It’s that time of year again—the sports you care about are over or haven’t started yet, and you’re missing all the action and excitement. Tonight we remember the great achievements from this past NHL season with the annual NHL Awards show where some of the best stars will be rewarded for their efforts.
Let’s break down the finalists for each award (excluding the three awarded for off-ice commitments and dedication to the game) and see who should win and who will probably win. Here we go.
Hart Memorial Award—League MVP
Finalists: Corey Perry, Daniel Sedin, Martin St. Louis
Who should win: Corey Perry
Who will win: Daniel Sedin
It’s tough to predict this one to be honest, but as much as the Ducks’ forward Perry is deserving, the NHL will likely give the nod to the 104-point scoring Sedin who led the Canucks to the best record in the league.
I would very much like to be wrong here because regardless of total points, Perry led Anaheim into the playoffs and netted 50 goals. It’s tough to say no to that. This one is probably going down to the wire that’s for sure.
Vezina Trophy—Best goalie
Finalists: Roberto Luongo, Tim Thomas, Pekka Rinne
Who should win: Tim Thomas
Who will win: Tim Thomas
I know he was the Conn Smythe winner as playoff MVP, but Thomas’ regular season display was just incredible. With one of the best goalie stat seasons ever, Thomas dominated the league with nine shutouts, and a minuscule 2.00 goals per game. No contest.
Norris Trophy— Best defenseman
Finalists: Zdeno Chara, Nicklas Lidstrom, Shea Weber.
Who should win: Nik Lidstrom
Who will win: Zdeno Chara
Lidstrom rocked the other two with 62 points this season at the tender age of 40. Chara however was a plus 33 and was the stronghold of Boston’s cup-winning defense. He’ll get the votes.
Calder Trophy—Best rookie
Finalists: Logan Couture, Jeff Skinner, Michael Grabner
Who should win: Jeff Skinner
Who will win: Jeff Skinner
I’d like to give my vote to Couture, who put up 56 points and was a plus-18 playing for the stacked Sharks, but Skinner’s rookie performance was amazing.
Lady Byng Trophy—Sportsmanlike conduct
Finalists: Nicklas Lidstrom, Loui Eriksson, Martin St. Louis
Who should win: Martin St. Louis
Who will win: Martin St. Louis
This award goes to the player who exhibited the most sportsmanlike conduct while still playing at a high level. St. Louis had 99 points and 12 penalty minutes. Nuff said.
Frank J. Selke Trophy—Best defensive forward
Finalists: Pavel Datsyuk, Jonathan Toews, Ryan Kesler
Who should win: Jonathan Toews
Who will win: Jonathan Toews
Toews, the young Chicago captain led his team into a playoff spot with a solid run at the end of the season. Putting up 76 points shows he’s a solid forward, but being a plus 25 shows he knows how to play defense too. It’s time for Toews to take this award away from Datsyuk and the Red Wings.
Jack Adams Award—Best coach
Finalists: Dan Bylsma, Barry Trotz, Alain Vigneault
Who should win: Dan Bylsma
Who will win: Dan Bylsma (I really hope)
Barry Trotz’s nomination is fitting because he took the Predators to the playoffs, but that was also last year’s story so I don’t buy it. Vigneault led the Canucks to the best record and the Stanley Cup Finals.
Bylsma took the Crosby and Malkin-less Penguins to a tie for the Atlantic Division lead and game seven of their first-round matchup. If he had his two All-Stars, Bylsma could have taken this team all the way.
Ted Lindsay Award—Most outstanding player as voted by the players
Finalists: Corey Perry, Daniel Sedin, Steven Stamkos
Who should win: Corey Perry
Who will win: Corey Perry
If Perry doesn’t win the Hart that’s one thing. If he doesn’t win this award, the rest of the league is either being bribed or blind.
That just about rounds it up—check back tomorrow for the results and to see how I did. Enjoy the show.
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