Wednesday night was of sole importance in the NHL as it highlighted last season’s breakout stars and welcomed a new club to the fold. While the Vegas Golden Knights stole the show, the 2017 NHL Awards offered a share of exhilarating moments to both veteran and young player alike with a bit of hardware. Forever these player’s names would be associated with the likes of Wayne Gretzky, Mario Lemieux, and Marty Brodeur. If you were not able to sit back and watch the event, here is what you missed.
The Ted Lindsay Award: MVP as voted by the NHLPA.
Nominees: Connor McDavid, Sidney Crosby, & Brent Burns.
Winner: Connor McDavid.
Connor McDavid enjoyed a break out year with the Edmonton Oilers. He scored 30 goals and ended the year with 100 points. His leadership, talent, and will to influence his team earned him these honors. Following behind the likes of Wayne Gretzky and the very Sidney Crosby he beat out for this privilege, McDavid is poised to be a NHL all-star for years to come.
James Norris Memorial Trophy: Best Defenseman
Nominees: Brent Burns, Victor Hedman, Erik Karlsson
Winner: Brent Burns
There are many believers who thought Burns should have won this honor last year with his explosive offensive power on the blue line. This year that ship has been righted as Burns’ high-powered offensive skill was once again a catalyst for the San Jose Sharks. Did it work out? The Norris Trophy thinks so.
Hart Memorial Trophy: NHL MVP
Nominees: Connor McDavid, Sidney Crosby, & Sergei Bobrovsky
Winner: Connor McDavid
McDavid strikes twice with another item for what should be a growing collection. Becoming the face of a franchise that has needed one for several years, McDavid gives hope to the people of Edmonton that Oiler hockey will be led by the young stud. He exuded all the tangibles needed in a NHL MVP this year and proved to the world that the Connor McDavid era is here. Who benefited from this the most? His team.
Calder Memorial Trophy: Rookie of the Year.
Nominees: Auston Matthews, Patrik Laine, & Zack Werenski
Winner: Auston Matthews
From his eye popping four-goal first game to his appearance in the 2016-17 NHL Playoffs, Matthews has made a mark in Toronto. No longer are they throwing their jerseys on the ice, but now donning them with a smile. The rookie earned this honor hands down according to this writer.
Art Ross Trophy: League leader in points during regular season.
Winner: Connor McDavid
The hat trick is completed as McDavid snares his third award of the night. Edmonton’s captain earned this one by going triple digits in points. With 30 goals and 70 assists, McDavid led the NHL with his 100-point season performance.
Vezina Trophy: Best Goaltender.
Nominees: Sergei Bobrovsky, Carey Price, & Braden Holtby
Winner: Sergei Bobrovsky
Sergei Bobrovsky is awarded with his second Vezina after a truly superb season. The Russian goalie scored 41 wins in 63 starts with a 2.06 goals against average and .931 save percentage.
Maurice “Rocket” Richard Trophy: Leading goal scorer.
Winner: Sidney Crosby
Goals, goals, and more goals for Sidney Crosby who was on fire this season and never let up. His 44 goals this season set him atop the mountain and earned him this prestigious honor. Just another trophy for his already immaculate display in his career.
Bill Masterson Memorial Trophy: Best exemplifies the qualities of perserverance, sportsmanship, and dedication to ice hockey.
Nominees: Craig Anderson, Andrew Cogliano, & Derek Ryan
Winner: Craig Anderson
Craig’s wife Nicholle was diagnosed with a rare form of throat cancer in October causing him to take a hiatus from hockey in October. However, as Ottawa’s backup goaltender fell to injury, Nicholle encouraged him to return. He did and recorded a 37-save shutout. Not only that, but Anderson played incredibly well the rest of the season and almost took his team to the Stanley Cup Finals. While he didn’t get the Stanley Cup, he received something much better: the news that Nicholle is now cancer-free.
Frank J. Selke Trophy: Forward who demonstrated the most defensive skill
Nominees: Patrice Bergeron, Ryan Kesler, Mikko Koivu
Winner: Patrice Bergeron
Patrice Bergeron’s forecheck is an impressive thing to watch. He joins Bob Gainey as the only four-time winners of the Selke.
Lady Byng Memorial Trophy: Best Sportsmanship.
Nominees: Johnny Gaudreau, Mikael Granlund, & Vladimir Tarasenko
Winner: Johnny Gaudreau
Gaudreau is simply a class act. He is Calgary’s offensive heart and delivers for his team every game. He doesn’t bother himself with the politics of the game because he is simply there to enjoy it and inspire. Johnny Hockey scored 61 points this season out of 72 games and only had four penalty minutes the entire season.
Jack Adams Award: Coach of the Year.
Nominees: John Tortorella, Todd Mclellan, & Mike Babcock
Winner: John Tortorella
With the season that the Columbus Blue Jackets had, how could Tortorella not claim his second Jack Adams Award? His team, who was one of the worst teams in the league the previous season, had their most successful regular season in franchise history where they went 50-24-8 with 108 points.
William M. Jennings Trophy: Goaltender on team with the fewest goals scored against
Winner: Braden Holtby
Braden Holtby continues to be one of the league’s elite in Washington’s net. This year, they only let by 182 biscuits in the basket and Philipp Grubauer, who doesn’t qualify due to only playing 23 games, should be argued for a spot next to Holtby on this one.
Mark Messier Leadership Award: A leader within the sport.
Nominees: Nick Foligno, Mark Giordano, & Ryan Getzlaf
Winner: Nick Foligno
King Clancy Memorial: A leader on and off the ice.
Winner: Nick Foligno
Foligno led his team to one of their best seasons and didn’t stop there. He proved that he is a leader on and off the ice and Columbus, Ohio is quite thankful to have him.
Foundation Player Award: Using the power of hockey to enrich the community.
Nominees: Travis Harmonic & Wayne Simmons
Winner: Travis Harmonic
General Manager of The Year Award: Best GM.
Nominees: David Poile, Pierre Porion, & Peter Chiareli
Winner: David Poile
The Nashville Predators played in their first ever Stanley Cup Final and a portion of that goes to their general manager. Poile has helped amplify the power of hockey in Nashville and as we saw this year, they nearly came away with the Stanley Cup.