Jack Adams Award: History, Montreal Canadiens Past Winners

The Montreal Canadiens have a surprising history with the award given to the best coaching performance.
Canadiens coaching legend Scotty Bowman
Canadiens coaching legend Scotty Bowman / Richard T Gagnon/GettyImages
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The Jack Adams Award winner will be announced on Wednesday, May 22nd, before the puck drop of Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Finals. The Jack Adams Award is awarded annually to the NHL coach adjudged to have contributed the most to his team's success. This year's nominees are Rick Tocchet, Andrew Brunette, and Rick Bowness. The recently retired Rick Bowness winning the award would be a great story, but it'll be hard to vote against Rick Tocchet and his turnaround of the Vancouver Canucks. Will Martin St. Louis be a candidate for the award when he eventually leads the Canadiens back to the postseason? The last Canadiens coach to win was Pat Burns in 1988-89.

The award has been given out since 1973-74, which might make it hard to believe that a Montreal Canadiens coach has only won it twice. However, it's more of a positive for the organization than a slight. The award is rarely given to a coach who leads a good team to a successful season. It's often given to a coach who reached surprising success with a team that didn't have any expectations. The best evidence is this season's nominees, as all three share that their teams weren't expected to be as good as they were. The Canadiens are such a prestigious organization that the voters expect excellence and don't credit the coach for good results. However, after their recent run and rebuild, Martin St. Louis will be in contention if he is the one to lead them back to prominence.