Rod Brind’Amour of the Carolina Hurricanes on Thursday won the Jack Adams Award for NHL coach of the year as voted by members of the NHL Broadcasters’ Association.
“This is a great honor to even be thought of in this category,” Brind’Amour said. “… I’m really proud to be accepting this on behalf of this organization.”
Brind’Amour coached the Hurricanes (36-12-8) to the best points percentage (.714) in Hurricanes/Hartford Whalers history. The Hurricanes finished first in the Discover Central Division, their first division title since 2005-06. Brind’Amour was Hurricanes captain that season and helped them win the Stanley Cup.
Carolina lost in five games to the Tampa Bay Lightning in the Stanley Cup Second Round this season.
The Hurricanes were second in the NHL in power-play percentage (25.6 percent) behind the Edmonton Oilers and third in penalty-killing percentage (85.2 percent), trailing the Vegas Golden Knights and Boston Bruins. Carolina was the only team to rank in the top three in each category. The Hurricanes were tied with the Bruins for fourth in goals-against per game (2.39), third in face-off winning percentage (53.9 percent) and fifth in shots on goal per game (32.0).
“We have such great people in this place and that’s why I love it here,” Brind’Amour said. “From our medical staff to our training staff to the coaches I get to work with every day, I think they’re the best in the League. I’m really grateful to have the opportunity to work with them. And then obviously the athletes I get to come in contact with every day, from (captain) Jordan Staal all the way down. We have a great group here and I’m really proud to represent them with this award here today.”
Video: Brind’Amour discusses winning Jack Adams Award
Brind’Amour agreed to a three-year contract Thursday to remain coach of the Hurricanes.
Asked where this day ranked for him professionally, Brind’Amour said, “Yeah, well, this award really just feels to me like such an organizational award because it just is. I know I said that earlier, but there’s no way around it. I’ve got great people working with me to help me and the staff, everything, the players. I almost think the better question is, how do you not win with when you have what I get to work with every day? Where does it rank? It’s a great day for me, personally, but really for the organization, I think, to get recognized this way.”
Carolina general manager Don Waddell said of Brind’Amour, “He’s done a tremendous job. We truly believe we are headed in the right direction, so we’re very happy to get Rod signed on a long-term deal and we look forward to the next steps.”
Brind’Amour is 120-66-20 in three seasons as Hurricanes coach, and Carolina has reached the Stanley Cup Playoffs each season. Carolina missed the playoffs nine straight seasons before Brind’Amour was named coach May 8, 2018, replacing Bill Peters.
“Look at where we were when he took over (in 2018-19) and where we are now,” defenseman Jaccob Slavin said. “Top to bottom, in the room, on the ice, in the organization, it’s a night-and-day difference. He has a huge role, if not the most important role, to play in that. He’s awesome as a coach, awesome as a person. The respect he has, as players, we truly appreciate, and obviously you want to go out there and play hard for a coach who respects you. He respects you as a player and a person. His care for people, people talk about that a lot, but it’s true. We’re extremely thankful for that.”
A first-time finalist for the award, Brind’Amour is the first coach in Hurricanes/Whalers history to win it.
“He’s a great coach, obviously,” Staal said. “He’s got it figured out. He knows how to push buttons, knows how to get the best out of everyone and relay good messages of how to play. And then just in general, as a person, he’s a guy I look up to in all aspects of life and the way he carries himself, the way he treats people. He’s just a good dude. He’s a huge, if not one of the main reasons, why we are where we are as a group.”
[RELATED: Complete list of Jack Adams Award Winners]
Dean Evason of the Minnesota Wild was second, and Joel Quenneville of the Florida Panthers was third as the other finalists for the award.
Evason coached the Wild (35-16-5) to the best points percentage in their history (.670) and a playoff berth in his first full season as coach, one season after taking over from Bruce Boudreau.
Quenneville helped the Panthers (37-14-5) qualify for the playoffs for a second straight season. They finished one point behind the Hurricanes in the Central with the best points percentage (.705) and most goals per game (3.36) in their history.
“It’s an honor to even be considered, even this year,” Brind’Amour said. “Obviously with Joel and his experience and everything he’s done in his career, and Dean’s done a great job there, starting fresh there. So it’s a great honor.”
NHL.com staff writer Tracey Myers contributed to this report
2021 Jack Adams Award voting
1. Rod Brind’Amour, CAR 433 points (61-37-17)
2. Dean Evason, MIN 235 (24-27-34)
3. Joel Quenneville, FLA 225 (21-30-30)
4. Jared Bednar, COL 115 (12-16-7)
5. Mike Sullivan, PIT 86 (9-7-20)
6. Sheldon Keefe, TOR 27 (0-6-9)
7. Peter DeBoer, VGK 17 (2-1-4)
8. Jon Cooper, TBL 4 (0-1-1)
8. John Hynes, NSH 4 (0-1-1)
8. D.J. Smith, OTT 4 (0-1-1)
11. Bruce Cassidy, BOS 3 (0-1-0)
11. David Quinn, NYR 3 (0-1-0)
13. Dave Tippett, EDM 3 (0-0-3)
14. Jeremy Colliton, CHI 1 (0-0-1)
14. Barry Trotz, NYI 1 (0-0-1)