The National Hockey League awards were announced Friday and Saturday night. Washington Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin took home his third Hart Memorial Trophy for the league’s most valuable player.
He beat Sidney Crosby of the Pittsburgh Penguins and John Tavares of the New York Islanders. The Professional Hockey Writers’ Association voted on the award, and Ovechkin is only one of 10 players to win more than two times. He led the league with 32 goals, 16 power-play goals, and tied for third in the league with 56 points in 48 games. He was a major reason the Capitals made the playoffs.
The Hart Memorial Trophy has been split between Canadian and European players in the past twenty years. Brett Hull, a dual citizen of Canada and America, won in 1990-91 and is the only American to win this award. Billy Burch won in 1924-25 when the original Hart Trophy was still awarded. It was retired in 1960.
The most well deserving award was the Bill Masterton Trophy to Minnesota Wild goalie Josh Harding, 28. The winner “best exemplifies the qualities of perseverance, sportsmanship and dedication to hockey.” Harding was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis last fall and missed 33 games on the injured reserve. However, he stepped in during the playoffs and played five games. He said he will not quit.
Sergei Bobrovsky, 24, of the Columbus Blue Jackets won the Vezina Trophy as the best goaltender. He is the first Russian to win the award and it was the first time all three were born and trained in Europe. He was an undrafted free agent in 2010 and signed with the Philadelphia Flyers. The Flyers traded him to Columbus in the summer and he finished the season 21-11-6, 2.00 goals-against average, and .935 save percentage. He is the first undrafted goalie to win since Ed Belfour in 1991 and 1993.
P.K. Subban, 23, of the Montreal Canadiens won the James Norris Memorial Trophy as the league’s best defenseman. He beat Kris Letang of the Pittsburgh Penguins and Ryan Suter of the Minnesota Wild. This was the first time the three were nominated. Not only was Subban great on defense, but he was a huge part of Montreal’s offense. He had a +12 rating and helped the team grab the #2 seed in the Eastern Conference. He led defensemen with 26 power-play points, including seven goals. He was third among defensemen with 32 points and second with 28 assists.
Here are the rest of the winners:
Frank J. Selke Trophy (Best Defensive Forward) – Jonathan Toews, Chicago Blackhawks
Jack Adams Award (Best Coach) – Paul MacLean, Ottawa Senators
Lady Byng Memorial Trophy (Best Sportsmanship & Gentlemanly Conduct) – Martin St. Louis, Tampa Bay Lightning
Calder Memorial Trophy (Rookie of the Year) – Jonathan Huberdeau, Florida Panthers
Art Ross Trophy (Points Leader) – Martin St. Louis, Tampa Bay Lightning
General Manager of the Year – Ray Shero, Pittsburgh Penguins
Ted Lindsay Award (Most Outstanding Player voted by NHL Players’ Association) – Sidney Crosby, Pittsburgh Penguins
NHL Foundation Player Award (Uses Hockey To Enrich Community) – Henrik Zetterberg, Detroit Red Wings
King Clancy Memorial Trophy (Leadership On & Off Ice) – Patrice Bergeron, Boston Bruins
Bridgestone Messier Leadership Award (Leadership To Team On & Off Ice) – Daniel Alfredsson, Ottawa Senators
Maurice Richard Trophy (Voted By NHL Governors Based On Regular Season Play) – Alex Ovechkin, Washington Capitals
William M. Jennings Trophy (Goalies With Fewest Goals Scored Against) – Corey Crawford & Ray Emery, Chicago Blackhawks