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McLellan Finalist for Jack Adams Award

by San Jose Sharks Staff / San Jose Sharks

NEW YORK -- Todd McLellan of the San Jose Sharks, Claude Julien of the Boston Bruins and Andy Murray of the St. Louis Blues are the three finalists for the 2008-09 Jack Adams Award, presented to the head coach who has "contributed the most to his team's success," the National Hockey League announced today.

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 nomination is a reflection of the whole organization and not just the head coach,” said McLellan. “That includes Todd Richards, Trent Yawney, Jay Woodcroft, Mike Ricci and the training staff.”

Yet after falling in the first round, the satisfaction for the nomination is a bit deluded.

“It’s bittersweet. It’s hard to be really excited because of what happened in the last four days,” said McLellan. “The coach of the year is the one who holds the big silver cup at the end of the year.”

McLellan will take the early exit to heart as he did when helping coach the Red Wings and the fell in the first round after a 59 win regular season. The Red Wings then regrouped and found a way to win the Stanley Cup two years later.

“It’s comparable to Detroit where we lost to Edmonton, it’s very comparable,” said McLellan. “It was devastating and this is very reminiscent. But we put our nose to the grindstone and made changes.”

McLellan says this loss will sit for a while even when they start moving forward with next year’s plans.

“You always refer to the past,” said McLellan.

With McLellan's history in Detroit with such situations, the past might be the great indicator of a teriffic future.

NOMINEES

Todd McLellan, San Jose Sharks

McLellan
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.

Claude Julien, Boston Bruins

Julien
A first-time Adams finalist, Julien guided the Bruins to the Eastern Conference's top record, finishing 53-19-10 for 116 points -- 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. 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).

Andy Murray, St. Louis Blues

Murray
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.

AWARDS SCHEDULE
The NHL will announce the three finalists for each of its awards daily. On Monday, May 4, 2009, the NHL Foundation Player Award (Contributions to charitable causes) finalists will be announced.

PREVIOUSLY ANNOUNCED AWARD FINALISTS

Calder Trophy (outstanding rookie):
Steve Mason, Columbus Blue Jackets
Bobby Ryan, Anaheim Ducks
Kris Versteeg, Chicago Blackhawks

Norris Trophy (outstanding defenseman):
Zdeno Chara, Boston Bruins
Mike Green, Washington Capitals
Nicklas Lidstrom, Detroit Red Wings

Lady Byng Trophy (skill, sportsmanship):
Pavel Datsyuk, Detroit Red Wings
Zach Parise, New Jersey Devils
Martin St. Louis, Tampa Bay Lightning

Vezina Trophy (outstanding goaltender):
Niklas Backstrom, Minnesota Wild
Steve Mason, Columbus Blue Jackets
Tim Thomas, Boston Bruins

Frank J. Selke Trophy (top defensive forward):
Pavel Datsyuk, Detroit Red Wings
Ryan Kesler, Vancouver Canucks
Mike Richards, Philadelphia Flyers

Hart Trophy (MVP to his team):
Pavel Datsyuk, Detroit Red Wings
Evgeni Malkin, Pittsburgh Penguins
Alex Ovechkin, Washington Capitals

Masterton Trophy (perseverance, sportsmanship and dedication to hockey):
Chris Chelios, Detroit Red Wings
Steve Sullivan, Nashville Predators
Richard Zednik, Florida Panthers
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