by PuckStopsHere on 04/13/09 at 03:30 AM ET
Every year I like to post my NHL award choices at the end of the season (here is last year’s version). My picks are not who I think will win the awards but rather who I would vote for. They are the players I think deserve the awards.
Selke Trophy- 1. Mike Richards Philadelphia Flyers 2. Mikko Koivu Minnesota Wild 3. Eric Staal Carolina Hurricanes
I think it is possible that Pavel Datsyuk may be the winner if it is not Richards. Datsyuk does not play nearly as many minutes in defensive situations as these choices and is therefore a poorer choice. This trophy should go to a player who is used in as many of his team’s defensive situations as possible and Datsyuk doesn’t qualify. Here is why I support Mike Richards.
Masterton Trophy- 1. Teppo Numminen Bufalo Sabres 2. Steve Sullivan Nashville Predators 3. Owen Nolan Minnesota Wild
There is a lot of support for Richard Zednik to win this award, but I don’t buy it. Each one of these players was in a situation where many people would have walked away from the game of hockey. They had already had long NHL careers and nobody would have thought badly of them if they retired. While it is true that Richard Zednik could have died when his neck was cut by a skate without quick medical attention, he got the medical attention. It was clear minutes after the incident that Zednik would be back in the NHL. There was no season or longer lost to rehab. There was no serious reason to ponder retirement. All of these nominees faced that kind of situation. I am aware that Nolan was not chosen as the Minnesota nominee for this award - Kurtis Foster was. While Foster is a solid choice, he has not had the same level of sustained success since the injury that Nolan has had. Nolan has come back to make a bigger impact so far. Foster seems like a better choice for next season, should his comeback continue. Here is why I support Teppo Numminen.
Lady Byng Trophy- 1. Martin St Louis Tampa Bay Lightning 2. Brian Rafalski Detroit Red Wings 3. Pavel Datsyuk Detroit Red Wings
Here is why I support Martin St Louis.
Adams Trophy- 1. Andy Murray St Louis Blues 2. Jacques Lemaire Minnesota Wild 3. Ken Hitchcock Columbus Blue Jackets
I strongly disagree with the way the NHL usually picks the coach of the most improved team. I would guess that Brent Sutter of New Jersey might win the award. I think each of these coaches had a far bigger impact on their team. Here is why I support Andy Murray.
Calder Trophy- 1. Steve Mason Columbus Blue Jackets 2. Pekka Rinne Nashville Predators 3. Bobby Ryan Anaheim Ducks
Here is why I support Steve Mason. I think the race between Mason and Rinne is far closer than voting results will indicate. Rinne also had a very good rookie season, but falls short of Mason in part because he had less games played.
Norris Trophy- 1. Mike Green Washington Capitals 2. Nicklas Lidstrom Detroit Red Wings 3. Duncan Keith Chicago Blackhawks
Here is why I support Mike Green. I suspect Zdeno Chara will be a strong challenger for this award, but I don’t think he deserves it. In a lot of ways, Chara is getting support because Boston has a really good season and he is a well known defenceman who has been a Norris nominee in the past, who is a part of that.
Vezina Trophy- 1. Tim Thomas Boston Bruins 2, Tomas Vokoun Florida Panthers 3. Niklas Backstrom Minnesota Wild
Here is why I support Tim Thomas. I suspect the other nominees may be Steve Mason and either Evgeni Nabokov or Miikka Kiprusoff (the latter one chosen in honor of their team’s wins with them in net). They have not had as good seasons as the nominees I have chosen.
Hart Trophy- 1. Alexander Ovechkin Washington Capitals 2. Evgeni Malkin Pittsburgh Penguins 3, Pavel Datsyuk Detroit Red Wings
Here is why I support Alexander Ovechkin.
All Star Teams- First - Alexander Ovechkin Washington Capitals, Evgeni Malkin Pittsburgh Penguins, Jarome Iginla Calgary Flames, Mike Green Washington Capitals, Nicklas Lidstrom Detroit Red Wings, Tim Thomas Boston Bruins
Second - Zach Parise New Jersey Devils, Pavel Datsyuk Detroit Red Wings, Martin St Louis Tampa Bay Lightning, Duncan Keith Chicago Blackhawks, Mark Streit New York Islanders, Tomas Vokoun Florida Panthers
Third - Ilya Kovalchuk Atlanta Thrashers, Sidney Crosby Pittsburgh Penguins, Shane Doan Phoenix Coyotes, Zdeno Chara Boston Bruins, Andrei Markov Montreal Canadiens, Niklas Backstrom Minnesota Wild
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