NHL-Babcock, Cooper, Roy Named Finalists For Coach Of The Year

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(Reuters) – Mike Babcock of the Detroit Red Wings, Jon Cooper of the Tampa Bay Lightning and Patrick Roy of the Colorado Avalanche were named finalists for the National Hockey League’s coach of the year award, the league said on Tuesday.

Babcock, the coach of Canada’s gold medal men’s teams at the Vancouver and Sochi Olympics, guided the injury-hit Red Wings to a 23rd consecutive Stanley Cup playoff berth, the longest active streak in North American professional sports.

Detroit overcame a franchise-record 421 man games lost due to injury, including 37-game absences by All-Star forwards Pavel Datsyuk and Henrik Zetterberg.

Roy, a Hall of Fame netminder in his first season as an NHL head coach, oversaw a dazzling turnaround by the Avalanche, who finished third overall one year after placing 29th in the 30-team league.

The Avalanche matched a franchise record for wins with 52, had the NHL’s best road mark and did not suffer a regulation loss when leading after two periods.

Cooper, in his first full season behind the bench, guided Tampa Bay to a second-place finish in the Atlantic Division after the club placed 28th overall in the 2012-13 season.

He successfully incorporated several young players into the Lightning lineup, as a league-high eight rookies appeared in at least 40 games.

The winner of the Jack Adams Award will be named June 24 at the NHL awards ceremony in Las Vegas.

(Reporting by Steve Keating in Toronto; Editing by Frank Pingue)

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