2013 NHL Awards Predictions

  • Arun Morace
Who will take home the hardware this year? Image credit: GotSports

Who will take home the hardware this year? Image credit: GotSports

Hart Trophy (MVP)
Nominees:
Alex Ovechkin, LW, Washington Capitals
John Tavares, C, New York Islanders
Sidney Crosby, C, Pittsburgh Penguins
Winner: Sidney Crosby, C, Pittsburgh Penguins. This was my preseason prediction, and I’m sticking to it. Yes, the Penguins were able to win without Crosby, but 56 points in 36 games is unreal. Ovechkin got back to his goal-scoring ways to lead the Caps back to the Southeast Division crown and the Islanders probably don’t make the playoffs without Tavares, but Ovechkin’s poor defensive zone play and the fact that Tavares didn’t even finish in the top 15 in terms of points hurts their cases. All three are deserving, but Crosby probably takes the Hart home this year.

Ted Lindsay Award (MVP as voted by the players)
Nominees:
Alex Ovechkin, LW, Washington Capitals
Martin St. Louis, RW, Tampa Bay Lightning
Sidney Crosby, C, Pittsburgh Penguins
Winner: Crosby. The Lindsay and the Hart usually go hand-in-hand, so Crosby will probably get another piece of hardware for his mantlepiece.

Vezina Trophy (top goaltender)
Nominees:
Antti Niemi, San Jose Sharks
Henrik Lundqvist, New York Rangers
Sergei Bobrovsky, Columbus Blue Jackets
Winner: Sergei Bobrovsky, Columbus Blue Jackets. No, the Blue Jackets didn’t make the playoffs. But Bobrovsky, who became something of a cult hero as the Jackets made a serious postseason push for the first time since 2008, was the best goaltender in the NHL this year. His shutout total (four) was one behind the league mark, and his save percentage (.932) and goals-against average (2.00) were top-five in the league, not to mention better than Lundqvist’s (.926, 2.05) or Niemi’s (.924, 2.16).

Calder Trophy (top rookie)
Nominees
Brandon Saad, LW, Chicago Blackhawks
Brendan Gallagher, RW, Montreal Canadiens
Jonathan Huberdeau, RW, Florida Panthers
Winner: Jonathan Huberdeau, RW, Florida Panthers. Huberdeau was absolutely electric his first year in the NHL, and proved to be well worth the No. 3 overall pick Florida spent on him back in 2011. He tied for the rookie points lead with Edmonton’s Nail Yakupov (who wasn’t nominated), outpacing Gallagher and Saad by three and four points, respectively. What seals the deal for Huberdeau is the lack of supporting cast; Gallagher and Saad both played for division-champion teams while Huberdeau was the lone bright spot on the last-place Panthers. Add in the fact that as a rookie Huberdeau was second on his team in points (31) and goals (14),  “Hooby-dooby-doo!” should be the one taking home the Calder.

Norris Trophy (top defenseman)
Nominees:
Kris Letang, Pittsburgh Penguins
P.K. Subban, Montreal Canadiens
Ryan Suter, Minnesota Wild
Winner: Ryan Suter, Minnesota Wild. Finally out of Shea Weber’s shadow in Nashville, Ryan Suter galvanized the Minnesota blueline his first year as a member of the Wild. He led the league in minutes-played per game, and without Suter, given Minnesota’s offensive struggles, its doubtful they even make the playoffs without Suter patrolling the back end and quarterbacking the power play.

Selke Trophy (best defensive forward)
Nominees:
Jonathan Toews, C, Chicago Blackhawks
Patrice Bergeron, C, Boston Bruins
Pavel Datsyuk, C, Detroit Red Wings
Winner: Jonathan Toews, C, Chicago Blackhawks. All nominees are centers on Original Six teams. How interesting. Anyways, this one’s a toss-up, all three are deserving, but since this is Toews’ first nomination and Bergeron and Datsyuk have already won the Selke, the voters might opt to give the new guy the award. Toews also has the best +/- rating of the three (28).

Lady Byng Trophy (skill and gentlemanly play)
Nominees:
Patrick Kane, RW, Chicago Blackhawks
Martin St. Louis, RW, Tampa Bay Lightning
Matt Moulson, LW, New York Islanders
Winner: Patrick Kane, RW, Chicago Blackhawks. This is a tough award to predict, but Kane could take it home because of the improvements he’s made. His high level of play on the ice goes without question. But since this award is often tied to penalty minutes, it cannot be overlooked that St. Louis and Moulson have always been good at staying out of the box, while Kane, in years past, has usually racked up a fair amount of time in the box. This year, he dropped his PIM total from 40 to eight, exhibiting a marked effort to helping his team both through offense, and by improving himself as a “gentlemanly player” and avoiding penalties.

Bill Masterton Trophy (perseverance and dedication to hockey)
Nominees:
Adam McQuaid, D, Boston Bruins
Josh Harding, G, Minnesota Wild
Sidney Crosby, C, Pittsburgh Penguins
Winner: Josh Harding, G, Minnesota Wild. This one should be easy. McQuaid lost a rib and had a few blood clots, Crosby had a concussion and a broken jaw…. Harding fights multiple sclerosis in order to stay in the NHL. .

Jack Adams Award (top coach)
Nominees:
Bruce Boudreau, Anaheim Ducks
Joel Quenneville, Chicago Blackhawks
Paul MacLean, Ottawa Senators
Winner: Paul MacLean, Ottawa Senators: Another tough one, but considering the avalanche of injuries the Senators faced, the fact that MacLean was able to get them to the playoffs (and into the second round at that) really puts him at the head of the class this year.

GM of the Year
Nominees:
Bob Murray, Anaheim Ducks
Marc Bergevin, Montreal Canadiens
Ray Shero, Pittsburgh Penguins
Winner: Ray Shero, Pittsburgh Penguins. Murray and Bergevin did a nice job quickly getting their respective teams back into the playoffs after both the Canadiens and Ducks finished in the bottom-six of the NHL standings last year. But Shero’s masterful dealing in the days leading up to the trade deadline make him a shoo-in for this award. Shero’s acquisitions of Jarome Iginla, Brenden Morrow and Douglas Murray was absolutely ridiculous.

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Arun Morace

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