The NHL awards always cause a lot of debate because the parameters for consideration are a bit loose and everyone’s qualifications for the awards are a little different. So after some research and review, here are my winners for the major awards and whom I believe may actually win when the votes are tabulated.
This award is a slam-dunk, Patrick Kane. A ridiculous point streak to set a club record and winner of the scoring race, yes Kane’s the winter hands down.
Yet, some have said Sidney Crosby should be considered, however, for some reason he was MIA the first two months of the season. He’s been stellar in the Pens return to form, but you have to have some consistency throughout the year.
Other players with good years are Joe Pavelski of the Sharks and Jamie Benn of the Stars.
This one will get plenty of debate; many are focused on Erik Karlsson of the Sens because of his outstanding point total and leading the league in assists. Significant accomplishments, absolutely. Win you a Norris trophy, not for me.
I think people get their perspective blurred by the stats and don’t watch enough, and Karlsson causes too many problems like giveaways for me to give him the award. Sure he has great ability to recover and chase down players if he or others make mistakes, but he didn’t pass the visual test.
Brent Burns, tremendous offensive year but he too is guilty of too many offences.
I’ll take Drew Doughty of the Kings. Very good point totals, but his ability to play in all situations counts. The other two don’t kill penalties. And it’s not just PK that works against them for me. The other key part, both Burns & Karlsson both have partners that protect them and make up for their defensive liabilities. Doughty doesn’t have that; in fact he’s the one who often dictates how the play on the ice proceeds so he gets my vote.
I think though, PHWA may go the way of Karlsson, too bad. West Coast bias is a real thing.
I’ll take Braden Holtby. The consistency of his year, the way he’s been able to be so strong in goal, lots of shots, not many shots, doesn’t matter. Hardly gets rattled, very good and the amount of work, he’s been very good.
Also wouldn’t object if it were Jonathon Quick or Ben Bishop, with the injuries to Tampa he’s been their MVP
Since his return to the line up Connor McDavid has been great. Yes he’s been rookie of the month three times, but he’s only played just over half the season. Artemi Panerin has played at an extremely high level for an additional three months. He’s leading in scoring, he’s helped make Patrick Kane as good as he’s been this year, this is the winner.
Shayne Ghostesbhere has also gotten noticed because of his impact on the Flyer fortunes since he was recalled. He’s played more than McDavid but his biggest impact has also been on offence, not defense. When Aaron Ekblad won the award, he had good numbers and was very solid defensively.
For me Panerin is the guy.
I think Barry Trotz will win because he’s got the best record in the NHL and he’s been around forever and the old boys network thinks he’s a good guy. He’s a worthy recipient. It won’t offend anyone if he wins. There are lots of good candidates this year, and that I think works in his favor as well, easy to give it to the guy with the best record.
How about Gerard Gallant and the job he’s done with the Panthers, nobody expected them to be first in the Atlantic.
Lindy Ruff of Dallas, did you really expect them to win the Central Division and the Western Conference
How about Bruce Boudreau for bringing the Ducks back from the dead, same for Mike Sullivan of the Pens but has Sullivan coached enough games?
I’ll take Ken Hitchcock of the St. Louis Blues. He’s been hammered with injuries all year, rotating goalies, both Elliott and Allen have missed significant time, Backes, is out, Jaden Schwartz missed half the year, Paul Stastny missed time, and more. But they’ve been a top team all season.
GM of the Year
You can look at this one a few different ways. The GM that did the best job to get his team results this year or set them on the course for the future.
Stan Bowman getting his team under the cap and being competitive, Dean Lombardi working the system, getting Lecavalier and Schenn and being a top team. Ron Hextall moving those players and allowing the Flyers to move forward and improve their position. Brian McLellan bringing in Oshie and Williams and later Ricahrds helping his team to the best record or was that more coaching. I’ll take Jim Nill for the best combination of both successes today & in years to come