by PuckStopsHere on 04/08/12 at 02:29 PM ET
With the regular season over it is time to reveal who I would pick as the winners and nominees of the major NHL awards, as I have done in years past.
Calder Trophy - 1. Gabriel Landeskog Colorado Avalanche 2. Ryan Nugent-Hopkins Edmonton Oilers 3. Adam Henrique New Jersey Devils Here is when I picked Landeskog for the award. He played a tough role for Colorado with a strong defensive component to his play and tied for the lead in rookie points. Nugent-Hopkins would have won if he had been healthy all season, but as things happened he scored as many points as Landeskog with much weaker defensive play and defensive responsibility.
Selke Trophy - 1. Patrice Bergeron Boston Bruins 2. David Backes St Louis Blues 3. Mike Fisher Nashville Predators Here is where I picked Bergeron as the leader. Bergeron played a tough defensive role and led the NHL in +/-. Jonathan Toews was a frontrunner until concussions ended his season.
Adams Trophy - 1. Ken Hitchcock St Louis Blues 2. Barry Trotz Nashville Predators 3. Alain Vigneault Vancouver Canucks Here is where I picked Hitchcock as the frontrunner. Paul MacLean of Ottawa will get some consideration, but I think Ottawa’s improvement was most due to the players on the team and not coaching. He is an example of the tendency to pick the coach of the most improved team as coach of the year. Hitchcock’s team improved as well but it was much more clearly due to his coaching system than the development of young talent like Erik Karlsson in Ottawa.
Masterton Trophy - 1. Joffrey Lupul Toronto Maple Leafs 2. Tomas Fleischmann Florida Panthers 3. David Perron St Louis Blues Here is the very early point in the season I picked Lupul for this award. His career looked in jeopardy a year or two ago and he came back and was an all star player this year. Max Pacioretty will likely get a nomination and may even win this award after his high profile injuries after a Zdeno Chara hit last year but unlike the nominees there was never a point when it was unclear if he would be able to come back and complete his NHL career.
Lady Byng Trophy - 1. Brian Campbell Florida Panthers 2. Jordan Eberle Edmonton Oilers 3. Loui Eriksson Dallas Stars Here is where I picked Campbell for this award. I think he will be overlooked as he is not among the top scoring players in the league, but Campbell should win. He plays defence, which is a tougher position to be penalty-free than forward yet he managed on six penalty minutes on the season and was the Florida Panthers MVP. He finished tied for second in scoring among defencemen in the league. The NHL has not had a defenceman winner of the Lady Byng in decades. Campbell is a good candidate who should end the drought but probably won’t.
Norris Trophy - 1. Zdeno Chara Boston Bruins 2. Shea Weber Nashville Predators 3. Erik Karlsson Ottawa Senators Here is where I gave Chara the lead in this race. I think many voters will give Karlsson more support than I have due to his offensive numbers but he was clearly beaten defensively by Chara and Weber.
Vezina Trophy - 1. Henrik Lundqvist New York Rangers 2. Mike Smith Phoenix Coyotes 3. Jonathan Quick Los Angeles Kings Here is where I thought Lundqvist took the lead. While all three of these players posted similar numbers, Lundqvist did it in higher scoring division and conference so he stands out as the should be winner.
Hart Trophy - 1. Evgeni Malkin Pittsburgh Penguins 3. Steve Stamkos Tampa Bay Lightning 3. Zdeno Chara Boston Bruins Here is where Malkin took the lead and held it. He is the runaway top scorer in a year where the top defencemen and goaltenders were far closer races. The idea of a “big three” top NHL players with Malkin, Sidney Crosby and Alexander Ovechkin is supported by his season, although Crosby will have to stay healthy and Ovechkin will have to pick up his game in the future to keep this going.
First All Star Team - Ilya Kovalchuk New Jersey Devils Evgeni Malkin Pittsburgh Penguins Claude Giroux Philadelphia Flyers Zdeno Chara Boston Bruins Shea Weber Nashville Predators Henrik Lundqvist New York Rangers
Second All Star Team - James Neal Pittsburgh Penguins Steve Stamkos Tampa Bay Lightning Marian Gaborik New York Rangers Erik Karlsson Ottawa Senators Alex Pietrangelo St Louis Blues Mike Smith Phoenix Coyotes
Third All Star Team - Scott Hartnell Philadelphia Flyers Jason Spezza Ottawa Senators Marian Hossa Chicago Blackhawks Ryan Suter Nashville Predators Brian Campbell Florida Panthers Jonathan Quick Los Angeles Kings
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