Saturday, June 15, 2013

And the Winners Are, Were....

It's a strange little roll out of the Awards of 2013, first because it's taking place as the Stanley cup Final continues on, kind of going against the unofficial rule that "nothing" should detract from the focus on the league's showcase finale. (Makes us wonder if Gary Bettman will shout out Phoenix is moving sometime during game two tonight).

Secondly, the NHL has chosen not to go the flashy Vegas route this time around, not that we mind that, the schlock of the Vegas show was a tad cringe worthy at times in it's forced hipness, offering up an opportunity for Ron MacLean to work out the kinks in his audition for a Vegas Lounge act.

But really, handing out the bulk of your awards just before puck drop of game two?

Well, it's been a strange year anyways, why not finish off with the weird.

At any rate, some of the award winners got a head start on the Thank you cards last night, as the NHL listed off the names of the seven early bird winners, the mode of notice press release and twitter updates from countless numbers of players, journalists, team twitter feeds and just regular fans.

You can read the NHL's biographies and nomination lists here.

The Frank J. Selke Trophy
Jonathan Toews - Chicago Black Hawks
Awarded to those not afraid to go into the corners,  actually it's dedicated to the forward who best excels in the defensive aspects of the game.

Jack Adams Award
Paul MacLean - Ottawa Senators
Awarded to the coach judged to have contributed the most to his teams success, having a goaltender who can stop a puck clearly puts you in the nomination race.

General Manager of the Year Award
Ray Shero - Pittsburgh Penguins
Interestingly enough it isn't named after anyone, anonymous in nature, much like we imagine the majority of the league's GM prefer, out of sight out of the owner's firing line.

Lady Byng Memorial Trophy
Martin St. Louis - Tampa Bay Lightning
Awarded to the player who best shows sportsmanship and gentlemanly conduct combined with a high standard of play. Main criteria, is to never be found standing in Brendan Shanahan's office.

NHL Foundation Award
Henrik Zetterberg - Detroit Red Wings
Dedicated to the player who best lives up to the values of commitment, perseverance and teamwork to enrich the lives of people in the community. If the NHL had badges like Cubs and Scouts, this would be a keeper.

King Clancy Memorial Trophy
Patrice Bergeron - Boston Bruins
Awarded to the player who best exemplifies leadership qualities on and off the ice and has made a noteworthy humanitarian contribution in his community. See above, but with a larger trophy.

Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy
Josh Harding - Minnesota Wild
With a criteria of dedication to hockey exemplified by qualities of perseverance and sportsmanship, it's always an impressive list of names that are up for the running, one which probably makes for a challenging job for the selection committee.

Bridgestone Messier Leadership Award
Daniel Alfredsson - Ottawa Senators
Awarded by Mark Messier, who has final approval on the final three nominees, using it as his guide to which player deserves recognition for their leadership in the season just past. No truth to the rumour that the winner gets a complimentary tire changeover from winter to summer tires.

The following awards are to be awarded on Saturday night, we'll update the list later this evening as the plaques are engraved.

Calder Memorial Trophy
Jonathan Huberdeau - Florida
AKA Rookie of the Year trophy, the shining stars in the making receive their due.
Nominees were Brendan Gallagher (Montreal), Jonathan Huberdeau (Florida) Brandon Saad (Chicago)

Ted Lindsay Award
Sidney Crosby - Pittsburgh Penguins
Awarded to the Most Outstanding Player of the past season
Nominees were Sidney Crosby (Pittsburgh), Alex Ovechkin (Washington), Martin St. Louis (Tampa Bay)

Vezina Trophy
Sergei Bobrovsky - Columbus Blue Jackets
Most Outstanding Goaltender of the year, voted by the league's General Managers (Philadelphia GM's traditionally burn their ballots after the first round of the playoffs)
Nominees were Sergei Bobrovsky (Columbus), Henrik Lindqvist (NY Rangers),  Antti Niemi (San Jose)

James Norris Memorial Trophy
P. K. Subban - Montreal Canadiens
Awarded to the defensive player who demonstrates the greatest all around ability at his position
Nominees were Kris Letang (Pittsburgh), P. K. Subban (Montreal), Ryan Suter (Minnesota)

Hart Trophy
Alex Ovechkin- Washington Capitals
Player Judged to be the Most Valuable to his team
Nominees were Sidney Crosby (Pittsburgh), Alex Ovechkin (Washington), John Tavares (NY Islanders)

Maurice Richard Award
Alex Ovechkin - Washington Capitals
Destined for the league's top goal scorer, the easiest of trophies for the committee to award as they just have to be good at math on the final day of the season.

Art Ros Trophy
Martin St. Louis - Tampa Bay Lightning
Another one for the statisticians on the board, awarded to the player with the most total points at the end of the regular season.

William M. Jennings Trophy
Corey Crawford, Ray Emery - Chicago Black Hawks
Awarded to the goaltenders who have played a minimum of 25 games for the team with the fewest goals score against in the Regular Season. (Again, Philadelphia GM's rarely have had cause to cast a vote in recent years, somewhere on the Atlantic is a bottle with a ballot floating towards the Azores)

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