As far as many observers are concerned, the race for the Jack Adams Trophy is practically over.
More than a thousand games are left to be played this season, of course, but Bob Hartley's phenomenal job in lifting the Atlanta Thrashers near the top of the NHL standings in the face of tragedy will be hard to top when coach of the year ballots are cast.
Before the car accident that killed Thrashers forward Dan Snyder and seriously injured forward Dany Heatley, a breakthrough season was expected in Atlanta because Hartley had steered the team to a 19-15-5 record after taking over in January.
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