Every Single NHL Midseason Award

Robert TheodorsonSenior Analyst IDecember 26, 2011

Every Single NHL Midseason Award

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    The NHL's freeze on activity for the Christmas season is over and the All-Star game is just over the horizon. There are players who have shocked and amazed us over the first few months of the season that deserve to be recognized. 

    At the end of the year when we look upon our midseason candidates we can see how much or how little has changed across the league. The midseason awards give us a chance to call each other out on how wrong we were about a player or how spot on our predictions were and how we didn't think, but knew that player would be a finalist or even winner of their appropriate NHL award.

Hart Trophy for MVP

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    Winner: Claude Giroux (Philadelphia Flyers)

    This past offseason when centers Mike Richards and Jeff Carter were traded away, Flyers management was handing the reigns to new number one center Claude Giroux. Perhaps amongs the greatest playmakers in the NHL at such a young age, Giroux has not let his team down, leading the league in points even after missing time with a concussion. With captain Chris Pronger out the team looks to Giroux to deliver them to Cup glory. 

     

    Runner Up: Phil Kessel (Toronto Maple Leafs)

     

    Finalist: Tim Thomas (Boston Bruins)

Lindsay for MVP as Voted on by the Players

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    Winner: Claude Giroux (Philadelphia Flyers)

    Usually the Hart Trophy winner matches up with the Lindsay winner. It has not been the case recently but things will return to normalcy this year with Giroux setting the league on fire and impressing young and old alike. 

    Runner Up: Marian Gaborik (New York Rangers)

    Finalist: Phil Kessel (Toronto Maple Leafs)

Art Ross for Top Scorer

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    To go along with his MVP is current scoring leader Claude Giroux. Giroux is paired with NHL legend Jaromir Jagr who seems to have found new life and playing like he's a decade younger than he actually is while on Giroux's line. On his left side is hard-nosed winger and playoff phenom Scott Hartnell, who will clean up anything Giroux or Jagr don't put in the net. 

Richard for Most Goals

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    Gaborik currently leads the NHL in goals but is closely followed by a number of players with 20 and 19 goals nipping on his heels. Although Gaborik does stand the best chance of getting hurt and missing games due to his infamous injury bug, he also remains the most talented and best scorer out of anyone out there. Gabby is playing on a high powered Rangers team that continues to surprise people. Known for his above-average two-way game combined with blazing speed and goal scoring ability, the Slovak is a perfect fit for the Rangers and could notch 50 for the first time in his career this year. 

Norris for Best Defensemen

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    Winner: Shea Weber (Nashville Predators)

    Standing near a top in the NHL in points and still a master of defensive play, there is last year's finalist; Shea Weber. Paired with Ryan Suter, the duo is easily the NHL's best defensive pairing. And with Pekka Rinne in goal the Predators are not going to give up very many goals. Weber currently only stands behind Florida's Jason Garrison in goals and it is more likely that Weber will not be the one to cool down in the second half.

    Runner Up: Zdeno Chara (Boston Bruins)

    Finalist: Brian Campbell (Florida Panthers)

Vezina for Best Goaltender

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    Winner: Tim Thomas (Boston Bruins)

    Two-time Vezina winner Tim Thomas is among the leaders in goalie statistics this year. If it were not for the superb play of backup Tuukka Rask there is no doubt in anyone's mind that Thomas would lead the league in wins, or at least be in the top three. Thomas looks to cement his legacy and perhaps make a late run for the Hall of Fame by winning his third Vezina and perhaps a second consecutive Stanley Cup. 

    Runner Up: Brian Elliott (St. Louis Blues)

    Finalist: Jimmy Howard (Detroit Red Wings)

Jennings for Goalie Tandem with Least Amount of Goals Allowed

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    Tuukka Rask has 13 wins and has allowed nine goals. Thomas, the team's number one net minder has near league leading save percentage and goals allowed statistics. The Bruins defense is tough to play against and the nastiness and aggressive play of their forward corps will ensure this duo to win the Jennings. 

Lady Byng for Gentlemenly Conduct

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    Winner: Brian Campbell (Florida Panthers)

    A defensemen winning the Lady Byng? Yes, here's why:

    Campbell is the league leader in ice time with over 940 minutes played. Of that NHL-leading statistic, Campbell has been in the penalty box racking up 2 penalty minutes the entire season. Campbell plays the game the right way and never hurts his team by putting them on the penalty kill. This fact alone makes Campbell the favorite for an award that should have no business going to a defensemen. 

    Runner Up: Adam Henrique (New Jersey Devils)

    Finalist: Martin St.Louis (Tampa Bay Lightning)

Selke for Best Defensive Forward

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    Winner: Pavel Datsyuk (Detroit Red Wings)

    Recently, the Pearson award for MVP as voted on by the players was renamed the Lindsay award. One day it is my belief that the Selke will be renamed after Pavel Datsyuk. The game's best two-way player has no chance of slowing down or making a ton of mistakes down the stretch as he is the golden standard in the NHL for takeaways-giveaways ratio. 

    Runner Up: Ryan O'Reilly (Colorado Avalanche)

    Finalist: Gabriel Landeskog (Colorado Avalanche)

Masterson for Perserverance to the Game

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    Winner: Mason Raymond (Vancouver Canucks)

    Last year's Stanley Cup Finals saw quite a few players take some brutal hits. Among the worst was Mason Raymond who had his back destroyed. Raymond is back and better than ever.

    Runner Up: Sidney Crosby (Pittsburgh Penguins)

    Finalist: Nathan Horton (Boston Bruins) 

Adams for Best Coach

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    Winner: Kevin Dineen (Florida Panthers)

    The Florida Panthers have the NHL's longest postseason drought by a long shot. The guys from Sunrise currently find themselves standing a top the Southeast division and have themselves to thank. General Manager Dave Tallon spent money like a madman this summer and threw together a bunch of players and hoped something would work. The team has amazingly found instant chemistry and they are getting good goal tending from former MVP Jose Theodore. 

    Runner Up: Joel Quennville (Chicago Blackhawks)

    Finalist: Ken Hitchcock (St. Louis Blues)

Messier for Outstanding Leadership

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    Winner: Jonathan Toews (Chicago Blackhawks)

    Considered possibly the best natural leader in the NHL, Jonathan Toews is doing everything right this year. Toews is a legit scoring threat who could challenge for the Rocket Richard while being one of the league's best defensive forwards. The Blackhawks are sitting nice in the standings currently the best in the entire NHL as of 12/26/11. If anyone can lead their team back to a championship it's Toews. 

    Runner Up: Mikko Koivu (Minnesota Wild)

    Finalist: Ryan Callahan (New York Rangers)

Calder for Rookie of the Year

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    Winner: Ryan Nugent-Hopkins (Edmonton Oilers)

    The first overall pick of the 2011 rookie draft is currently a point per game player with a respectable highlight reel. Nugent-Hopkins has joined last year's first overall pick Taylor Hall and Jordan Eberle to form the foundation of the Edmonton Oilers' future. RNH, as he is popularly known, has some of the best offensive awareness we've ever seen coming out of a rookie in past years. Great skating combined with elite passing skills and a nose for the net with a scoring touch that can only get better is a pretty good way to sum up RNH as he is now. As the Oilers' trio continue to develop you are looking at what could be better than the Senators' first line a few years back of Heatley-Spezza-Alfredsson which is widely considered to be the most dominant line in post-lockout hockey. 

    Runner Up: Adam Henrique (New Jersey Devils)

    Finalist: Adam Larsson (New Jersey Devils)