New York Rangers bench boss Gerard Gallant was named a finalist for the Jack Adams Award on Thursday morning, just hours after his Blue Shirts began their second-round series against the Carolina Hurricanes.
He is the third member o the Rangers organization that has been named a finalist for a league award and it marks the third time in his career that Gallant has been named a finalist for the Jack Adams, which goes to the best coach in the NHL. The Rangers have never had a coach win the award in franchise history.
Florida Panthers head coach Andrew Brunette and Calgary Flames head coach Darryl Sutter were also named finalists.
The nomination shouldn’t come as too much of a surprise considering the season that the Rangers have had this year. Despite not being viewed as a playoff contender, the Blue Shirts had their best season at 52-24-6 since they won the Presidents’ Trophy in 2014-15 and Gallant became just the second head coach in team history to win 50-plus games in his first season.
The Rangers’ seventh-place finish in the entire league is their best finish in 25 seasons and team defense and the power play each finished in the top-five of the NHL.
Gerard Gallant was hired by the Rangers last June after they let David Quinn go after three years behind the bench. Gallant has heralded as a player’s coach at the time and praised for his success with other organizations. Gallant helped lead the Vegas Golden Knights to the Stanley Cup Final during the Franchise’s first year in existence.
He won his first Jack Adams Award in 2018 as well.
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“I’m not going to worry about what happened in the past with the team,” Gallant said during his introductory press conference last summer. “We’re turning the page. We’re moving forward. When I got the opportunity to be named the head coach of this team, I was really excited to see our roster. I know we’re going to take a big step – and hopefully it’s a real big step.”
With the Rangers in the second round of the playoff, it’s safe to say that the team has taken that step.