It was another night of bad speeches, flat jokes and shiny trophies in Las Vegas, as Carey Price came out the big winner at the 2015 NHL Awards.
Actor Rob Riggle (that kinda funny guy from that comedy you kinda like) had the unenviable task of hosting, as joke after joke bombed in front of a mostly humourless audience.
That said, the most entertaining and merciful moment of the night came when Riggle and the house band interrupted Jamie Benn and his Art Ross Trophy speech that never was.
Commissioner Gary Bettman appeared on stage only briefly, to prod Jordan Leopold’s daughter, Jordyn, into reading that adorable “trade my dad” letter we shed a tear over a while back.
So yeah, the awards were about as entertaining as you’d expect. But it’s the winners we care about – not the speeches.
The big winners are listed below.
And while you peruse the list, don’t forget to check out our THN Awards to see which awards we nailed (and which ones we made up).
It’s NHL awards season, and we at The Hockey News want to join the party…with a twist.
We’ve voted on similar honors to what the NHL hands out, from the most valuable player to the best goaltender. We’ve renamed the (virtual) hardware, though, and we’ve expanded the trophy case. Hate it when offensive defensemen win the Norris despite mediocre shutdown skills? No problem. We’ve given defensive D-men their own category. Same goes for the MVP-versus-best-player debate. All that and a few other custom categories highlight the 2015 THN awards.
Our system gives five points for a first-place vote, three for second place and one for third place. We only factor in regular-season play. Enjoy, and share your agreements and disagreements in the comment section.
CHICAGO – No matter who won the Stanley Cup this season, a defenseman was destined to win the Conn Smythe Trophy. It really was a matter of deciding between Duncan Keith and Victor Hedman. One of them got his day. The other will have his in the future.
That Keith deserved the playoff MVP award was beyond dispute. At least that’s the way the 18 members of the Professional Hockey Writers’ Association saw it. Keith received 18 first-place votes to win the award in a landslide.
The Allen Americans had no interest in making Game 7 of the ECHL final a nail biter. Before the game was halfway through, Allen had stretched their lead to 4-0, including a pair of goals from Chad Costello. In the end, the Americans, the ECHL affiliate of the San Jose Sharks, walked away with their first Kelly Cup championship thanks to a 6-1 Game 7 victory over the South Carolina Stingrays.
Coming into the final series, the Americans were the favorites, considering all season they had dominated the Western Conference, finishing atop their half of the league with a 48-14-6 record. A big part of Allen’s regular season domination was their offense, which was the highest scoring in the entire league by nearly one dozen goals.
However, South Carolina made waves this season with a remarkable winning streak that stretched 23 games and put their name all over the league record books. Read more
The Manchester Monarchs, the Los Angeles Kings AHL affiliate, are Calder Cup champions. Manchester defeated the Utica Comets in five games, with the Cup-clinching victory coming on the back of two early goals scored little more than three minutes apart by Adrian Kempe and Vincent LoVerde.
The Monarchs, who were the regular season’s best team with a record 50-17-6-3 record, captured the Calder Cup in 19 games, never taking more than two losses in a single series. The closest the Monarchs came to dropping a series was in the first round against the Portland Pirates, where they emerged victorious from the best-of-five series 3-2. Read more
Mike ‘Doc’ Emrick will be awarded one of sports broadcastings top honors as the eighth winner of the Vin Scully Lifetime Achievement Award in Sports Broadcasting.
The award, named after famed Los Angeles Dodgers broadcaster Vin Scully, has been handed out to a number of notable broadcasters, including NFL play-by-play voices Pat Summerall and Al Michaels, NBC’s Bob Costas and CBS’s Verne Lundquist. Emrick is the only broadcaster honored with the award for work in hockey, the sport he has covered for nearly 40 years.
“When I received the call from Vin Scully that I’d been selected to receive the Lifetime Achievement Award that bears his name, I was speechless, and that’s rare for me,” said Emrick. “Although I am sure the event in November will be another lifetime memory, I have never forgotten the call and the knowledge of the past honorees who voted me this honor. I am grateful to Vin and to WFUV, and all on the selection committee.” Read more
TAMPA – Let’s get one thing straight. The New York Islanders absolutely made the right call with they took John Tavares first overall in the 2009 entry draft. Now, let’s get another thing straight. Victor Hedman, who was taken right after Tavares, is taking over the Stanley Cup final.
There was no shortage of storylines after Game 3 of the final, which the Tampa Bay Lightning won 3-2 over the Chicago Blackhawks. Ben Bishop and his gutsy performance playing on what seems to be only one good leg was one of them. The emergence of Cedric Paquette as a two-way weapon and the play of the Lightning’s bottom-six forwards was another. But Hedman has been off the charts, particularly in Games 2 and 3. He snuffed out Patrick Kane at every turn and has contributed four assists, two of them in Game 3 on the kinds of passes that are the domain of only the elite players in the NHL.
Connor McDavid was in Quebec City on the weekend and while he admitted that playing in the Memorial Cup would have been better, he was more than happy to accept three more awards, adding to his total as the most decorated player in junior hockey history.