The 2014 NHL season may be over, but the excitement around hockey is still buzzing as this year’s awards ceremony is scheduled to take place on Tuesday, June 24, in beautiful Las Vegas, Nevada.
Hosted by television personality George Stroumboulopoulos, the award ceremony will feature the top players in the league being celebrated for their success over the past season. From the Hart Trophy (MVP) to the Vezina Trophy (best goalie), the cream of the crop will be rewarded for their hard work.
Here is all the updated viewing information, the candidates and the predicted winner in each category.
Where: Encore Theater at Wynn, Las Vegas, Nevada
When: Tuesday, June 24 at 7:00 p.m. ET
Watch: NBC Sports Network
Live Stream: NBC Live Extra
|Award||Candidate 1||Candidate 2||Candidate 3||Predicted Winner|
|Hart Memorial Trophy||Sidney Crosby (Pittsburgh Penguins)||Ryan Getzlaf (Anaheim Ducks)||Claude Giroux (Philadelphia Flyers)||Crosby|
|James Norris Memorial Trophy||Zdeno Chara (Boston Bruins)||Duncan Keith (Chicago Blackhawks)||Shea Weber (Nashville Predators)||Weber|
|Vezina Trophy||Ben Bishop (Tampa Bay Lightning)||Tuukka Rask (Boston Bruins)||Semyon Varlamov (Colorado Avalanche)||Rask|
|Jack Adams Award||Mike Babcock (Detroit Red Wings)||Jon Cooper (Tampa Bay Lightning)||Patrick Roy (Colorado Avalanche)||Roy|
|Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy||Jaromir Jagr (New Jersey Devils)||Manny Malhotra (Carolina Hurricanes)||Dominic Moore (New York Rangers)||Jagr|
|Calder Memorial Trophy||Tyler Johnson (Tampa Bay Lightning)||Nathan MacKinnon (Colorado Avalanche)||Ondrej Palat (Tampa Bay Lightning)||MacKinnon|
|Frank J. Selke Trophy||Patrice Bergeron (Boston Bruins)||Anze Kopitar (Los Angeles Kings)||Jonathan Toews (Chicago Blackhawks)||Kopitar|
|Lady Byng Memorial Trophy||Patrick Marleau (San Jose Sharks)||Ryan O'Reilly (Colorado Avalanche)||Martin St. Louis (New York Rangers/Tampa Bay Lightning)||Marleau|
|Ted Lindsay Award||Sidney Crosby (Pittsburgh Penguins)||Ryan Getzlaf (Anaheim Ducks)||Claude Giroux (Philadelphia Flyers)||Crosby|
|Mark Messier Leadership Award||Dustin Brown (Los Angeles Kings)||Ryan Getzlaf (Anaheim Ducks)||Jonathan Toews (Chicago Blackhawks)||Toews|
|NHL Foundation Player Award||Brent Burns (San Jose Sharks)||Patrice Bergeron (Boston Bruins)||Duncan Keith (Chicago Blackhawks)||Burns|
|NHL General Manager of the Year Award||Marc Bergevin (Montreal Canadiens)||Dean Lombardi (Los Angeles Kings)||Bob Murray (Anaheim Ducks)||Lombardi|
Breaking Down the Hart Trophy Race
The Hart Trophy is awarded to the most valuable player in the NHL each year, and the 2013-14 edition of the award has come down to three contenders; Sidney Crosby of the Pittsburgh Penguins, Ryan Getzlaf of the Anaheim Ducks and Claude Giroux of the Philadelphia Flyers.
While both Getzlaf and Giroux deserve immense credit for outstanding seasons, the stage has been clearly set for Crosby to steal the show and capture his second career Hart Trophy (first and only win came in 2007).
Hart Trophy: Who will win: Crosby... Who I think should win: Crosby— Mike Kelly (@MikeKellyNHL) June 20, 2014
Getzlaf racked up an impressive 31 goals and 87 points this season (second in the NHL), but it was the fact that he led Anaheim to the top record in the Western Conference that made him an easy nominee.
The same can be said for Giroux as well. The Philadelphia forward struggled to start the season (goalless through the first 16 games), but turned on the jets and ended the year ranked third overall in points with 86.
Giroux told Tim Panaccio of CSN Philly, “To be nominated is a great honor. I couldn't have done it without all my teammates and coaching staff. To be able to bounce back after the slow start that we had this year, it was obviously a very fun time.”
While both efforts were admirable, they pale in comparison to Crosby.
Not only did he rack up an impressive 36 goals, 68 assists and 104 points, but he also amassed 30 multi-point games this season and never went past two games without registering a point. It was his consistency that helped lead Pittsburgh to another division title.
When asked about the scrutiny on Crosby from the mainstream media and fans, NHL legend Wayne Gretzky told Mike Brophy of Hockey Night in Canada Radio about the pressure of being a top guy and playing a ton of games:
Sidney has played a lot of hockey over the past four years, maybe more emotional hockey than any player in the history of the National Hockey League. He has been in the Stanley Cup final ... the Stanley Cup playoffs ... maybe the biggest game in Canadian international hockey; an overtime game and he scored the winner.
He went to Russia, the first time we sent our best players to Russia since 1972. And to play the way Canada did, at the level it did, it's tough. It's mentally draining. I think it's more mentally draining than it is physically draining because these guys are in such great shape.
One of the biggest problems that Crosby has faced over the years is his inability to stay away from injuries. Whether it’s concussions, a broken jaw or anything else he has faced on the ice, Crosby would likely have far more hardware if he wasn’t so injury-prone.
Who should win the Hart Trophy?
Despite coming up small during Pittsburgh’s early departure from the postseason—he only racked up one goal and eight assists in 13 playoff games—the Hart Trophy is awarded to the MVP of the regular season.
There is no denying that Crosby was the best in the league during the 2013-14 campaign.
Predicted Winner: Sidney Crosby, Pittsburgh Penguins
*Stats via NHL.com.