The Panthers received some recognition for their franchise record-breaking season this past week as two players – Aleksander Barkov and Jaromir Jagr – and head coach Gerard Gallant were all nominated for regular season awards.
For the first time in his coaching career, Gerard Gallant has been named a finalist for the Jack Adams Award which goes to the coach of the year. Gallant coached the Panthers to their first Atlantic Division title and their first playoff berth since the 2011-12 season. Under Gallant, the Panthers set new franchise records in wins (47) and points (103) and also set a franchise record for the longest win streak when they won 12 straight games from December 15th to January 10th. Compared to the 2014-15 season, the Panthers improved by 9 wins and 12 points. Lindy Ruff of the Dallas Stars and Barry Trotz of the Washingston Capitals were also named finalists for the award.
Aleksander Barkov was named a finalist for the Lady Byng Trophy which is given to the “player adjudged to have exhibited the best type of sportsmanship and gentlemanly conduct combined with a high standard of playing ability.” Barkov finished the season with team-leading, career-high 28 goals in 66 games combined with just 8 penalty minutes which tied him for the fewest amongst the top 50 scorers in the league. Barkov also set career-highs in assists with 31 and points with 59. He committed just 4 penalties all season long: hooking (2), holding, and a stick infraction as he used his own stick to slide Aaron Ekblad’s over to him to pick up. If Barkov wins the award, he’d be the 2nd-youngest player after Wayne Gretzky to do so. The other two finalists for the award are Anze Kopitar and Loui Eriksson.
Finally, Jaromir Jagr was nominated for the Masterton Trophy which is awarded to “the player adjudged to have exhibited the best type of sportsmanship and gentlemanly conduct combined with a high standard of playing ability.” Jagr wrapped up his 22nd season in the NHL and became the oldest player in league history to pass the 60-point mark at an incredible 44 years old. Jagr also led the team in scoring with 66 points in 79 games played and was named to the All Star Team for the 13th time in his career. The two other finalists for the award are Pascal Dupuis and Mats Zuccarello.
The award winners will be announced at the NHL Awards show in Las Vegas on Wednesday June 22nd. Aaron Ekblad won the Calder Memorial Trophy as the league’s top rookie at last year’s ceremony.