Bad hockey-related jokes and an awkward presentation by Pierre McGuire? Is it TSN’s trade deadline coverage? No, it’s the annual NHL Awards show! Starting with the first Hart trophy in 1924, the NHL’s annual trophy presentations have become one of our game’s great traditions. This year, on June 20th, the league’s best will decend on Las Vegas to claim their hardware. In advance of the show, your Blades of Teal writers stuffed their own ballots in the box for the NHL Awards. A lot of great comments and even a few write-in votes, but here’s how our ballot looks for Wednesday’s awards show:
Hart Memorial Trophy – MVP
Finalists: Heinrik Lundqvist, Evgeni Malkin, Steven Stamoks
BOT Writers Vote For: Malkin. As @BleedingTeal
puts it, “Without Geno’s efforts due to Crosby’s extended absence this team does not come close to winning 51 games.”
April 11, 2012; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Pittsburgh Penguins center Evgeni Malkin (71) carries the puck up ice against Philadelphia Flyers center Sean Couturier (14) during the first period in game one of the 2012 Eastern Conference quarterfinals at the CONSOL Energy Center. The Philadelphia Flyers won 4-3 in overtime. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-US PRESSWIRE
Vezna Trophy: Top goaltender
Finalists: Lundqvist, Pekka Rinne, Jonathan Quick
BOT Nominates: Quick. Even without his playoff run Quick was spectacular during the regular season and was the only reason the Kings stayed in it. Their D was actually better than I would have thought, they were 5th in Shots Against. Problem is that they were also 29th in Goals For, meaning Quick had to keep them in a lot of close games. An argument can be made here for Rinne as well, but Nashville was 8th in Goals For so he had mountains more offensive support.
June 11, 2012; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Los Angeles Kings goalie Jonathan Quick hoists the Stanley Cup after defeating the New Jersey Devils 6-1 in game six of the 2012 Stanley Cup Finals at the Staples Center. The Kings won the series four games to two. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-US PRESSWIRE
James Norris Trophy: Best defenseman
Finalists: Zdeno Chara, Erik Karlsson, Shea Weber
BOT Votes: Karlsson. Bleedingteal points out that he “He plays in Ottawa and was T10 in points. Not for defencemen, overall.” Yeah, Ottawa’s got a crappy team. He gets the nod for sure.
April 16, 2012; Ottawa, ON, Canada; Ottawa Senators defenseman Erik Karlsson (65) and New York Rangers forward Brad Richards (19) chase a puck during the second period in game three of the 2012 Eastern Conference quarterfinals at ScotiaBank Place. Mandatory Credit: Eric Bolte-US PRESSWIRE
Calder Memorial Trophy: Rookie of the year
Finalists: Adam Henrique, Gabriel Landeskog, Ryan Nugent Hopkins
BOT Votes: Landeskog. I think if you include the playoffs, Henrique would get the nod here, and the Nuge would have DOMINATED if it weren’t for injuries. But for the regular season, you have to look to Landeskog as your guy.
March 24 2012; Denver, CO, USA; Colorado Avalanche left wing Gabriel Landeskog (92) prepares to take a shot on the net of the against the Vancouver Canucks during the first period of the game at the Pepsi Center. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-US PRESSWIRE
Lady Bing Memorial Trophy: Player best exhibiting sportsmanship and gentlemanly conduct combined with a high standard of playing ability
Finalists: Brian Campbell, Jordan Eberle, Matt Moulson
Eberle. Our Lead Writer/Editor Amy (@bladesofteal17
) said “His very humble reaction plays right into the reason he was initially nominated for this trophy.” Agreed, chief.
Feb 27, 2012; Winnipeg, MB, CAN; Edmonton Oilers forward Jordan Eberle (14) awaits face off during the third period against the Winnipeg Jets at the MTS Centre. Edmonton wins 5-3. Mandatory Credit: Bruce Fedyck-US PRESSWIRE
Frank J. Selke Trophy: Best defensive forward
Finalists: David Backes, Patrice Burgeron, Pavel Datsyuk
BOT Votes: Backes. Why? Of the three finalists he’s the one I can easily say he’d win in the streets and the alley. A terrifying, terrifying man in all three zones.
April 30, 2012; St. Louis, MO, USA; St. Louis Blues center David Backes (42) checks Los Angeles Kings center Colin Fraser (24) during the third period in game two of the 2012 Western Conference semifinals at Scottrade Center. The Kings defeated the Blues 5-2. Mandatory Credit: Scott Rovak-US PRESSWIRE
Jack Adams Award: Coach of the year
Finalists: Ken Hitchcock (STL), Paul Maclean (OTT), John Tortorella (NYR)
BOT Votes: Hitchcock. Bleedingteal again: “Without hesitation what Hitchcock did in St Louis this year was nothing short of staggering. He has been a great coach for a very long time, kudos to you this year Ken.”
Apr 7, 2012; Dallas, TX, USA; St. Louis Blues head coach Ken Hitchcock shouts instructions to his team during the third period against the Dallas Stars at the American Airlines Center. The Blues defeated the Stars 3-2. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-US PRESSWIRE
Bill Masterson Memorial Trophy: Player who best exemplifies the qualities of perseverance, sportsmanship and dedication to hockey
Finalists: Daniel Alfredsson, Joffrey Lupul, Max Pacioretty
BOT Votes: Lupul. From Amy: “Lupul, you conquered two surgeries and a blood infection, and have my vote!”
Mar 03, 2012; Montreal, QC, CAN; Toronto Maple Leafs left wing Joffrey Lupul (19) skates with the puck against Montreal Canadiens during the first period at the Bell Center. Mandatory Credit: Jean-Yves Ahern-US PRESSWIRE
Ted Lindsay Award (formerly Lester B. Pearson Award): Player-voted for MVP
Finalists: Lundqvist, Malkin, Stamkos
BOT Votes: Malkin. Same reasons as we vote for him for the Hart trophy.
Apr 14, 2010; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Pittsburgh Penguins center Evgeni Malkin (71) celebrates his second goal against the Ottawa Senators during the second period of game one in the first round of the 2010 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Mellon Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jason Bridge-US PRESSWIRE
Best looking individual awards trophys (NHL)