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May 22, 2024 8:51 pm

Vancouver’s Rick Tocchet named NHL Coach of the Year

Rick Tocchet

First-time finalist Rick Tocchet of the Vancouver Canucks won the Jack Adams Award on Wednesday as the NHL’s 2023-24 coach of the year.

The trophy honors the head coach who has “contributed the most to his team’s success,” voted on by members of the NHL Broadcasters’ Association.

Tocchet, in his first full season behind Vancouver’s bench, guided the Canucks to the Pacific Division title — their first division crown since 2013. Their 50-23-9 record and 109 points were improvements of 12 wins and 26 points from the 2022-23 season.

Vancouver’s penalty kill was tied with St. Louis for 17th (79.1 percent) this season after ranking last (71.6 percent) in 2022-23. The Canucks also improved in moving from 13th (3.29) to sixth (3.40) in goals per game, and from 25th (3.61) to tied for fifth (2.70) in fewest goals allowed.

Andrew Brunette of the Nashville Predators and Rick Bowness of the Winnipeg Jets were the other finalists. Tocchet received 483 points — on 82 first-place votes, 23 for second and four for third — to outpace Brunette (145; 8-28-21) and Bowness (75; 5-11-17).

“It’s an organizational award,” Tocchet said on ESPN’s “The Point” after being announced as the winner. “I mean, I had a lot of help. My staff was incredible. Obviously, the Aquilini family. (President of hockey operations) Jim (Rutherford) and (general manager) Patrik (Allvin), (the) management team and their staff. Walking into this, I had a lot of help. A lot of buy-in from the players … right from Day One. They believed in the staff, and we believed in them.”

The Canucks were eliminated in seven games against the Edmonton Oilers in the second round of the Western Conference playoffs.

Tocchet is 70-35-13 since becoming coach of Vancouver. Overall, he is 248-235-73 in the regular season while coaching the Tampa Bay Lightning (2008-10), Arizona Coyotes (2017-21) and Canucks.

Tocchet is the third Canucks coach to win the award, joining Alain Vigneault (2006-07) and Pat Quinn (1991-92).

–Field Level Media

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