Kukla's Korner Hockey

Kukla's Korner Hockey

Recap Of Tonight's NHL Awards

06/22/2016 at 9:12pm EDT

LAS VEGAS (June 22, 2016) – Forward Patrick Kane, who posted career highs in goals (46), assists (60) and points (106) to win the League scoring title and power the Blackhawks to their eighth consecutive playoff appearance, captured the Hart Trophy as NHL MVP at the 2016 NHL Awards, held at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino.

Kane, who also claimed the Ted Lindsay Award for most outstanding player as selected by NHL players, notched at least one point in 64 of his 82 contests (78.0%), highlighted by a 26-game streak Oct. 17 – Dec. 13 (16-24—40) – a franchise record, the longest by a U.S.-born player in NHL history and the longest by any player since 1992-93 (Mats Sundin: 30). The Buffalo, N.Y., native, who became the first U.S.-born player in League history to win the Art Ross Trophy as the League’s scoring leader, is the Blackhawks’ first Hart Trophy winner since 1967-68 (Stan Mikita).

Kane received 121 first-place votes and appeared on each of the 150 ballots for 1,395 points in voting by members of the Professional Hockey Writers Association. Pittsburgh Penguins center Sidney Crosby, named on 145 ballots including 11 first-place tallies, finished second in voting with 800 points, followed by Dallas Stars left wing Jamie Benn (637).

Kane is the first United States-born and trained player to capture the Hart Trophy. The only previous Hart winner born in the U.S. – Billy Burch, who received the trophy with the Hamilton Tigers in 1925 – moved to Canada from his birthplace of Yonkers, N.Y., at an early age.

Joining Kane at the winners’ podium was his Chicago linemate Artemi Panarin, who earned the Calder Trophy as the League’s top rookie. Panarin, who signed with the club as a free agent in May 2015, led all rookies in goals (30), assists (47) and points (77). He is the first Blackhawks player to win the Calder Trophy since Kane in 2007-08.

Leading a pair of Los Angeles Kings players honored at the 2016 NHL Awards was dual winner Anze Kopitar, who captured the Lady Byng Trophy for combining skill and sportsmanship and the Frank Selke Trophy as the League’s top defensive forward. Kopitar becomes the third player in League history to win the Lady Byng and Selke Trophies in the same season. Ron Francis of the Pittsburgh Penguins was the first to accomplish the feat, in 1995, followed by Pavel Datsyuk, who swept both awards with the Detroit Red Wings in 2008 and 2009.

Joining Kopitar as a Kings trophy recipient was Drew Doughty, who accepted his first career Norris Trophy as the NHL’s outstanding defenseman. Doughty ranked third in the League in average ice time (28:01), helping the Kings to a third consecutive top-five finish in team defense (third, 2.34 GA/GP). He registered his highest goals and points totals since 2009-10 (14-37—51) and posted a career-best +24 rating in becoming the second player in franchise history to win the Norris after Kings VP/Assistant GMRob Blake (1998).

Three members of the Washington Capitals were honored following their runaway Presidents’ Trophy triumph as the League’s top regular-season club.

Barry Trotz became a first-time winner of the Jack Adams Award as the League’s top coach after guiding the Capitals (56-18-8, 120 points) to franchise records for total wins and road wins (27). Their 120 points and 29 home wins were just one shy of club records. The Capitals were dominant at both ends of the ice, placing second in team offense (3.02 G/G) and team defense (2.33 GA/G). They also ranked among the League leaders in special teams (5th on the power play, 21.9%, and 2nd in penalty killing, 85.2%).

Washington’s Braden Holtby captured his first Vezina Trophy as the NHL’s best goaltender. Holtby was a near-unanimous selection, garnering 26 first-place votes from the 30 cast by NHL General Managers. He equaled a single-season NHL record with 48 wins, tying the mark set by New Jersey’sMartin Brodeur in 2006-07, ranked fifth in the League in goals-against average (2.20), sixth in saves (1,661) and eighth in save percentage (.922).

For the fourth consecutive season and the sixth time in his career, Capitals left wing Alex Ovechkin received the Maurice “Rocket” Richard Trophy as the League’s leading goal-scorer. Ovechkin scored 50 goals, becoming the third player in NHL history to total seven or more 50-goal seasons, following Mike Bossy and Wayne Gretzky – each with nine. He also became the third player in League history to post 30-plus goals in each of his first 11 seasons, joining Mike Gartner (15) and Gretzky (13).

Ten days after his club captured the Stanley Cup, Jim Rutherford of the Pittsburgh Penguins received the NHL General Manager of the Year Award. Rutherford’s retooled roster and midseason coaching change spurred the Penguins (48-26-8, 104 points) to a sizzling regular-season finish and a playoff run that carried them to the fourth Stanley Cup in franchise history. In his second season in charge, Rutherford used the trade and free-agent markets to add veteran forwards Nick Bonino, Matt Cullen,Eric Fehr and Phil Kessel over the summer plus forward Carl Hagelin and defenseman Trevor Daley during the campaign. The club surged when he hired Mike Sullivan, who went 33-16-5 after taking over as head coach on Dec. 12, highlighted by a 14-2-0 record in Pittsburgh’s final 16 games of the regular season.

Florida Panthers forward Jaromir Jagr received the Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy for perseverance, sportsmanship and dedication to hockey. The 44-year-old inspired his team to franchise records for wins (47) and points (103) while capturing their second division title. Playing in his 22nd NHL season, Jagr led the Panthers in scoring with 27-39—66, becoming the oldest player in League history to surpass the 60-point plateau. His work ethic and off-ice mentorship, particularly with linematesAleksander Barkov and Jonathan Huberdeau, whose combined age is younger than Jagr, was considered as valuable as his on-ice production.

Nashville Predators captain Shea Weber received the Mark Messier NHL Leadership Award in recognition of his commitment and service to charities in his community. Mark Giordano of the Calgary Flames and Henrik Sedin of the Vancouver Canucks also were honored for outstanding leadership and community service. Giordano received the NHL Foundation Player Award, while Sedin was honored with the King Clancy Memorial Trophy.

Frederik Andersen and John Gibson received the William M. Jennings Trophy as the goaltenders on the Anaheim Ducks club that allowed the fewest goals during the regular season.

Andersen, who made 43 appearances in the Ducks’ goal, posted a 15-game point streak Jan. 1 – March 5 (13-0-2), the second-longest such run in franchise history behind Jonas Hiller’s 16-game streak in 2013-14 (14-0-2). Andersen went 17-1-2 in his final 22 outings dating to Jan. 13. Gibson, meanwhile, appeared in 40 games and ranked second in the NHL with a 2.07 goals-against average, paced all rookie netminders with four shutouts and shared the rookie lead in wins (21).

Electronic Arts Inc. also announced during the NHL Awards that St. Louis Blues forward Vladimir Tarasenko won the fan-selected cover vote and will be featured on the cover of NHL 17. Over six million votes were cast on Twitter and on NHL.com in the NHL 17 Cover Vote competition before Tarasenko, who led the Blues in playoff scoring with 9-6—15 in 20 games, was selected as the winner.

Following the Awards, Discover presented JDRF – an organization committed to fighting Type 1 Diabetes – with $20,000 donation on behalf of Gerry Nelson and his son Wyatt. A Discover “Day with the Cup” video featuring the father-son duo’s private encounter with the Stanley Cup became an internet sensation. In 1988, Gerry lost his sight due to diabetes, leaving his son to become his personal play-by-play announcer at hockey games.

Voting for the NHL trophies was conducted at the conclusion of the regular season with the exception of the NHL General Manager of the Year Award, held after the Second Round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs. The Professional Hockey Writers Association (PHWA) cast ballots for the Hart, Norris, Selke, Lady Byng, Calder and Masterton Trophies. The 30 NHL General Managers voted on the Vezina Trophy. The NHL Broadcasters’ Association (NHLBA) submitted votes for the Jack Adams Award. Voting for the NHL General Manager of the Year Award was conducted among the 30 Club General Managers and a panel of NHL executives, print and broadcast media. Results were tabulated by Ernst & Young with the exception of the Masterton Trophy (PHWA).

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Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.

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