Kukla's Korner

The Puck Stops Here

(Most) NHL Awards Announced

Due to the lockout the NHL Awards have become an afterthought that is shoved in during the Stanley Cup finals and that is a real shame.   Worse, the media reported the winners before they were announced officially for many of the significant awards.  We still haven't seen an announcement of the first and second All Star Teams and at this point I have no idea when that will occur.  If you know, please drop a line in the comments.

Here is who I would have voted for (on the awards i see as interesting) if I had an award ballot and here are my comments when the nominees for the awards were announced.  With the possible exception to all star teams, my votes would not have changed any nominees or winners.  They would have made some minor differences.  The most significant is my vote would have moved Zdeno Chara from 5th to 4th place in the Norris standings. 

Calder Trophy - Jonathan Huberdeau Florida Panthers.  The right guy won this award.  I think they missed the boat with the other two nominees, but happily neither Gallagher nor Saad won an award they shouldn't get.

Selke Trophy - Jonathan Toews Chicago Blackhawks.  This award was surprisingly close between Toews and Patrice Bergeron.  I think that the late season concussion that Bergeron suffered should have created a bigger difference between these two and moved Bergeron further back in the voting than second but he does have the reputation that is important for this award being the defending champion.  Toews is a deserving winner.

Adams Trophy - Paul MacLean Ottawa Senators.  I am not surprised that he won but it was a bad choice.  Yes Ottawa won despite injuries but I am not convinced it is coaching that made the difference.  I will offer the good crop of rookies as another strong reason that Ottawa was able to withstand injuries.  I supported Bruce Boudreau for this award and will write a longer piece about it sometime.

Masterton Trophy - Josh Harding Minnesota Wild.  His story of playing despite multiple sclerosis is a strong one for this award.  The problem is he didn't play much.  He played only five games in the regular season and didn't play them well.  He posted a .863 saves percentage.  I think this poorly defined award should be given to the player who has the best season after overcoming the biggest obstacle to his career.  I supported Andrei Markov who had a very strong season after almost losing his career to injury.  He certainly outplayed Harding this year and I would argue his career was in jeopardy as well - but it wasn't as high profile a reason.

Lady Byng Trophy - Martin St Louis Tampa Bay Lightning.  Based upon the 2012/13 season, Patrick Kane was the clear winner for this award.  He lost votes because of a 2009 taxi ride that led to his arrest.  The taxi ride certainly doesn't show him to be a gentlemanly person, but that didn't happen in the 2012/13 season which is the time period this award is for.  St Louis deserved second but won because some people could not bring themselves to vote for Kane.

Norris Trophy - PK Subban Montreal Canadiens.  I do not think he is a good winner.  Yes Subban led defencemen offensively and yes he posted a good +/- rating but he was not as reliable defensively as either nominee by a significant amount.  This is clearly shown by the fact he didn't get the same kind of ice time per game the either of the nominees in front of him got.  Subban was the most likely Norris nominee to make a defensive error and that is a poor credential for the winner.  I had Subban fourth with Letang winning it and Zdeno Chara joining the nominees.  I will write a longer piece about this in the future.

Vezina Trophy - Sergei Bobrovsky Columbus Blue Jackets.  Despite the fact I am not convinced that he could have kept up his level of play over an 82 game season, Bobrovsky was the clear winner in the 48 game one and deserves this award.

Hart Trophy - Alexander Ovechkin Washington Capitals.  This was a mistake.  Ovechkin had a subpar first half.  He finished tied with should have been winner Sidney Crosby with twelve more games played and with his point totals inflated by playing in the Southeast Division.  I wouldn't have nominated Ovechkin.  The NHL has an alarming trend of giving the Hart Trophy to the guy who finishes the season strong without being the full-season MVP (see Corey Perry).  A decade in the future, it will be harder to see how significant this mistake was because Oveckhin has two other Hart Trophies and is a future Hall of Famer.  His name won't stick out in the Hart Trophy winners list the way Perry's does, but he was a worse choice.  I will write about this award in the future as well.

As for the first and second all star teams, only time will tell.  I don't know when they might be announced.

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About The Puck Stops Here

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