Rick Tocchet [600x400]
Rick Tocchet [600x400] (Credit: Jeff Vinnick/NHLI via Getty Images)

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NEW YORK -- Rick Tocchet was honored as the NHL's coach of the year Wednesday after guiding the Pacific Division champion Vancouver Canucks to their second playoff berth in nine years.

Tocchet appeared on 109 of 114 ballots for the Jack Adams Award submitted by members of the NHL Broadcasters' Association and received 82 first-place votes, the NHL announced. He became the third Canucks coach to win the honor, following Pat Quinn in 1992 and Alain Vigneault in 2007.

Nashville's Andrew Brunette was second. He appeared on 57 ballots, with eight first-place votes. Winnipeg's Rick Bowness finished third. He announced his retirement this month.

"This really is a team award, and I couldn't have done any of this without the support of our staff and complete buy-in from the players," Tocchet said in a statement. "I am truly honored and humbled by this achievement and look forward to getting back to work this summer as we continue to work on improving our hockey team."

In his first full season in Vancouver, Tocchet took the regular-season honor two days after the Canucks were eliminated by the Edmonton Oilers in Game 7 of their second-round playoff series.

The 60-year-old Tocchet oversaw a significant turnaround in a Canucks team that finished with a 50-23-9 record -- the third-most wins in franchise history -- and jumped from finishing 22nd in the overall standings last year to sixth. Vancouver led the NHL with a first-period goal differential of plus-38 and also finished the season going 42-1-4 when leading after two periods, a year after going 21-1-4.

Tocchet had the benefit of getting a head start to begin instilling his system and getting a feel for the Canucks in being hired in January 2023 after Bruce Boudreau was fired with Vancouver at 18-25-3. The Canucks closed the season 20-12-4 under Tocchet, who was working as an NHL broadcaster when he was hired by the team.

"I honestly don't know if we would be in this position. Who's to say, but the 30 games were huge for me," Tocchet told The Associated Press last month in reflecting on the impact closing as the team's coach last year had on Vancouver's success this season.

Vancouver is Tocchet's third stop as a head coach after a four-season stint in Arizona, where he went 125-131-34 from 2017 to 2021. He also went 53-69-26 with Tampa Bay, spanning the 2008-10 seasons.

Tocchet won a Stanley Cup as a player with the Pittsburgh Penguins in 1992, and then two more as a Penguins assistant coach in 2016 and 2017.