inane decision to announce some of the "lesser" awards during what they are calling the NHL awards show tonight, and the REAL awards will be announced tomorrow?? Who the hell cares who wins that Messier Trophy!?! The real awards will be given out tomorrow. It also will be bizzare that with the season still on-going many of the players will NOT be in attendance. We forsee most winners recieving it with an either recorded or streamed acceptance speach. It really takes away from the excitement of the moment. Oh well, another victem of Bettman's 3rd lockout.
2) With all of the above in mind, we still figured we'd review who SHOULD win the various awards, and who will probably win.
Hart Memorial Trophy (Most Valuable Player to his team): Sidney Crosby (Pittsburgh Penguins), Alex Ovechkin (Washington Capitals), John Tavares, New York Islanders. Alex Ovechkin both SHOULD and will win this. His team doesn't break .500, elet alone make the post season without his surge in February/March. Crosby had an injury shortned season and probably would have won had he stayed healthy, BUT would his team won many more games with him? Probably not. As for Johnny T; great season and one could argue he was invaluable getting the Isles in, but just slightly less valuable than 8.
James Norris Memorial Trophy (Top Defenseman): Kris Letang (Pittsburgh Penguins), P.K. Subban (Montreal Canadiens), Ryan Suter (Minnesota Wild) Ryan Suter SHOULD win but since he doesn't have the eye popping ofensive stats we believe that PK Subban will probably edge him out. With the Karlsson win last year it was quite clear the award should be renamed the Paul Coffey award as best offensive defensemen. Suter had the better all around season on the backline. As an example Montreal doesn't have Subban on the ice in the waning minute of games it has the lead. If he isn't the most valuable defensemen on his won team how can he be the best in the NHL?
Calder Memorial Trophy (Top Rookie): Brendan Gallagher (Montreal Canadiens), Jonathan Huberdeau (Florida Panthers), Brandon Saad (Chicago Blackhawks) I have little interest in this award because no one rookie had a break through/eye popping season. Albeit it was a short one. Overall Huberdeau had the best stats and will probably come away with the hardware
Vezina Tophy (Top Goaltender): Sergei Bobrovsky (Columbus Blue Jackets), Henrik Lundqvist (New York Rangers), Antti Niemi (San Jose Sharks) This will be a tough one to predict. Lundqvist is the favourite but I have a funny feeling that we might see 'Bob" Sergei Bobrovsky come away with the hardware much to the shagrin of Paul Holmgren! LOL King Henry had (another) outstanding season, but you can't compare his defense to that of the Bluejackets who made a valient attempt to make the post season. Witout Bob, Columbus would have been a lottery pick team
Ted Lindsay Award (Most Outstanding Player): Sidney Crosby (Pittsburgh Penguins), Alex Ovechkin (Washington Capitals), Martin St. Louis (Tampa Bay Lightning) This used to be called the Lester Pearson Award, and usually was a rubber stamp on the Hart winner but since this is selected by NHLPA Members I think that we will see a split in that award this time around. I think Sid The Kid gets the nod with his amazing, albeit, injury shortened season. His points/game was on pace to be one of the most productive in many years.