The National Hockey League announced today the finalists for the 2016 Jack Adams Award, given annually to the NHL coach adjudged to have contributed the most to his team's success, naming Stars head coach Lindy Ruff. Barry Trotz (Washington Capitals) and Gerard Gallant (Florida Panthers) were also named finalists. The winner of the Jack Adams Award is selected by a poll of the National Hockey League Broadcasters Association at the end of the regular season.
In his third season as head coach of the Dallas Stars, Ruff led the club to the 2016 Central Division title, the club's first division crown since the 2005-06 season, and the top spot in the Western Conference, with a record of 50-23-9 (109 points). The 2015-16 season marked Ruff's third career 50-win campaign, and the first time Dallas has reached 50 wins since the 2006-07 campaign. Ruff improved on his previous season by nine wins and 17 points as the coach guided the Stars to a 41-31-10 record (92 points) in 2014-15, his second season behind the Stars' bench. During the 2013-14 campaign in his first season as Dallas' head coach, Ruff steered the club to a record of 40-31-11 (91 points) and the first playoff berth since 2008 before being defeated by the Anaheim Ducks in six games in the 2014 Western Conference First Round.
Ruff, 56, is the fifth-winningest head coach in NHL history with a 702-517-78-114 record. He is one of only five coaches in history to ever reach the 700-victory plateau, and has the third-most wins of any active coach behind Joel Quenneville and Ken Hitchcock. Ruff is one of four individuals in League history to have coached in over 1,400 NHL contests and appeared in 600 NHL games as a player. Now in his second stint as an NHL head coach, he departed the Buffalo Sabres in 2013 as the franchise's all-time leader in wins with 571.
In Ruff's ten postseason appearances, he has earned a 64-52 record, which is the 13th-most playoff victories in NHL history. He is also one of only 23 coaches all-time to coach at least 100 postseason contests. Ruff began his NHL coaching career as an assistant with the Florida Panthers in 1993 during the club's inaugural season and spent four seasons behind the bench with the Panthers. During his time in Florida, he helped guide the club to two playoff appearances and the 1996 Stanley Cup Final.
No stranger to international competition, Ruff coached Canada's Men's National Team to a silver medal at the IIHF World Championship in 2009 and served as an associate coach for the gold medal-winning Canadian teams at the 2010 Winter Olympic Games in Vancouver and the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi. He also served as head coach for Team Canada at the 2013 IIHF World Championship.