NHL Awards Nominees Announced

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The NHL recently announced the finalist for the Masterson Trophy, Lady Byng Trophy, Calder Trophy, and Vezina Trophy. There has already been an explosion of opinions and arguments over who was snubbed, and who doesn’t deserve to be nominated. These nominations will always breed debate, as they should, and they keep the hockey conversation going. Let’s look at the nominees.

Bill Masterson Memorial Trophy Nominees

The Masterson trophy is awarded to the NHL player that exemplifies the qualities of perseverance, sportsmanship, and dedication to the game of hockey. This year, Stephen Johns (DAL), Oskar Lindblom (PHI), and Bobby Ryan (OTT) are up for the award.

Stephen Johns

Johns missed almost two full years of hockey dealing with post-traumatic headaches that he suffered in the 2017-18 season. Johns made his return against the Wild on January 18th, 2020. On February 3rd, he scored his first goal against the Rangers.

Oskar Lindblom

Lindblom had a strong start to this season, leading the team in goals through the first 30 games. On December 13th, Lindblom was diagnosed with Ewing’s sarcoma, a form of bone cancer. On July 2nd, Oskar rang the bell, at the Abramson Cancer Center at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania announcing that his treatment was done.

Bobby Ryan

In November, Ryan entered the NHL player assistance program for an alcohol problem. In an interview with the Ottawa Sun, Ryan said:

“Because I’ve been open and candid about that, I think people have looked at me and said, ‘There’s a very relatable person.’”

In February, Ryan rejoined the Ottawa Senators and dropped a hat trick against Vancouver.

Lady Byng Memorial Trophy Nominees

The Lady Byng Memorial Trophy is awarded to the player that exhibits the best type of sportsmanship and gentlemanly conduct with a high standard of playing quality. Usually, this award goes to players with high point totals and very low penalty minutes. This year we have Nathan MacKinnon (COL), Auston Matthews (TOR), and Ryan O’Reilly (STL) nominated.

Nathan MacKinnon

MacKinnon produced at an elite level, while his top teammates dealt with injuries. 43 points ahead of the next highest scorer on the Avalanche, MacKinnon proves he can produce with, or without, elite talent. MacKinnon’s stats, and ranks, for this season:

  • Goals – 35, 9th
  • Assists – 58, 6th
  • Points – 93, 5th

His 12 penalty minutes are the second-lowest among the top 10 point leaders. MacKinnon could be the third player from Colorado to win the award. Joining Joe Sakic (2000-01) and fellow nominee Ryan O’Reilly (2013-14)

Auston Matthews

Matthews ranked third in the league in goals scored with 47. Only one behind the co-winners of the Rocket Richard Trophy, Alex Ovechkin, and David Pastrnak. A pure goal-scorer since he joined the league, here is how Matthews stacks up against the rest of the league:

  • Goals – 47, 3rd
  • Assists – 33, 70th
  • Points – 80, 9th

Leading the way, among top 10 point leaders, with only 8 penalty minutes, Matthews never accumulates a lot of penalty minutes. The Maple Leafs have seen eight players win the Lady Byng Trophy. Matthews looks to follow Alexander Mogilny (2002-03) as the most recent Leaf to win it.

Ryan O’Reilly

O’Reilly gets his third straight nomination for the Lady Byng Trophy. O’Reilly isn’t the offensive dynamo like his fellow nominees, he had 12 goals with 49 assists for 61 total points. He did dominate other areas of the game.

  • Face-off Wins – 880, 1st
  • Face-off Taken – 1556, 1st
  • Take aways – 69, 7th

This season also marks the sixth time O’Reilly has had 10 or less penalty minutes for the season. Looking for his second win, O’Reilly looks to become the fourth St. Louis Blues player to win since Pavol Demitra (1999-00)

Calder Memorial Trophy Nominees

The Calder Trophy is awarded to the Rookie of the Year. This year we have Cale Makar (COL), Quinn Hughes (VAN), and Dominik Kubalik (CHI).

This award will be debated at length this year. But for this article, we will let the stats speak for themselves.

Cale Makar

  • 57 games played – 12G / 38A / 50Pts / +12 / 19 PPP / 121 SOG / 9.9sh% / 47 Blocks / 45 Hits

Quinn Hughes

  • 68 games played – 8G / 45A / 53Pts / -10 / 25 PPP / 126 SOG / 6.3sh% / 46 Blocks / 7 Hits

Dominik Kubalik

  • 68 gamed played – 30G / 16A / 46Pts / +2 / 8 PPP / 157 SOG / 19.1sh% / 17 Blocks / 79 Hits

Vezina Trophy Nominees

The Vezina Trophy is awarded to the best goalie of the year. This year we have Andrei Vasilevskiy (TBL), Connor Hellebuyck (WPG), and Tuukka Rask (BOS)

The clear cut top options this season have dominated this season. This trophy, like the Calder, is based more on statistical success. Lets look at the numbers from all three of the nominees:

Connor Hellebuyck

  • 58 games played – 56 starts / 31-21-5 record / 6 Shutouts / 1656 saves / .922sv% / 2.57 GAA

Tuukka Rask

  • 41 games played – 41 starts / 26-8-6 record / 5 Shutouts / 1104 saves / .929sv% / 2.12 GAA

Andrei Vasilevskiy

  • 52 games played – 52 starts / 35-14-3 record / 3 Shutouts / 1472 saves / .917% / 2.56 GAA

A quick recap of the nominees, in at least 40 games played, we have Hellebuyck with the most games played, most saves and most shutouts. Rask leads the way in save percentage and goals against average and Vasilevskiy has the most wins. The clear cut top three.

The Winners

In my humble opinion, I believe the winners will be:

The Bill Masterson Memorial Trophy – Oskar Lindblom

The Lady Byng Memorial Trophy – Nathan MacKinnon

The Calder Memorial Trophy – Cale Makar

The Vezina Trophy – Tuukka Rask

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