Nicklas Lidstrom and the 2011 NHL Award Winners

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Nicklas Lidstrom and the 2011 NHL Award Winners
Ethan Miller/Getty Images

The NHL Awards are the annual event that caps the closing of the prior NHL season. Formerly hosted in Toronto, the NHL Awards are now held in Las Vegas and will take place on June 22.

I can't even begin to tell you how relieving it is for me to finally see an awards lineup where the names Sidney Crosby and Alex Ovechkin aren't listed. Both are great players, but the need to promote new stars has been a long time coming, and this will benefit the NHL in the long run.

This year, picking winners for awards will be no easy task. Nicklas Lidstrom, the now returning 41-year-old Red Wings captain, is nominated for three different awards this year and could tie Doug Harvey with seven Norris trophies.

The Vezina trophy is going to be no easy decision, with two of the candidates being good enough that they took their teams to the Stanley Cup finals.

Fans should keep in mind, however, that the NHL Awards are based on the regular season, and postseason performances aren't taken into consideration.

With that in mind, let's look at the NHL Award nominees and the predictions of who will take home the trophies.

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