Over the last week, the NHL announced the finalists for all the regular season major awards and trophies. The winners will be announced at the 2011 NHL Awards ceremony in Las Vegas on June 22nd.
The Canucks have already won a few trophies: Daniel Sedin already clinched the Art Ross Trophy by leading the NHL in regular season scoring; goaltenders Roberto Luongo and Cory Schneider will have their names of the Jennings Trophy for allowing the fewest goals against in the NHL; and as a team, the Canucks also won the President's Trophy for having the best regular season record in the NHL at 54-19-9.
The Canucks are also seemingly sending half their roster to Las Vegas for the Awards ceremony.
Sedin has been nominated for the Hart Trophy as the league's MVP, while Ryan Kesler has been given a nod as a finalist for the Selke Trophy as the NHL's best defensive forward. Roberto Luongo is up for the Vezina Trophy as the NHL's best goalie. Head coach Alain Vigneault is also in on the list of nominees, making the shortlist for the Jack Adams Award as coach of the year.
With the President's Trophy and two major awards already in the bag, plus the potential for four more to be won, the Canucks have been recognized by the NHL for one of the most statistically dominant seasons in the modern era.
Who is most likely to win their award?
However, to a man, those Canucks revealed this week as finalists downplayed the awards.
"It's nice, obviously, being nominated again, but in saying that, there is only one trophy on my mind right now," Kesler stated in an interview with the Vancouver Sun after the Selke finalists were announced.
That is a healthy attitude because as, Henrik Sedin (last year's winner of both the Hart and the Art Ross) can attest, individual awards are a weak consolation prize if you don't get it done in the playoffs.
Before Henrik's double win last year, the Canucks had only won a major award for a player twice in the 40 year history of the franchise (Pavel Bure's Calder in 1992 and Markus Naslund's Pearson in 2003).
Hopefully they can break another 40-year drought this spring as well.