August 21, 2014

Blues’ Hitchcock up for coach of the year

Ken Hitchcock of the St. Louis Blues, Paul MacLean of the Ottawa Senators and John Tortorella of the New York Rangers, are finalists for the 2012 Jack Adams Award, presented by the National Hockey League Broadcasters’ Association to “the NHL coach adjudged to have contributed the most to his team’s success.”

Hitchcock took over in St. Louis on Nov. 6, replacing Davis Payne. At the time, the team was 6-7-0 and 14th in the Western Conference.  The team bought into his defense-first style, and  went 43-15-11 to finish second in the Western Conference.

The Blues won their first Central Division title since the 1999-2000 season. They finished with 49 wins and 109 points, the most in either category since that season.  It’s the fourth time Hitchcock has been a Jack Adams finalist; he finished second in 1997 and third in 1998 and 1999, all with Dallas.