The Flyers first year head coach finished second in Jack Adams award voting.
While the Flyers were recently knocked out of the playoffs, Alain Vigneault did a strong job of bringing them there. He took a team that missed the playoffs last season and turned them into a legitimate threat in the Eastern Conference.
In 69 games played, they had already beaten their previous win and point total from a season ago. And that was with 13 games remaining in the season. They were on pace to hit a 100-point campaign. Add in the loss of Nolan Patrick and Oskar Lindblom to the adversity Vigneault and the Flyers had to face.
Vigneault was up against Bruce Cassidy and John Tortorella. His biggest competition appeared to be the latter coach. The Columbus Blue Jackets, having lost three big names to free agency, were not expected to be a contending team. Add in injuries to key players and they should have faded fast.
But they made it close enough to be counted as a playoff team this season. After moving past the play-in round, they ended up falling to the Tampa Bay Lightning. The fact that they made it to the playoffs, though, was a huge success.
Cassidy helped sustain a President’s Trophy winning Boston Bruins squad. With a line dubbed the “Perfection Line,” it’s not surprising a team like Boston would be that good. They didn’t really have to overcome anything during the regular season. You can say sustaining that kind of success is instrumental.
Cassidy would end up being the Jack Adams award winner. Vigneault finished a close second while Tortorella was well below the two.
The Jack Adams award is defined as “the NHL coach adjudged to have contributed the most to his team’s success.” Did Cassidy really do more than both Vigneault and Tortorella?
Apparently the NHL’s Broadcasters Association, the members who vote for the award, thought so.
The Flyers have one more chance to take home an NHL award as Sean Couturier is up for the Selke. The winner will be announced on Thursday evening.