The Hockey Spy's NHL Awards Current Choices and New Trophies Revealed !

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 The Hockey Spy's NHL Awards Current Choices and New Trophies Revealed !
(Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

With the NHL heading into the home stretch, I thought it appropriate to look at the leading candidates for select trophies along with trophies I feel should be added to the mix to honour not only current players, but legends of the past as well.

The NHL actually just announced yesterday the Awards show is heading to Vegas - on a three year deal starting this year on June 18, with the postseason gala taking place at the Palms Hotel.

NHL commissioner Gary Bettman stated yesterday: "Las Vegas specializes in shining the spotlight on outstanding performers. Its innate energy offers an exciting setting for our celebration of excellence."

Current Awards (Top three candidates and The Hockey Spy's current choice)

Art Ross: Malkin, Ovechkin, Crosby

Projected Winner: Malkin

Rocket Richard: Ovechkin, Parise, Kovalchuk (who I think will surpass Jeff Carter)

Projected Winner: Ovechkin

Hart Trophy: Malkin, Ovechkin, Parise—the first NHLer to 40G-40A this season is also plus-27.

Projected Winner: Ovechkin

Vezina Trophy: Tim Thomas, Steve Mason, Niklas Backstrom

Projected Winner: Steve Mason.  Put Chara and Wideman in front of this guy and his GAA would be under 1.80 and he'd have 15 shutouts at this point. Mason makes the Blue Jackets a very dangerous playoff team.

Calder Trophy: Steve Mason, Bobby Ryan, Pekka Rinne

Projected Winner:Steve Mason.  Should be the first guy since Eddie "The Eagle" Belfour to win the Vezina and Calder in same season.

Selke: Datsyuk, Mike Richards, Mikko Koivu

Projected Winner: Mike Richards

Lady Byng: Pavel Datsyuk, Patrick Marleau, Dennis Wideman.  It'd be nice to see a D-man win this award.

Projected Winner: Patrick Marleau—to break Datsyuk's three-year hold.

Jack Adams: Claude Julien, Joel Quinville, Brent Sutter

Projected Winner: Claude Julien

Masterton: Phil Kessel, Craig Conroy, Rod Brind'Amour

Projected Winner: Phil Kessel.  He battled cancer and has had a breakthrough offensive year, proving naysayers wrong about his attitude and his zeal for the game.

Lester B. Pearson: Ovechkin, Steve Mason, Malkin

Projected Winner: Ovechkin

Norris: Mike Green, Niklas Lidstrom, Dennis Wideman

Projected Winner: Mike Green

The Hockey Spy's Proposed Awards:

Bobby Orr Trophy (Replaces Norris Trophy, but find another way for the NHL to honour James Norris)

Projected Winner: Mike Green

Rod Langway Trophy
(Best Defensive D-man): See Mirtle's interesting post for a stat-based analysis of this suggested award.  Duncan Keith, Paul Martin, Nik Lidstrom

Projected Winner: Duncan Keith

Wayne Gretzky Trophy (Most Assists Per Game with at least 70 percent of games played): Malkin, Crosby, Datsyuk.

Projected Winner: Evgeni Malkin

Mario Lemieux Trophy
(Most Creative Offensive Player, as voted by NHL peers, weighted on goalie and D-man picks): Malkin, Datsyuk, Crosby.

Projected Winner: Pavel Datsyuk

Mark Messier Trophy
(Most Effective Leader/Captain): Jarome Iginla, Mike Richards, Niklas Lidstrom.

Projected Winner: Jarome Iginla

Sam Pollock Trophy (Best GM)
: Peter Chiarelli (Boston), Darryl Sutter (Calgary), Lou Lamoriello (New Jersey).

Projected Winner: Chiarelli.

Ken Holland of Detroit could probably win this award every year and would likely win this award in reality. I'm basing candidates on what they've done this year and more recently to shape their current team.

Chiarelli is deserving on multiple levels:

First, the signing of Chara and Savard a couple years back now look brilliant indeed, along with the offseason signing of former Coyotes draftee Blake Wheeler.

Second, he's been drafting gems beyond the first round. Bergeron, Krejci and Lucic are all major contributors.

Third and last, even without blockbuster trades the Bruins have made very effective trades which shape the current team. Dennis Wideman for Brad Boyes has worked out for both teams, but Wideman's emergence this year as an elite D-man gives Beantown the nod in this one.

Bringing in Recchi and Montador at the trade deadline were not the blockbusters trade rumour generators alike were predicting, but should prove effective for the stretch run and postseason.

Maybe the best decision by Chiarelli was a NON-move at the trade deadline. Not giving up Phil Kessel for Pronger was the right move!

Post your comments and award winners below!

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