue Jackets won the Jack Adams Award as best coach in the NHL at the 2017 NHL Awards and NHL Expansion Draft presented by T-Mobile in Las Vegas on Wednesday.
Tortorella, who turns 59 on Saturday, also won the Jack Adams with the Tampa Bay Lightning in 2004. The other finalists were Mike Babcock of the Toronto Maple Leafs and Todd McLellan of the Edmonton Oilers.
The Blue Jackets had their best season since entering the NHL in 2000. Columbus set its records for wins (50) and points (108), finishing third in the Metropolitan Division to reach the Stanley Cup Playoffs for the third time in its history. The Blue Jackets also had a 16-game winning streak, one shy of the NHL record of 17 set by the 1992-93 Pittsburgh Penguins.
Video: John Tortorella is presented the Jack Adams Award
"I said out there the thing I'm most excited about, I'm standing in for an organization and I'm just thrilled for our organization that there's a little bit of recognition going on in the offseason for us," Tortorella said. "I hope it fuels us coming up to our next season because [we] had a [heck] of a year, but the hard stuff starts next season. So really good stuff for our organization. That's what I'm so happy about."
Tortorella also was a Jack Adams finalist in 2003 with the Lightning and 2012 with the New York Rangers.
Babcock, 54, has yet to win the Jack Adams despite being a finalist in 2008 and 2014 with the Detroit Red Wings; he won the Cup with Detroit in 2008. Babcock guided the Maple Leafs to the Stanley Cup Playoffs for the first time since 2013. They were fourth in the Atlantic Division with 95 points, a 26-point improvement from last season, his first with Toronto. Babcock also played six rookies more than 75 games each, including center Auston Matthews, 19, the first pick of the 2016 NHL Draft. The Maple Leafs went 40-27-15, their most wins since they had 40 in 2006-07.
McLellan, 49, coached the Oilers to the playoffs for the first time since 2006. They were second in the Pacific Division with 103 points, 33 more than they had in 2015-16, his first season with Edmonton. The Oilers went 47-26-9, their most wins since they had 50 in 1986-87. McLellan was a finalist for the Jack Adams in 2009 with the San Jose Sharks.
1. John Tortorella, CBJ 267 (39-19-15)
2. Mike Babcock, TOR 182 (24-15-17)
3. Todd McLellan, EDM 181 (18-24-19)
4. Joel Quenneville, CHI 103 (12-12-7)
5. Barry Trotz, WSH 63 (6-8-9)
6. Glen Gulutzan, CGY 49 (2-8-15)
7. Guy Boucher, OTT 44 (1-10-9)
8. Mike Sullivan, PIT 25 (3-2-4)
9. Bruce Boudreau, MIN 22 (0-5-7)
10. Jon Cooper, TBL 3 (0-1-0)
Claude Julien, MTL 3 (0-1-0)
12. Randy Carlyle, ANA 2 (0-0-2)
13. Bill Peters, CAR 1 (0-0-1)