Erik Karlsson has a chance to win his second straight Norris Trophy and third since 2012, but a couple defensemen seeking their first prize stand in his way.
The Ottawa Senators captain was named a nominee for the league’s top blueliner award on Friday, joining Los Angeles Kings’ Drew Doughty and Pacific Division rival Brent Burns of the San Jose Sharks.
That Karlsson is yet again up for the award given to “defense player who demonstrates throughout the season the greatest all-round ability in the position” comes as little surprise.
Boston’s Patrice Bergeron will have a shot at the Selke Trophy three-peat — and his fourth nod as the league’s best defensive forward — but Los Angeles’ Anze Kopitar and Anaheim’s Ryan Kesler will stand in his way.
The NHL announced the Selke finalists Thursday night with Bergeron, Kopitar and Kesler as the top three vote-getters for the award given to “the forward who best excels in the defensive aspects of the game.” Both Bergeron and Kesler have won the award before, but Kopitar, who has been a finalist in each of the past two seasons, has never taken home the hardware.
Unlike other awards that can be judged off of pure statistics, the voting for Selke can be a lot more vague. Really, each of the three have good cases for the award. Read more
Unlike a year ago when Montreal’s Carey Price was the no-doubt-about-it winner of the Vezina Trophy, the 2015-16 season had no sure thing.
Three weeks ago, THN made the case for the 10 goalies who were deserving of votes. On Wednesday, the NHL unveiled the three finalists for the award given to “the goalkeeper adjudged to be the best at this position.” They are Tampa Bay’s Ben Bishop, Washington’s Braden Holtby, and Los Angeles’ Jonathan Quick.
Actor Will Arnett has been tagged by the NHL to host the 2016 award show that will be broadcast live from Las Vegas’ The Joint, an entertainment venue at Hard Rock Hotel & Casino, on June 22. No word on whether he’ll be wearing $5,000 suit.
Arnett, 45, is best known for his work in the series Arrested Development, where he played G.O.B. Bluth, as well as the recently released series Flaked, in which he stars. Arnett takes over the duties from Rob Riggle, who hosted last year’s show. Other guests, presenters and musical acts have not yet been named, though it’d be fitting were the NHL to land 1980s pop group Europe to play ‘The Final Countdown.’
The actor already stated that the hosting duty was an honor for him, a Toronto native, to host the award show. Arnett, who’s frequently spotted at Los Angeles Kings games, has made his Toronto Maple Leafs fandom evident in the past, including a short comedy skit taped with members of the Maple Leafs in 2014, and quipped that he was upset his hosting duties would get in the way of him earning the Lady Byng Trophy, but added he’s glad this is his year to host because the Maple Leafs Stanley Cup parade would get in the way next season.
“I’m excited to host the 2016 NHL Awards because we all know in 2017 I’ll be too busy celebrating the Leafs winning the Stanley Cup,” Arnett told NHL.com. Read more
Last week we talked about how close the Hart Trophy race will be, but it’s got nothing on this year’s Norris Trophy showdown.
Not only are there four or five very worthy top candidates for the award, it’s also one of the most contentious award decisions for voters. There’s a heated debate about scoring totals vs. defensive play, or being on a winning team vs. a losing team. You can’t ignore advanced stats either.
So let’s sort it out right now and decide who should win this year’s Norris Trophy.
Today is the first day of the playoffs, with series kicking off in Tampa, Pittsburgh and St. Louis. That means it’s also the last day for PHWA members to submit their award ballots. So if you noticed your favorite sportswriter rushing around like a flustered kid who left his homework to the last minute, that’s why.
The league prefers that we don’t reveal our ballots before the winners are announced, since if too many of us do that it will kill the suspense. That’s fair. So today, I won’t tell you who got my vote. Instead, I’ll tell you who didn’t.
One year after coming up short in his chase for Hobey Baker Award honors, Harvard’s Jimmy Vesey has been named the NCAA’s top player.
Vesey, 22, was awarded the Hobey Friday evening at a ceremony in Tampa, Fla., where the NCAA’s Frozen Four tournament is taking place this weekend. In his senior season with the Crimson, Vesey netted 24 goals and 46 points in 33 games, which put him into a tie for 17th in the nation in scoring, but only three points out of a top-10 finish. His offensive numbers weren’t the NCAA’s best, Vesey’s two-way game played into his selection as the Hobey winner.
“Vesey was an impact player in all phases of the game,” the award’s official release stated. “Regular shifts and power play duties were the norm, but he was often underestimated in his defensive responsibilities. Vesey was a fixture on the penalty kill and was widely recognized as the hardest worker on the team. His compete-level made Vesey a difference maker.” Read more
As the regular season comes to an end this season, hockey writers will soon be tasked with submitting their award ballots.
We know the voting for the Norris will be controversial. We know the Calder will be difficult to judge because Connor McDavid, the best rookie, only played 45 games. And we pointed out yesterday that the Vezina race is wide open.
But what about the most prestigious award of all, the Hart Trophy? It looks to be a close vote, too. Our writers have picked a winner but it’s far from unanimous. Here are our picks for the Hart: