Written By: Lindsay Iaquinta
Edited by: Katie LeLasher
One would think that the New York Rangers and Calgary Flames have nothing in common, but they do. Both the Rangers and Calgary's old coaches were fired after being nominated for the Jack Adams Award last season.
The Jack Adams Award is given to “The coach adjudged to have contributed the most to his team's success.” (Records.NHL.com). It is voted on by NHL Broadcasters Association members, who submit ballots at the end of the regular season. The top three vote-getters are then designated as finalists. It is named in honor of Jack Adams, a coach and general manager of the Detroit Red Wings.
Gallant holding Jack Adams Award
Photo taken by Bruce Bennett
Darryl Sutter started his career off as the coach for the Chicago Blackhawks, where he remained from 1992 to 1995. He then moved on to coach the San Jose Sharks for six seasons, the Calgary Flames for three seasons, the LA Kings for six, and finally, the Calgary Flames again for three. In the 2021-2022 season, he led Calgary to a series win against the Stars but then a loss against the Edmonton Oilers.
Sutter on the bench with Calgary
Photo taken by Sergei Belski
Prior to Sutter being hired, he stated that he had “unfinished business” (NHL.com) in Calgary. He obviously followed through with this because he won the Jack Adams Award for the 2021-2022 season. Calgary ended that regular season with 111 points and was ranked the sixth-best in the NHL. He is the second Flames coach ever to win the award, the first one being Bob Hartley during the 2014-2015 season.
Despite winning the award, Sutter was fired after being with the team for three seasons. The decision to fire Sutter came less than a month after the Flames announced that Brad Trevlnig (general manager of the Flames) agreed to part ways with the franchise. Additionally, the team confirmed that they fired Sutter after the club failed to make it into this season's playoffs.
Picture from Calgary Flames Twitter
Gerard Gallant started his career by coaching the Columbus Blue Jackets for three seasons. He then went on to the Florida Panthers for three seasons, then the Vegas Golden Knights for three, and then was finally with the Rangers for two. During the 2021-2022 season, he led the Rangers to the Eastern Conference Final where they lost against Tampa Bay. Because of how well they did in the regular season, Gallant was nominated for the Jack Adams Award.
Picture from New York Rangers Twitter
After a decent regular season, the Rangers had an insanely inconsistent playoff season. They acquired not only Vladimir Tarasenko before the playoffs but also Patrick Kane. With these two being added to the roster, the Rangers were predicted to be a powerhouse.
Fans were very disappointed though when their dreams got crushed in game three of the series against New Jersey. They won the first two games against the Devils 5-1. Then game three rolled around, 2-1 in OT. Then game four where they lost 3-1. Game five was a whole different team than what viewers had previously seen. The Rangers were sloppy, and could barely hold on to the puck. That game resulted in a loss. 4-0. They got shut out, and it was one of their worst games played the entire season. Luckily, the Rangers won game six 5-2n though that victory didn’t last very long as they were once again shut out 4-0 in game seven, ending their season.
Gallant and the Rangers association than “mutually” decided to part ways. According to multiple sources, this change happened due to his hard-working forecheck and direct puck movement strategy going stale and his frequent deflecting of blame which some people from the organization did not like (lohud.com).
Gallant on bench with Rangers
Photo taken by Adam Hunger
Both Sutter and Gallant were fired right after winning/being nominated for the Jack Adams Award. Will this pattern continue with other coaches? Does this mean that the award burns these coaches out, or was it just a coincidence? Did they become too egotistical or for their own good? These are all questions that can only be answered with time, or an inside scoop on what is really going on with these two coaches.