Name behind the Jack Adams Award

September, 27, 2012
9/27/12
11:41
AM ET
He won two Stanley Cups as a player, seven more as a coach and/or general manager.
He is the only player in NHL history to be credited with an own goal.
He won the scoring title in the Pacific Coast Hockey League for the 1921-22 season.

He took the Detroit Red Wings (formerly Detroit Falcons) from being a joke to being a champion.

He discovered Gordie Howe.

And the NHL’s award for coach of the year is named after him.

Jack Adams is a lot more than a name on a trophy.

Adams had a 10-year career as a professional hockey player in the NHL and PCHL. He started his career winning the Stanley Cup with the Toronto Arenas in 1918 and closed with another Cup victory in Ottawa in 1927.

He finished his career with 83 goals and 32 assists in 173 games and was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame as a player in 1959.

After Adams' retirement as a player, NHL president Frank Calder persuaded him to become the head coach and general manager of the Detroit Falcons, a second-year team that was struggling.

Adams got his team, eventually renamed the Red Wings, to the finals in 1934 and won the Stanley Cup in 1936. The Red Wings won the Cup again in 1937 and 1943. They lost in the finals three other times.

After the 1946-47 season, Adams gave up coaching to focus on being the Wings’ general manager. He had a 413-390-161 record as a coach.

Adams won four more Stanley Cups as just a general manager. He built a farm system that included Howe, Ted Lindsay, Terry Sawchuk, Alex "Fats" Delvecchio and Leonard Patrick "Red" Kelly.

He was considered tough but fair. Famous for storming the officials’ room to contest calls he didn’t like, he also fought for pay raises for officials at the governors meetings.

And to this day, the highest honor an NHL coach can receive is the Jack Adams Award for coach of the year.

Information from the Hockey Hall of Fame was used in this report.

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