Hitchcock took over the St. Louis Blues in early November with the team 6-7. Since then the Blues went 43-15-11 and broke or tied 13 franchise records, including a 21-game home points streak and 30 home wins overall.
It's the fourth time Hitchcock has been nominated for the award, but the first in 13 years.
MacLean made his NHL debut as a head coach with Ottawa after spending six seasons as an assistant with Detroit.
Tortorella guided the Rangers to first place in the Eastern Conference with a 51-24-7 record, their best regular-season performance since winning the Stanley Cup in 1994.
Pittsburgh's Dan Bylsma won the award last year.
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