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Flyers’ Alain Vigneault edged by Boston’s Bruce Cassidy for NHL’s coach of the year

Cassidy's Bruins had the most points in the NHL during the regular season.

Alain Vigneault directed the Flyers to massive improvement in his first year as their coach.
Alain Vigneault directed the Flyers to massive improvement in his first year as their coach.Read moreSTEVEN M. FALK / Staff Photographer

Boston’s Bruce Cassidy edged the Flyers’ Alain Vigneault for the Jack Adams Award as the NHL’s coach of the year Wednesday night.

The NHL’s Broadcasters’ Association voted for the award, which was based on the regular season.

Cassidy, who directed Boston (44-14-12) to the Atlantic Division title and a league-best 100 points, was named on 82 of the 132 ballots and received 37 first-place votes and 288 voting points.

It was the first time Cassidy had ever won the award; he finished second to Vegas’ Gerard Gallant in 2017-18.

Vigneault, in his first season with the Flyers, received 32 first-place votes and 252 voting points.

Columbus’ John Tortorella finished third, collecting 28 first-place votes and 198 voting points, and former Flyers coach Craig Berube, now with St. Louis, finished fourth with 126 voting points, including 12 first-place votes.

The Flyers finished second in the Metropolitan Division with a 41-21-7 (89 points) record, one point behind Washington in the pandemic-shortened season. The Flyers' .645 points percentage was their third-best in the last 30 years.

The Flyers were on pace for 106 points − 24 more than last season – and they made, by far, the biggest improvement in the NHL this year.

Vigneault, 59, won the award in 2006-07 with Vancouver, which collected 105 points and finished first in the Northwest Division. That team, like the Flyers this year, lost in the second round of the playoffs.

Bill Barber was the last Flyers coach to win the Jack Adams Award; he was honored after the 2000-01 season. Fred Shero (1973-74), Pat Quinn (1979-80), and Mike Keenan (1984-85) were the other Flyers coaches who won the award.

When Vigneault was named a coach-of-the-year finalist for the fifth time (with four teams) in July, he praised his players and his staff. He also got emotional talking about how the Flyers responded after the devastating December news that Oskar Lindblom was battling a rare type of bone cancer.

“I’m so proud of this group and everybody associated with it,” Vigneault said at the time. “That was a very challenging time for our group and we responded by doing our jobs, staying focused. ... Considering what could have happened, this is extra special. Oskar is healthy now, our team did well, so this is very special for me.”

The Flyers won their first playoff series since 2012 by beating Montreal in Round 1, then were eliminated in Game 7 by the New York Islanders in the Eastern Conference semifinals.