by PuckStopsHere on 06/25/14 at 07:31 PM ET
The NHL Awards were yesterday. I have posted the picks I would have made if I had an award ballot and my opinions about what we learned after the nominees were announced. The first thing I see is that if I had an award ballot of my own, I would have made little change to any of the results. I would have moved Duncan Keith from 15th to 14th in the Hart Trophy standings bringing him up past Carey Price, but nothing that anyone would likely have noticed.
Here are my thoughts on the award winners for the significant awards:
Calder Trophy - Nathan MacKinnon Colorado Avalanche. A deserving winner. He was the best rookie in the league and is likely to be the best player from this season's crop of rookies for years to come.
Selke Trophy - Patrice Bergeron Boston Bruins. Bergeron was a clear winner. He may be well on his way to having a Hall of Fame calibre career as a player known primarily as a defensive forward. Nobody has done that since Bob Gainey, so that would be significant if he succeeds.
Adams Trophy - Patrick Roy Colorado Avalanche. I am not surprised that he wins but he is not the best coach in the NHL. Technically he is not a strong coach and that was shown when Colorado hit the playoffs. Colorado did have a significant improvement in the standings and the voters incorrectly give the credit to the coach when that happens. I would be surprised in Semyon Varlamov can repeat his 2013/14 season in goal and if he cannot Roy will no longer look like a top coach.
Masterton Trophy - Dominic Moore New York Rangers. Of the award winners, this is the one I am most disappointed by. I understand that Moore took a year off after his wife's death but the winner should have been Manny Malhotra. He has struggled for years from his nearly career ending eye injury in 2011. He fought his way back to the NHL after initially signing in the AHL this season. The problem is Malhotra plays in Carolina and that isn't the media market that New York is.
Lady Byng Trophy - Ryan O'Reilly Colorado Avalanche. Given his two penalty minutes on the season, he was the obvious choice, but he is a step below most Lady Byng Trophy winners in history in terms of his hockey ability. I think the alarming thing about this award is that some people are taking into account the way a player changes teams for this award now. That is a redefinition of this award.
Norris Trophy - Duncan Keith Chicago Blackhawks. Keith is now a two time Norris Trophy winner. That puts him in a pretty elite group. He is well on his way to a Hall of Fame career. Though I don't think he is there yet, there isn't much more needed.
Vezina Trophy - Tuukka Rask Boston Bruins. He was the clear winner. Boston has sure benefitted from good goaltending over recent history.
Hart Trophy - Sidney Crosby Pittsburgh Penguins. I am disappointed that this isn't a unanimous victory. Crosby was so dominant in the regular season that I have to question any voter who cast a ballot with a first place vote for anyone else.
First All Star Team - Tuukka Rask Boston Bruins, Duncan Keith Chicago Blackhawks, Zdeno Chara Boston Bruins, Jamie Benn Dallas Stars, Sidney Crosby Pittsburgh Penguins, Corey Perry Anaheim Ducks. Looking at this team and seeing Corey Perry on it, I start to wonder what else a two time First All Star and one time Hart Trophy winner must do to become a Hall of Famer.
Second All Star Team - Semyon Varlamov Colorado Avalanche, Shea Weber Nashville Predators, Alex Pietrangelo St Louis Blues, Joe Pavelski San Jose Sharks, Ryan Getzlaf Anaheim Ducks, Alex Ovechkin Washington Capitals. I think it is a shame that Taylor Hall fell all the way to fourth in the left wing voting. I had him as the best left winger in hockey, but he went unnoticed playing in the hockey hinterland of Edmonton. I also notice Shea Weber on his third career post season all star team. He is making a good case for a Hall of Fame career.
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