New York, NY (SportsNetwork.com) - Calgary Flames bench boss Bob Hartley, Nashville Predators leader Peter Laviolette and Alain Vigneault from the New York Rangers are the three finalists for the Jack Adams Award, given annually to the league's top coach.
Hartley led the youth-oriented Flames to a 20-point improvement over the previous regular season and guided the club to their first playoff berth since 2009. Calgary was among the NHL's best late-game teams, tying for first in overtime wins (9), ranking second in third-period goal differential (plus-31), and third in wins when trailing after two periods (10).
Laviolette engineered a nine-win and 16-point improvement during his first season at the helm in the Music City after parts of five seasons in Philadelphia. The former U.S. Olympian is a second-time finalist, having finished second to Buffalo's Lindy Ruff in 2006.
Vigneault presided over a club which reached the Stanley Cup Finals the previous spring, and guided the Rangers to 53 wins and 113 points along with the franchise's first Presidents' Trophy since 1994. He's a finalist for the fourth time -- tying St. Louis' Ken Hitchcock for the most among active head coaches -- and a winner with Vancouver in 2007.
Members of the NHL Broadcasters' Association submitted ballots for the honor, which goes to the head coach who has "contributed the most to his team's success," at the conclusion of the regular season, with the top three vote-getters designated as finalists.
The winner will be announced June 24, during the NHL Awards show in Las Vegas.