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If I Had An Award Ballot

The regular season completed today with Ottawa's victory over Boston.  Now I am going to post my traditional if I had an award ballot post, where I list who I would have voted for if I had a vote in the NHL Awards that most interest me.

Calder Trophy: 1. Jonathan Huberdeau Florida Panthers 2. Nail Yakupov Edmonton Oilers 3. Jonas Brodin Minnesota Wild.  Here is where I picked Huberdeau for the award.  He did very well in a bad situation with few talented teammates.  This forced Huberdeau into a tough role and he still scored.  I think the shortened season affected this trophy race and with a full length season it would probably look very different from the way it looks right now.  The top rookies would have been scouted better by opposition and some would not hold up as well to the increased pressure that comes with it.  Young players may have spent the first twenty or thirty games getting comfortable in their NHL role and now are ready to shine.  I am not convinced this grouping of players will be the best threesome of this season's rookies but they are the ones who showed us the most in their first NHL season.

Selke Trophy: 1. Jonathan Toews Chicago Blackhawks 2. Pavel Datsyuk Detroit Red Wings 3. Derek Stepan New York Rangers. Here is where I picked Toews for the award.  Patrice Bergeron was also a strong candidate but he missed the end of the season due to injury and wound up being passed by this group of nominees.

Adams Trophy: 1. Bruce Boudreau Anaheim Ducks 2. Ken Hitchcock St Louis Blues 3. Dave Tippett Phoenix Coyotes.  Here is where I picked Boudreau for the award.  A shortened season is tough to evaluate coaching.  This award is often given to the coach of the most improved team and in a shortened season there is a lot of luck that goes into any finish.  Boudreau did a good coaching job.  He made it fun in Anaheim and the Ducks got off to a fast start and finished higher than anyone seriously expected.  Hitchcock and Tippett are other very strong coaches who did not manage the same success on the team level as Boudreau saw this year but that doesn't diminish the value of their coaching.

Masterton Trophy: 1. Andrei Markov Montreal Canadiens 2. Josh Harding Minnesota Wild 3.  Mark Streit New York Islanders.  These are three players who have overcome a lot to continue their NHL careers.  Harding might have the edge because he has a well-publicized fight with a disease in multiple sclerosis but the others lost seasons to injury.  I picked Markov here because he came back from career-threatening injury to make a big impact this season and that is something Harding didn't do.  It isn't obvious that actually playing hockey well matters to voters.  Ian Laperriere recently won this award without playing a single game that season.

Lady Byng Trophy: 1. Patrick Kane Chicago Blackhawks 2. Martin St Louis Tampa Bay Lightning 3. Matt Moulson New York Islanders.  Here is where I picked Kane.  If we limit Kane's consideration to this season alone I think he deserves to win.  It will be interesting how much cab rides from a few summers ago weigh into voter's consideration.  If that disqualifies Kane in some minds we have St Louis who was the better player and Moulson who was limited to four penalty minutes but was further back in scoring and his high scoring rate is likely more a result of his being John Tavares's linemate.

Norris Trophy: 1. Kris Letang Pittsburgh Penguins 2. Zdeno Chara Boston Bruins 3. Ryan Suter Minnesota WildHere is where I picked Letang.  Probably no defenceman truly deserves this award.  Letang was the best defenceman this year despite missing significant time to injury.  Chara will likely be overlooked because he was not a top scorer.  Ryan Suter had a strong season in the tougher West Conference.  PK Subban was a close forth.

Vezina Trophy: 1. Sergei Bobrovsky Columbus Blue Jackets 2. Craig Anderson Ottawa Senators 3. Henrik Lundqvist New York Rangers.  Here is where I picked Bobrovsky for the award.  Bobrovsky is a surprising winner given how Philadelphia cast him off last summer but he deserves it given his remarkable season.  He may be downgraded because Columbus failed to make the playoffs.  Craig Anderson has a strong year and was limited in terms of games played due to injury but still played in half of the games this year which is enough for consideration.  Perhaps both of these goalies benefitted from a shortened season and cannot keep up their level of play over a full 82 game season and Henrik Lundqvist might have won if the season was full length.

Hart Trophy: 1. Sidney Crosby Pittsburgh Penguins 2. Jonathan Toews Chicago Blackhawks 3. Patrick Kane Chicago Blackhawks.  Here is where I picked Crosby for the award, he missed some time but was the most valuable player in the NHL this season.  I think people underestimate how much tougher the West Conference was than the East Conference and voters may support eastern players like Alexander Ovechkin and Martin St Louis instead.  Toews and Kane were the MVPs of the West Conference.  They may be downgraded because they were teammates but I think they were the second and third most valuable players in the league this season.

First All Star Team: Alexander Ovechkin Washington Capitals, Sidney Crosby Pittsburgh Penguins, Patrick Kane Chicago Blackhawks, Kris Letang Pittsburgh Penguins, Zdeno Chara Boston Bruins, Sergei Bobrovsky Columbus Blue Jackets

Second All Star Team: Taylor Hall Edmonton Oilers, Jonathan Toews Chicago Blackhawks, Martin St Louis Tampa Bay Lightning, Ryan Suter Minnesota Wild, PK Subban Montreal Canadiens, Craig Anderson Ottawa Senators

Third All Star Team: Chris Kunitz Pittsburgh Penguins, Steve Stamkos Tampa Bay Lightning, Phil Kessel Toronto Maple Leafs, Shea Weber Nashville Predators, Francois Beauchemin Anaheim Ducks, Henrik Lundqvist New York Rangers

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42jeff's avatar

I WOULD put Datsyuk on the thirdAll star team over Kunitz…if not the second over Hall

Posted by 42jeff from The greater Howard City, MI metroplex on 04/29/13 at 01:02 AM ET

PuckStopsHere's avatar

Datsyuk doesn’t play left wing.  Hall and Kunitz do.

Posted by PuckStopsHere on 04/29/13 at 01:03 AM ET

42jeff's avatar

I STILL would put him over them.

Posted by 42jeff from The greater Howard City, MI metroplex on 04/29/13 at 01:08 AM ET

Down River Dan's avatar

New rule, the commisiners vote overrides all others. In a shocker, Crosby sweeps the awards, including the first forward to notch the vesina, Norris, and first player to take the jack Adams while still active.

Posted by Down River Dan on 04/29/13 at 01:30 AM ET

w2j2's avatar

I would argue for Mike Babcock to win the Adams.

He has lost Lidstrom, Stuart, Rafalski, Helm & Bertuzzi.
He has been forced to play a team loaded with rookies.
He kept working with his team;  teaching them,  encouraging them,  pushing them.
He got them going at the end of the season and finished in 7th place in the West.

Compare his results to what happened in Nashville where they lost Suter, and in New Jersey where they lost Parise.

Man, that was some great coaching…

which you should acknowledge, even though he works for the hated Red Wings.

cool mad

Posted by w2j2 on 04/29/13 at 02:00 AM ET

shazam88's avatar

I’d give Maclean the Adams. How the Sens made the playoffs with that incredibly mediocre lineup for most of the season is beyond me. Boudreau did do a good job with those bums in Anaheim, though.

Posted by shazam88 from SoCal on 04/29/13 at 02:07 AM ET

Slumpy's avatar

Huberdeau is going to be a great player in the NHL for a very long time.
I see Luc Robitaille type skill.

Datsyuk is amazing but Toews was slightly better this “half” season in several defensive categories and had about half the giveaways Pav had.

The Norris should be shared by the top 5 defenseman.

Lockouts suck.

Posted by Slumpy from Under My Wheels on 04/29/13 at 08:30 AM ET

LivinLaVidaLockout's avatar

Probably no defenceman truly deserves this award.

For the Norris, how about Sergei Gonchar?  The only individual postseason award he’s EVER won was being named to the 2001 and 2003 NHL Second All-Star teams.  Seems like it would be silly to NOT give it to him at this point.

Posted by LivinLaVidaLockout on 04/29/13 at 09:00 AM ET

J.J. from Kansas's avatar

lol PK Subban at 4th.

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 04/29/13 at 09:16 AM ET

Hootinani's avatar

Adams Trophy: 1. Bruce Boudreau Anaheim Ducks 2. Ken Hitchcock St Louis Blues

Its been said before, great goaltending can make any coach look like a genius.  And not having McLean in your top 3 makes your choices suspect

lol PK Subban at 4th.
Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 04/29/13 at 09:16 AM ET

also, this

Posted by Hootinani from the parade following Babs out of town on 04/29/13 at 10:05 AM ET

Da lil Guy's avatar

Gotta back up my Sens, but:

I think MacLean probably gets edged out for the Adams - though he should get serious consideration. Most people wrote Ottawa off when Karlsson went down (with Spezza already out). Losing Michalek and Anderson for long stretches should have been the nail in the coffin, but it wasn’t.

If Anderson hadn’t been injured for 19 games, he could have won. Seems to play better the more he plays, too. I don’t think he can get into the Vezina conversation too seriously with only 22 GP.

I think Gonchar had his best season as a Senator this year - but I don’t think he’s in the mix for the Norris. Karlsson managed 14 points in 17 games, and before his injury he was playing regularly on the PK (though that situation hasn’t really continued since his returned). But for his injury, he might have been the first player ever to be the top scoring defenceman in the NHL and in the Finnish elite league in a single season. All speculation, of course.

Cory Conacher came to us from Tampa - and before that, he came out of nowhere. I don’t think he should win the Calder over Huberdeau, but I think his name needs to be mentioned. The fact that, in Ottawa, he plays on a line that is made up of all rookies is something to consider.


Posted by Da lil Guy from Guelph, Ontario on 04/29/13 at 10:21 AM ET

Ataris18's avatar

I still never understand the argument for Crosby being MVP.  How can a guy be an MVP when his team goes on winning without any issues when he is out of the line up.  Call him the best player if you want but how is Crosby the most valuable player to his team if they win so easily without him.  By definition Bobrovsky should at least be top three.

Maybe we just need a new award so the Hart can go to people who deserve it, rather then the big name guy who everyone agree is a great player.

Posted by Ataris18 from House on 04/29/13 at 11:31 AM ET

PuckStopsHere's avatar

The Hart Trophy (in my opinion) goes to the player who produces the most wins (win shares) for his team.  Crosby has done that at least as well as we can define exactly what a hockey win share is.

Posted by PuckStopsHere on 04/29/13 at 11:40 AM ET

statelouis26's avatar

Calder:  Hub is probably the winner for scoring as much as he did w/o help, it’s Florida.  I would put Conacher ahead of Yakupov based on the eye test.  Nail was pretty underwhelming to watch and he did not seem nhl ready.  I know he got a hatty late but just not strong enough.

Adams:  MacLean should be the vote hands down.  Even though Ottawa had great goaltending they lost 2 of their 3 best players and made it to the playoffs.  Not to mention Anderson was gone for a decent period.  Babs should have got runner-up based on how much the Wings lost.  Richards in 3rd.  Don’t understand why Hitch would be given consideration after last season.  Boudreau is not a terrible bet but he had a decent roster.

Selke:  Datsyuk b/c he had Cleary and Abs on his line for half the season while Toews had talent around to boost his plus/minus.

Hart:  Crosby doesn’t really make any sense here b/c he wasn’t around for most of the team’s wins and was injured a large amount of the season.  I think the obvious choice should be Ovechkin b/c he kicked it in gear and propelled his team into the playoffs.  Runner-up should be Bob but the fact BJs missed playoffs hurt.

Posted by statelouis26 from Detroit, MI on 04/29/13 at 12:52 PM ET

redxblack's avatar

t least as well as we can define exactly what a hockey win share is.

That’s why I find the Lindsay trophy to be a much more coveted award than the Hart trophy.

Posted by redxblack from Akron Ohio on 04/29/13 at 01:16 PM ET

PuckStopsHere's avatar

The Lindsay Trophy is less valuable than the Hart because the players who vote for it spend less time getting to know the choices in markets they rarely/never play.  It is more likely that a player makes an uninformed vote than a member of the media who are voting for the Hart.

Posted by PuckStopsHere on 04/29/13 at 01:20 PM ET

Mistercristo's avatar

Thank god you don’t.  I NOW refuse to read your dreck again.

Posted by Mistercristo from Cameron Frye's garage, circa 1987 on 04/29/13 at 01:25 PM ET

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imageThe Puck Stops Here was founded during the 2004/05 lockout as a place to rant about hockey. The original site contains over 1000 posts, some of which were also published on FoxSports.com.

Who am I? A diehard hockey fan.

Why am I blogging? I want to.

Why are you reading it? ???

Email: y2kfhl@hotmail.com