3 Canucks who could be locks for prestigious NHL awards

The Vancouver Canucks have been arguably the NHL’s most entertaining team, both in the number of points accumulated and their fun style of play.

Buffalo Sabres v Vancouver Canucks
Buffalo Sabres v Vancouver Canucks / Derek Cain/GettyImages
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Rick Tocchet could have already locked up the Jack Adams Award

If anyone deserves the most credit for the Canucks turnaround, it’s head coach Rick Tocchet. After Vancouver fired former head coach Bruce Boudreau, they turned to Tocchet, who put his stamp on the organization when he led what was then an ailing Canucks team to a 20-12-4 record, good for 44 points. 

This led to Vancouver snagging a more than solid 1.22 points per game, which would have equaled 100 when adjusted over a full season. It’s all the franchise needed to believe Tocchet would be their guy heading into the 2023-24 season, and he is only about to lead them beyond that 100-point threshold with a few more wins. 

Note that this team was a meager 18-25-3 with just 39 points in 46 contests before Toccet took over. He managed to turn them not just into a winner for a half-season but a team that looks poised to make annual trips to the postseason. 

Sure, Jim Montgomery is leading what should be a pedestrian Boston Bruins team to perhaps another Presidents’ Trophy, and Kris Knoblauch is making his case over in Edmonton. But Montgomery doesn’t have the Bruins operating at the same pace as they did last season, and the Oilers were already a good team before Knoblauch took over. 

That wasn’t the case with Tocchet, who inherited a team that failed to qualify for the playoffs over the past three seasons. Overall, there isn’t another coach in the NHL who deserves the award more than Rick Tocchet as far as this season goes. 

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(Statistics and data provided by Hockey-Reference)