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NHL Awards Announced

The NHL had their awards ceremony in Las Vegas tonight.  Here were the people I would have voted for to win the awards if I had a ballot.  Here were my comments when the award nominees were announced. 

The voting results can be found here for the awards and here for the all star teams.  Usually, the award results are well enough established that the addition of one further ballot changes little.  This year, if I had voted I would have caused two changes.  Mike Richards would have won the Selke Trophy instead of Pavel Datsyuk and Pekka Rinne would have been the third Calder nominee in place of Kris Versteeg.

Let’s run down the awards.

Selke Trophy - Pavel Datsyuk  Datsyuk wins this award for the second straight year.  This one was won on reputation.  Mike Richards deserved it.  Richards beat Datsyuk 61 to 55 in first place votes, but won because he was named somewhere on 120 ballots, while Richards was named on 113 of the ballots (131 votes were cast so several voters missed either of the two).  The problem is that it is hard to easily determine who the best defensive forward in the game is.  Some voters appear to have not discovered Mike Richards and since Datsyuk is the defending winner, they had discovered him.  Some of the top vote getters who finished just outside the nominations are Travis Zajac of the New Jersey Devils and David Krejci of the Boston Bruins.  These are players who had high +/- ratings, but were not used in defensive roles by their teams.  I think the biggest thing we see in the Selke voting is that it is flawed.

Masterton Trophy - Steve Sullivan  I have not found voting results for this award yet.  If anybody knows where they can be found please post it in the comments.  Of the nominees for this award, Sullivan is the best pick.  He basically missed two years before returning from a serious back injury and playing quite well with the Nashville Predators.  I still think Teppo Numminen would have been a better choice, but he was not nominated.  Numminen had multiple open heart surgeries to continue his NHL career.

Lady Byng Trophy - Pavel Datsyuk  I think Martin St Louis would have made a better choice, but I can respect the Datsyuk choice.  Again, I think this choice was made in part due to reputation (things done before this season) as opposed to the season itself.  This is Datsyuk’s fourth straight Lady Byng.

Adams Trophy - Claude Julien  Julien wins as coach of the most improved team.  Boston jumped from barely making playoffs to winning the East Conference.  I don’t believe coaching is the main reason for the jump.  Rather it was due to large steps forward by players including Tim Thomas, Marc Savard, David Krejci, Dennis Wideman and Phil Kessel.  Julien is a good coach who happens to have a (mostly) young core that is taking a big step forward.  That makes any coach look smart.  I picked Andy Murray and I think overlooked coaches in Ken Hitchcock and Jacques Lemaire would be far better choices than Julien.

Calder Trophy - Steve Mason  This was an easy victory for Mason.  I like that my vote would have made Rinne a deserved nominee.

Norris Trophy - Zdeno Chara  Chara won this award on reputation.  Mike Green clearly had a better regular season, but lacked the reputation of Chara.  I think Chara had a better season last year when he finished third in Norris voting, but his team had a better year this year.

Vezina Trophy - Tim Thomas  Thomas got more first place votes than anyone else got total votes.  It wasn’t even close.

Hart Trophy - Alexander Ovechkin  It was an easy win for Ovechkin who captured 115 of 131 first place votes.

First All Star Team:  Alexander Ovechkin, Evgeni Malkin, Jarome Iginla, Mike Green, Zdeno Chara, Tim Thomas  I had Lidstrom in place of Chara.  Interestingly, Green finished ahead of Chara here despite Chara winning the Norris Trophy.

Second All Star Team: Zach Parise, Pavel Datsyuk, Marian Hossa, Nicklas Lidstrom, Steve Mason  I disagreed on several of these picks.  I had Martin St Louis, Duncan Keith, Mark Streit and Tomas Vokoun on this team.  Interestingly, Roberto Luongo finished third in the goalie voting ahead of Vezina nominee Niklas Backstrom.

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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