NHL Predictions: Picking Our Early Winners for Each NHL Award in 2012
With the 2011 NHL Awards behind us, it's time to look towards next June's awards show.
Who will come out on top in 2011 when it comes to every single award?
Who will they be competing with for the awards?
Will Niklas Lidstrom be in for another Norris next year?
Will Martin Brodeur pick up play his play to be in the running for the Vezina?
Here's the predicted picks for the 2012 NHL Awards.
Lady Byng Memorial Trophy: Martin St. Louis
We start off with the most unpopular award, the Lady Byng Memorial Trophy given to the player judged to have exhibited the best type of sportsmanship and gentlemanly conduct combined with a high standard of playing ability.
Three players come to mind when it comes to the Lady Byng Trophy: Martin St. Louis, Pavel Datsyuk, and Brad Richards.
All three have won at least one Lady Byng in their careers, with Datsyuk leading the way with four which were won in succession from 2005-06 to 2008-09.
St. Louis captured his second straight Byng this summer while Richards last grabbed the Byng in 2003-04.
There is nothing to say that these three won't be up for the Byng next year either.
Richards has never had over 32 penalty minutes in a season, Datsyuk never more than 35, and St. Louis never more than 38.
Our Winner: Martin St. Louis
Runner-Ups: Brad Richards, Pavel Datsyuk
Calder Memorial Trophy: Gabriel Landeskog
The Calder Trophy is always the trickiest to pick coming into a season.
How many picks in the 2011 NHL Entry Draft will make the lineup right off the hop?
There's a few who may make the cut, including Colorado Avalanche pick Gabriel Landeskog, Carolina Hurricane's Ryan Murphy, and possibly Columbus Blue Jacket's 2010 pick Ryan Johansen.
All three are top 15 picks in the last two drafts and have the potential to make the lineups of their respective teams.
However, out of the three, our pick will be Gabriel Landeskog, who netted 66 points in 53 games with the Kitchener Rangers. His 6'0, 200 pound frame is the most NHL ready as he has been likened to Peter Forsberg, a fellow Calder winner.
Our Winner: Gabriel Landeskog
Runner-Ups: Ryan Murphy, Ryan Johansen
Maurice 'Rocket' Richard Trophy: Steven Stamkos
With only one 60 plus goal scorer in the last ten years, this may be the year that the guns will be firing full blast.
With the Maurice 'Rocket' Richard Trophy passing hands so many times the past three years, there are a lot of candidates for this award and it is a toss up.
The three candidates coming out on top will be reigning champion Corey Perry, former winners Steven Stamkos and Sidney Crosby.
Crosby and Stamkos shared the award in 2009-10 with 51 goals each while Perry netted 50 last year.
Stamkos had 45 goals last season, which was second to Perry's 50.
Crosby will have a strong comeback as he had a very productive season before he went down to injury last January.
Our ultimate winner will be Stamkos with the help of St. Louis and Lecavalier in Tampa.
Our Winner: Steven Stamkos
Runner-Ups: Sidney Crosby, Corey Perry
Frank J. Selke Award: Jonathan Toews
The Frank J. Selke Award goes to the player who demonstrates the most skill in the defensive component of the game.
Most winners have shown a strong offensive game as well as a defensive game.
Last year's winner Ryan Kesler will be a candidate for the Selke again in 2012. His dogged determination at both ends of the ice make him a perennial favorite for the award.
With a rebound season offensively, Pavel Datsyuk will also be a candidate, being a three time winner.
The third candidate will be Chicago Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews, who also displays offensive upside and defensive responsibility. His improvements on both sides of the puck last season will only continue.
Our Winner: Jonathan Toews
Runner-Ups: Ryan Kesler, Pavel Datsyuk
James Norris Memorial Trophy: Shea Weber
The 2012 NHL Awards will be a changing of the guard for the Norris Trophy.
Last year's winner was the seventh for Niklas Lidstrom.
However, 2012 will garner a new breed of defenseman.
Shea Weber, a runner up in 2012, shows leadership, offensive and defensive responsibility and upside and will again be in the running for the Norris.
A rebound season by former Norris winner Chicago Blackhawks defenseman Duncan Keith will have him in the running for a possible second Norris.
Rounding out the candidates is another former Norris candidate in Mike Green. Green was a candidate in 2010 and had a dip in production in 2010-11.
Our Winner: Shea Weber
Runner-Ups: Duncan Keith, Mike Green
Vezina Trophy: Ryan Miller
The Vezina is awarded to the top goalie in the league.
There are tons of possible candidates for this award, but only three really stand out coming into 2011-12.
Ryan Miller will definitely have a better season than last with improved defense. Still, the defensive side of the Buffalo Sabres will win them games and Miller will be the anchor for that team.
Carey Price was a surprising miss for Vezina voting last season but will continue his strong play for the Montreal Canadiens, who relied heavily on the young goalie last season as he set a record for games played by a Canadiens goalie with 72.
Rounding out the candidates will be Tim Thomas again. Thomas is coming off his second Vezina and isn't showing any signs of slowing down in his late thirties after a Stanley Cup and Conn Smythe Trophies to boot.
Our Winner: Ryan Miller
Runner-Ups: Tim Thomas, Carey Price
Art Ross Trophy: Sidney Crosby
A touchy subject in that you can't count on anything in the Art Ross Trophy race especially with injuries and possible other factors.
Sidney Crosby was well on his way to another Art Ross before his injury in January in 2010-11.
However, in 2011-12, he will bounce back big and capture the Art Ross with well over 110 points this season.
Nipping at Crosby's heels this season will be Daniel and Henrik Sedin as well as Martin St. Louis and Ryan Getzlaf as well.
Our Winner: Sidney Crosby
Jack Adams Award: Barry Trotz
With the Jack Adams, there is many things that go into coaching. Coaches have to change lineups, insert players, take out players, and make the most important decisions on the fly.
Dan Bylsma will be in the running once again though with a healthy Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin, his chances of winning may be lessened. But his player friendly approach will make him a candidate.
Barry Trotz has done alot with nothing in Nashville in his entire coaching career in Nashville. With a second round playoff exit last season, Trotz has been overlooked before but will make a strong push to make Nashville a strong contender again.
Mike Babcock will be another strong candidate for the Jack Adams. Having run a very successful coaching run in Detroit with the Red Wings, his approach is very meticulous and studied.
Our Winner: Barry Trotz
Runner-Ups: Mike Babcock, Dan Bylsma
Hart Memorial Trophy: Sidney Crosby
Sidney Crosby will have a great comeback season and not only win the Art Ross but will pick the Penguins up to the elite level and win the Hart Trophy.
On his heels will be Ryan Miller of the Buffalo Sabres and Corey Perry of the Anaheim Ducks.
All three will be factors for their teams and will be the guys other teams wish they could shut down to win.
Our Winner: Sidney Crosby
Runner-Ups: Ryan Miller, Corey Perry