Calgary Flames coach Darryl Sutter among finalists for Jack Adams Award

Calgary Flames head coach Darryl Sutter, left, talks to his players in third period NHL pre-season game action against the Winnipeg Jets in Winnipeg on Wednesday, October 6, 2021. Sutter is among the three finalists for the Jack Adams Award, presented annually to the National Hockey League's coach of the year. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/John Woods)

Calgary Flames head coach Darryl Sutter is among the three finalists for the Jack Adams Award, presented annually to the National Hockey League's coach of the year.

Andrew Brunette of the Florida Panthers and Gerard Gallant of the New York Rangers are the other two finalists.

Sutter started his second stint behind the Flames bench on March 4, 2021, as a mid-season replacement for the fired Geoff Ward. After the Flames missed the playoffs in 2020-21, Sutter oversaw the biggest season-over-season improvement by any team in the NHL. The Flames captured the Pacific Division title and posted the NHL's sixth-best record (50-21-11) in 2021-22.

They currenly lead the Oilers by a game in the second round of the NHL playoffs.

Sutter said he felt fortunate to work for the Flames owners.

"I've been fortunate to be in the places I've been and with the owners and the types of teams you'd like to see have success" Sutter said..  "You get to the point where you can not pick and choose but you don't have to go through a process to take that position so good."

Sutter added that he wasn't too worried about whether he wins it or not.

"The way I look at it, I don't need that on my resume," Sutter said.  "Some guys do so I'd rather see young guys win it quite honest over guys that have got a raw deal somewhere.  I look at a guy like Gerard (Gallant) he got a raw deal in Florida, he got a raw deal in Vegas.  If I had a vote I know who I'd vote for," he laughed.

Flames centre Elias Lindholm will be rooting for Sutter.

"Real good coach and obviously the coaching staff as well has been really good," Lindholm said. "We're all excited for them and him to be nominated for that award, so it's good to see that the organization is doing pretty well."

Goaltender Jacob Markstrom praised Sutter's emphasis on preparation.

"You know from the time Darryl came until obviously in the summer it was really huge," Markstrom said.  "Something he pushed on (us) was that we need to prepare to play deep and prepare to go long in the playoffs."

"The structure and the way he wanted - he could really put a stamp on it when you have a full training camp and you have the summer and I thought he's done a great job with that in the way we play."

Brunette led the Panthers (58-18-6) to the first Presidents' Trophy in franchise history as the NHL's top regular-season team.

Gallant became just the second head coach in franchise history to win 50-plus games in his first season, guiding the Rangers (52-24-6) to their best record since capturing the Presidents' Trophy in 2014-15. 

The winners of the 2022 NHL Awards will be revealed sometime during the conference finals and Stanley Cup final.

With files from The Canadian Press