With the 2012-2013 season coming to an end, and with the playoffs in full swing, the time has come to pick who will win this year’s Hart, Norris, Calder, Vezina, and Lindsay trophies.
THE VEZINA TROPHY
The Vezina Trophy is awarded every year to the League’s top goaltender as voted by the general managers of each team. This year’s finalists include not one, not two but three European born goaltenders. Yes that’s right, not ONE goalie nominated is American born. This year’s finalists are: Henrik Lundqvist of the New York Rangers, Sergei Bobrovsky of the Columbus Blue Jackets, and Antti Niemi of the San Jose Sharks.
WHO WINS: Henrik Lundqvist
Lundqvist has had yet another great season, and while you can argue that Bobrovsky should take the cake this year, Both
Lundqvist’s Rangers and Niemi’s Sharks are in the playoffs while “Bob” is sitting at home watching, or playing golf, or whatever it is Bob does during the offseason. “King Henrik” won twenty four games this season which was tied for first and becomes the first back-to-back Vezina winner since “The Dominator” Dominik Hasek who won it three straight years.
THE CALDER TROPHY
The Calder Memorial Trophy is awarded to the league’s top rookie performer as voted by the Professional Hockey Writers Association. This year’s finalists are as follows: Brendan Gallagher of the Montreal Canadiens, Brandon Saad of the Chicago Blackhawks, and Jonathan Huberdeau of the Florida Panthers.
WHO WINS: JONATHAN HUBERDEAU
Huberdeau finished the season tied for the Rookie Scoring lead with 2012 Number One overall pick Nail Yakupov (who surprisingly was left off this list of finalists). Though both Gallagher’s Canadiens and Saad’s Blackhawks made the playoffs, it’s hard not to recognize Huberdeau’s offensive output on a severely depleted team that was ravaged with injuries. His 31 points not only ranked tied for first in Rookie Scoring, but second on the Panthers squad behind “Flash” Tomas Fleischmann
THE NORRIS TROPHY
No not Chuck Norris. The Norris Trophy is awarded to the League’s best defender as voted by the Professional Hockey Writers Association. Kris Letang of the Pittsburgh Penguins, PK Subban of the Montreal Canadiens, and Ryan Suter of the Minnesota Wild are your three finalists for this year.
WHO WINS: KRIS LETANG
A Norris Finalist list withouth the name’s Chara and Lindstrom? Is that possible? It is this year. Letang, who missed more than a quarter of the season still managed to finish second in scoring by a defenseman, with
only P.K. Subban ahead of him. Sutter finished second in assists and third in overall points by a defender. I want to pick Ryan Suter to win this and I kinda hope he does because he all but carried that Wild defense throughout the year, but Letang still managed to accomplish all he did and STILL missed a chunk of the shortened season. Imagine what he could have done with a full season at 100%. Scary huh?
THE LINDSAY AWARD
The Ted Lindsay Award is given to the player who is selected by the NHLPA as the most outstanding player. This year’s finalists are Sidney Crosby of the Pittsburgh Penguins, Alex Ovechkin of the Washington Capitals, and Martin St.Louis of the Tampa Bay Lightning.
WHO WINS: SIDNEY CROSBY
The award stays in the Steel City. Crosby may have missed a lot of this season, including the last month before the
playoffs with a broken jaw, but 56 points in 36 games is something that can’t be overlooked. Yes St. Louis did win the Art Ross (most points in a season) but he and his Lightning squad missed the playoffs. As for Alex Ovechkin you can’t deny what he has done to lead his Capitals into the playoffs, winning the Rocket Richard Trophy in the process, but again think of what Crosby could have done if he was at full health even in a shortened season. He finished third in the Art Ross race and missed the last month of the season. If that isn’t outstanding, then what is?
And now the moment we’ve all been waiting for…..
THE HART MEMORIAL TROPHY
The Hart Memorial trophy is awarded to the League MVP as voted by the Professional Hockey Writers Association. This year’s finalists include Sidney Crosby of the Pittsburgh Penguins, Alex Ovechkin of the Washington Capitals, and John Tavares of the New York Islanders (you were beginning to think I was repeating myself).
WHO WINS: ALEX OVECHKIN
Ovechkin loses the Lindsay Award but exacts sweet revenge against his bitter rival Crosby in Hart Trophy. Yes we’ve
established “Sid The Kid” had a great season despite the jaw injury but the Hart Trophy is awarded to Ovechkin because of what he did to rally his team from a dismal start to Southeast Division Champions and 3rd seed in the Eastern Conference. Without Ovechkin returning to his old self, the Capitals would be sitting at home watching the Playoffs and George McPhee would be talking to his scouts about drafting Seth Jones with the #1 overall pick. I gotta give props to John Tavares for his outstanding season on the Island. He’s finally living up to that number one selection from 2009. He’s on his way and I have no doubt that one day he will be a Hart Trophy winner, but just not this year. Ovechkin wins.
The NHL Awards will be announced during the Stanley Cup Finals instead of in Las Vegas as it has been in previous years.
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