With the season slowly rolling toward it’s epic conclusion, one of the main topics is now the Awards. Players of the past and the present have forever shaped their legacy in the National Hockey League. Awards time is one of the best times of the year for athletes and fans alike. It is also special for the lucky guy who gets to put a huge shiny trophy on display in their home.
This season was quite an interesting one because of the length. Due to the lockout, the games were shortened to 48 and teams only played inside their conference. This painted the picture for some epic battles. Some of which made headlines throughout newspapers and websites alike.
Award Announcement Schedule
Friday 6/14/13 5pm ET- NHL Network in the U.S and Canada will televise and NHL.com will live stream the announcements of the winners of the Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy (Awarded to the player who best exemplifies the qualities of perseverance, sportsmanship, and dedication to hockey), Frank J. Selke Trophy (Best defensive forward), Jack Adams Award (Coach Of The Year), King Clancy Memorial Trophy (Player who shows leadership qualities on and off the ice and has made a contribution in his community), Lady Byng Memorial Trophy (Player who showed outstanding sportsmanship and gentlemanly conduct), Mark Messier NHL Leadership Award, NHL Foundation Player Award and the NHL General Manager of the Year Award.
Saturday 6/15/13 7pm ET- As a lead-in to Game 2 of the Cup Final, NBC and CBC will co-produce and co-host a program announcing the winners of the Calder Memorial Trophy (Rookie of the Year), Hart Memorial Trophy (MVP), James Norris Memorial Trophy (Best Defenseman), Ted Lindsay Award (Outstanding Player) and the Vezina Trophy (Best Goaltender).
Alex Ovechkin Regular Season Stats: 48 GP, 32 G, 24 A, 56 P
John Tavares Regular Season Stats: 48 GP, 28 G, 19 A, 47 P
Sidney Crosby Regular Season Stats: 36 GP, 15 G, 41 A, 56 P
These players are probably the best this league has ever seen. Each one brings his own unique qualities and they can change the tide of a game in the blink of an eye. The Hart Trophy is quite an accomplishment and it is a token of respect and truly exemplifies the best player in the league.
In my opinion, I think that Sidney Crosby will be the recipient of this award. Not because he is the favorite to win, but because he left me speechless throughout this season. After missing a handful of games due to a broken jaw, he came back with no mercy and showed why he is the best player in the world. 56 points in just 36 games played. I think that says it all right there. He has also had a recent history of concussions, yet he still continues to play at his highest level and wreaks havoc on the ice.
Sergei Bobrovsky Regular Season Stats: 38 GP, 21-11, 2.00 GAA, .932 SV%
Henrik Lundqvist Regular Season Stats: 43 GP, 24-16, 2.05 GAA, .926 SV%
Antti Niemi Regular Season Stats: 43 GP, 24-12, 2.16 GAA, .924 SV%
Although my heart says that Lundqvist will win, my gut says that Bobrovsky will take this award. Don’t get me wrong, Lundqvist is a remarkable goaltender and gives the Rangers a chance to win night in and night out, but what Bobrovsky did is truly amazing. He literally carried his team on his back and almost led Columbus to their first playoff birth since 2008-09. He took a team that was tremendously lacking depth at every position and posted stellar numbers. He left the Blue Jackets 2 wins shy of clinching a playoff berth. Although Lundqvist led his team to the postseason, I think that Bobrovsky will take home the trophy because of the situation he found himself in during the season and he stepped up to the challenge and delivered.
Brendan Gallagher Regular Season Stats: 44 GP, 15 G, 13 A, 28 P
Jonathan Huberdeau Regular Season Stats: 48 GP, 14 G, 17 A, 31 P
Brandon Saad Regular Season Stats: 46 GP, 10 G, 17 A, 27 P
Throughout the course of history, NHL rookies have sketched their name into some historic categories. In this year’s Calder Trophy race, we have 3 finalists who are all worthy of taking home the silverware. But, only one player can come out on top. I believe this player is Jonathan Huberdeau. Only 20 years old, the youngster is already chipping away at the NHL. He was selected third overall in the 2011 NHL Entry Draft and he is performing to his capabilities. 31 points as a rookie is quite impressive and his year was special because he did not have much offensive support down in the Sunshine state. Besides Huberdeau, Stephen Weiss, Kris Versteeg, and Tomas Kopecky are really the only forwards who can make an immediate impact on the offensive front. This is why I believe Huberdeau will win the award.
Kris Letang Regular Season Stats: 35 GP, 5 G, 33 A, 38 P
P.K Subban Regular Season Stats: 42 GP, 11 G, 27 A, 38 P
Ryan Suter Regular Season Stats: 48 GP, 4 G, 28 A, 32 P
Now, there have been some rumbles on social networks that P.K Subban has already been declared the winner of the Norris Trophy. These rumors may be true, but I am going to give you my opinion on who SHOULD win the Norris.
Over the past few years, Pittsburgh has been known for their high-octane offense and weak defense. Well, Kris Letang isn’t so weak. He can easily be considered as one of the best defenseman the game has ever seen. He packs tremendous skating ability, he moves the puck like no other, and he can score timely goals that push his team to victory. Every team wishes they had a player like Letang. The loss of Crosby severely hurt the Pens. So Letang had to surprisingly step in as an offensive symbol for the team. He did so in text-book fashion and finished with 38 points on the season. He recorded great numbers for a defenseman and deserves the Norris Trophy.
After an unprecedented 21-0-3 start to the season, I think it is pretty obvious who is deserving of the Jack Adams Award. Quenneville brought the Cup back to Chicago in 2010 after a 49 year drought, second longest in NHL history. Every time the camera goes towards the coach, he never looks happy, even when the Hawks are winning. But that approach may just be the method to his madness. Chicago plays tremendously well under Quenneville, and they never seem to miss a beat. Joel keeps his team in order and plays a textbook system which gets wins for his hockey club. This season was unlike no other. His system led Chicago to a 36-7-5 regular season record. If this were an 82 game season the Hawks would have been on pace for at least 120 points. The numbers don’t lie, Quenneville deserves this award and should win in a landslide.
I love this time of year. The Finals, Awards, offseason plans. It is an interesting time of year and makes for some fun writing and bickering with other fans. Let’s recap my predictions for the 2013 NHL Award winners:
Hart- Sidney Crosby
Vezina- Sergei Bobrovsky
Calder- Jonathan Huberdeau
Norris- Kris Letang
Jack Adams- Joel Quenneville
Thanks for reading and enjoy Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Finals tomorrow night!