St. Louis Blues head coach Ken Hitchcock, Ottawa Senators head coach Paul MacLean and New York Rangers head coach John Tortorella were announced on Monday as the three finalists for the Jack Adams Award as the NHL's coach of the year. The winner of the award, presented by the NHL Broadcasters' Association, will be announced on June 20 at the NHL's awards show in Las Vegas.
Hitchcock took over for Davis Payne 13 games into the season, with the Blues off to a 6-7 start. The Blues went 43-15-11 under Hitchcock's leadership, and are the top seed remaining in the Western Conference. St. Louis trails the Los Angeles Kings, 1-0, in their Western Conference semifinal series, with Game 2 scheduled for 9 p.m. ET on Monday night at the Scottrade Center.
MacLean, in his first year as an NHL head coach after eight years as an assistant with the Ducks and Red Wings, guided Ottawa to a 41-31-10 record and a Stanley Cup Playoff berth. The Senators were a surprise playoff participant this spring, taking the top-seeded Rangers to the limit before bowing out in seven games.
Tortorella is the only former winner among the three finalists, having claimed the award in 2004, when he coached the Tampa Bay Lightning to the Stanley Cup. In his third full season with the Rangers, Tortorella guided the team to a 51-24-7 record and the top seed in the Eastern Conference. They lead the Washington Capitals 1-0 in their Eastern Conference semifinal series, with Game 2 scheduled for Monday night at Madison Square Garden.
---New York Rangers center Brian Boyle was on the ice Monday morning, a positive development in his efforts to return to the ice following an April 21 concussion.
Boyle has not played since the fifth game of his team's Eastern Conference quarterfinal series against the Ottawa Senators, when Senators forward Chris Neil delivered a hard check that New York head coach John Tortorella compared to the hit Phoenix's Raffi Torres delivered to Chicago Blackhawks winger Marian Hossa, resulting in a 25-game suspension.
Neil was not penalized for the hit on the ice, and no supplemental discipline was handed down by the NHL.
---Ottawa Senators defenseman Erik Karlsson will play for Sweden in the 2012 IIHF World Championship, which begins on Friday with three games in Stockholm and three in Helsinki.
One of three finalists for the Norris Trophy as the NHL's top defenseman, Karlsson needed to secure insurance coverage before confirming that he would play for the national team, but according to a report on Twitter from the Ottawa Sun's Bruce Garrioch (@SunGarrioch), Karlsson has completed his insurance.
---Anaheim Ducks prospect Kyle Palmieri has been added to the United States roster for the 2012 IIHF World Championship, which starts on Friday in Helsinki and Stockholm.
Palmieri, 21, played in 18 games for the Ducks this season, scoring four goals and recording three assists after managing just one goal in 10 NHL games in 2010-11.
---The Los Angeles Kings have recalled 10 players from the AHL's Manchester Monarchs to serve as a taxi squad following the minor-league club's ouster from the AHL's Calder Cup playoffs.
The group includes two players who have seen NHL action for the Kings. Left wing Richard Clune played in 14 games for Los Angeles during the 2009-10 season, recording two assists, while defenseman Jake Muzzin recorded one assist in 11 games for the Kings in 2010-11.