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Wild’s Dean Evason named finalist for Jack Adams award as NHL coach of the year

NHL: Minnesota Wild at Colorado Avalanche
Feb 24, 2021; Denver, Colorado, USA; Minnesota Wild head coach Dean Evason on the bench during the third period against the Colorado Avalanche at Ball Arena. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

When Dean Evason took over for Bruce Boudreau as the Wild’s coach in February 2020, it wasn’t even certain if Evason would get the full-time job. Now, he is one of three finalists for the Jack Adams award as the NHL’s coach of the year for 2020-21.

Evason, who was named to the job on a permanent basis and signed to a two-year contract last summer before the Wild began play in the postseason bubble, led Minnesota to a 35-16-5 record in 56 games this season. The Wild’s .670 points percentage is the highest in team history. Minnesota entered the season expected to battle for the fourth and final playoff spot in the West Division, but instead finished in third place with 75 points. That put them behind Colorado and Vegas, which tied for the most points in the NHL with 82.

The other finalists are Carolina’s Rod Brind’Amour and Florida’s Joel Quenneville. The Hurricanes finished in first place in the Central Division with 80 points and the Panthers were second in the division with 79 points.

Evason, 56, is the Wild’s second Jack Adams finalist, joining Jacques Lemaire, who won the award in 2003. The Jack Adams is voted on by members of the NHL Broadcasters Association.

The Wild have four finalists for this year’s NHL awards, marking the most in a season in franchise history. The list includes Kirill Kaprizov, who is up for the Calder Trophy as rookie of the year; Jared Spurgeon, a finalist for the Lady Byng, which recognizes sportsmanship; and Matt Dumba, who is a candidate for the Masterton Trophy, which recognizes perseverance and dedication to hockey.

The winners of the awards will be revealed during the Stanley Cup semifinals and Stanley Cup Final, with exact dates, format and times to be announced.