In a year filled with impressive coaching performances, members of the NHL Broadcaster's Association narrowed down the top bench bosses to the following group of three:
With the 2nd most man games lost to injury, Babcock was forced to get all he could out of a team largely consisting of Grand Rapids Griffins, and then some. Despite a frequent lack of talent to work with, Babcock managed to secure a playoff berth ahead of Washington in the final week.
After an unimpressive end to the Guy Boucher era, Cooper stepped up into the lead role in Tampa Bay, guiding a young but talented roster to the #2 seed in the Atlantic division. Despite losing Steven Stamkos for an extended period of time, Cooper was able to lead his team through adversity in a promising campaign.
The hot headed hall of fame goalie took one of last year's worst teams and picked up an impressive 112 points and a Central Division title in his first year. In addition to getting more out of the 18 men with the thin sticks than Joe Sacco had, Roy's presence was key in shaping Semyon Varlamov into a Vezina candidate.
My Pick: Patrick Roy
Bonus Award of the Day: Most Unlikely Goal of The Year
Although Niklas Kronwall's game tying goal in the final minute that bounced off the netting, and then in off of Jonathan Quick was unlikely in that it required a lucky bounce and incompetent officiating, I still can't get over how perfect of a shot my nomination was. Christian Ehrhoff could try to place a wrister this perfectly 1000 times over, and I doubt he would be able to replicate it: