Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Awards -- Our Other Prognostos

We have the four big players awards up on the board. What about the others?

Ted Lindsay Award (formerly the Lester B. Pearson Award)

“The Ted Lindsay Award is presented annually to the "most outstanding player" in the NHL as voted by fellow members of the National Hockey League Players' Association.”


Sidney Crosby, Pittsburgh Penguins
Alex Ovechkin, Washington Capitals
Henrik Sedin, Vancouver Canucks

“Outstanding” and “valuable” are not synonyms. Neither is this a “best player in the game” award. It is an award for that player who had the most outstanding season in the NHL. So that eliminates the Olympics, too. And by that measure, consider this: 57-66-123, +51, 15 power play goals, seven game-winning goals, 211 hits, 75 takeaways. Those are Alex Ovechkin’s numbers for this season at an 82-game pace. You cannot discount the fact that he did miss those ten games, in part due to two suspensions. But then there is this: 30-4-7. His team’s record after his having been named captain. The 82-game pace for that is pretty simple arithmetic: 60-8-14. Sidney Crosby had a memorable year as a hockey player, Henrik Sedin announced himself as having joined the elite in the game. But Alex Ovechkin was the NHL’s outstanding player.

Frank J. Selke Trophy

“The Frank J. Selke Trophy is an annual award given to the forward who best excels in the defensive aspects of the game. The winner is selected in a poll of the Professional Hockey Writers' Association at the end of the regular season.”


Pavel Datsyuk, Detroit Red Wings
Ryan Kesler, Vancouver Canucks
Jordan Staal, Pittsburgh Penguins

On a team that is more known for its offense and that has more renowned centers, Jordan Staal has carved out a niche for himself as a talented two-way center. He also plays on a team that has an underrated penalty kill, and Staal logged more average shorthanded ice time than all NHL forwards except Jay McClement and Todd Marchant. Datsyuk remains one of the elite two-way centers in the game, but this year did not seem to measure up to his standard on either side of the ice. Kesler had a fine season and would seem to be now a perennial contender for this award. But overall, the winner here for this season should be Jordan Staal.

Jack Adams Award

“The Jack Adams Award is an annual award presented by the National Hockey League Broadcasters' Association to the NHL coach judged to have contributed the most to his team's success. The winner is selected in a poll among members of the NHL Broadcasters' Association at the end of the regular season.”

The Finalists:

Joe Sacco, Colorado Avalanche
Dave Tippett, Phoenix Coyotes
Barry Trotz, Nashville Predators

This race is perhaps the easiest to handicap. If this was the equivalent of the Irving G. Thalberg Award for a film producer’s body of work, Barry Trotz wins in a walk. If it was awarded based on the season’s first half, Joe Sacco is your winner. But for working around all the controversy and distraction swirling about the Phoenix Coyotes, for all the disrespect he endured concerning the Coyote’s chances to make the playoffs, for shepherding a roster that lacked the high-end talent of the competition in the Western Conference; to still finish fourth in the conference with more than 100 points, Dave Tippett is the clear choice to win the Adams Award this season.

…oh, you were wondering about the Lady Byng? OK, look, Pavel Datsyuk, Brad Richards, and Martin St. Louis are fine players. And combined they had only 44 minutes in penalties. But for our money? 72 games, 21 goals, 40 points… two minutes in penalties. Two!

Brandon Sutter, Carolina Hurricanes

Thank you, and drive safely.

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