Pittsburgh Penguins coach Mike Sullivan finished first as a Jack Adams Award (coach of the year) candidate in midseason NHL award voting conducted by the Professional Hockey Writers Association.
Results were released Thursday on the eve of All-Star weekend.
Sullivan has garnered a lot of attention for the job he has done with the Penguins in light of the multitude of injuries the Penguins have worked around. They are over 200 man-games lost, including injuries to key players such as Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin, Jake Guentzel, Kris Letang and current leading scorer Bryan Rust, and some of the injuries have been longer term.
At the break, the Penguins sit second in the Metropolitan Division, third in the Eastern Conference and fourth overall in the NHL with 67 points.
Sullivan was the only member of the Penguins organization who finished in the top three in the vote. Many potential candidates, of course, have missed games because of injuries, taking them out of the award and trophy conversation, but one player who might have cracked the top three is defenseman John Marino for the Calder Trophy (rookie of the year). Neither did Jim Rutherford crack the top three as the best general manager.
There is nothing official about the midseason award vote conducted by the PHWA, but its midseason voting has been a good gauge of winners at the summer NHL Awards night. Last season, six of the eight midseason award winners in categories assigned to the PHWA went on to win the season award.
It should be noted that the PHWA votes on those eight award winners annually in an official capacity, while the association’s midseason awards include all categories and them some. The Jack Adams Award is not determined by the PHWA but in a vote by NHL broadcasters.
This winter 117 writers representing all 32 NHL chapters participated in midseason award voting. Here are the overall results: