Thursday, May 04, 2006

NHL Award Nominees

Today, the NHL announced their award nominees. Here are the people I would have voted for if I had a ballot.

These are the nominees along with my comments:

Adams Trophy Peter Laviolette Carolina Hurricanes, Tom Renney New York Rangers, Lindy Ruff Bufalo Sabres

I dislike the fact that coach of the year candidates are chosen as the coach of the most improved team. Of these choices I would support Tom Renney. I bet Peter Laviolette wins since he coached a division winner.

Calder Trophy Sidney Crosby Pittsburgh Penguins, Alexander Ovechkin Washington Capitals, Dion Phaneuf Calgary Flames

I am dissapointed that Henrik Lundqvist did not get nominated. Phaneuf had a good rookie season, but Lundqvist had a better one. That said, Ovechkin should win.

Selke Trophy Rod Brind'Amour Carolina Hurricanes, Mike Fisher Ottawa Senators, Jere Lehtinen Dallas Stars

Evaluating good defensive forwards is always hard. Usually, when the full voting is released we see more people received votes for this award than any other one. That said, I strongly support Rod Brind'Amour and believe he will win.

Lady Byng Trophy Pavel Datsyuk Detroit Red Wings, Patrick Marleau San Jose Sharks, Brad Richards Tampa Bay Lightning

I would have picked Jason Spezza as a nominee in place of Patrick Marleau, but it is pretty close (Spezza had more points in less games then Marleau and a few more penalty minutes from one game where he had a fight). I expect Datsyuk wins it.

Norris Trophy Nicklas Lidstrom Detroit Red Wings, Scott Niedermayer Dallas Stars, Sergei Zubov Dallas Stars

This is the only award where my nominees are the same as the NHL's ones. I expect Lidstrom will win.

Vezina Trophy Martin Brodeur New Jersey Devils, Miikka Kiprusoff Calgary Flames, Henrik Lundqvist New York Rangers

I find it interesting that Lundqvist is one of the three best goalies, but not one of the three best rookies and that Phaneuf who is allegedly a better rookie is not one of the three best defencemen. I don't think Brodeur deserves his nomination. He is having a great playoff so far, but this vote was taken before the playoffs began. He was chosen on reputation. Tomas Vokoun would have been a better nominee.

Pearson Trophy Jaromir Jagr New York Rangers, Alexander Ovechkin Washington Capitals, Joe Thornton San Jose Sharks

Hart Trophy Jaromir Jagr New York Rangers, Miikka Kiprusoff Calgary Flames, Joe Thornton San Jose Sharks

Essentially these are the same award - merely selected by different people. I think Nicklas Lidstrom should be the third nominee in place of Ovechkin or Kiprusoff. I support Jagr for these awards, but I think Joe Thornton will probably win as he had the better finish to the season and that is the last impression in the voter's minds.

Hart and Pearson are very different awards, Pearson goes to the league's most outstanding player, where i agree and believe that Lidstrom should have been nominated before ovechkin, the hart however is the player most valuable to his team, not the best player in the league (the red wings would have done fine without Lidstrom = no nomination), that is why I believe that Thornton should get it, as San José was 4 games below .500 before receiving thornton, and 24 games above since acquiring him.
The "most outstanding player" is the "most valuable player to his team". If I have a box with a 5 carat diamond in with a bunch of 1/2 carat diamonds and another box with a 3 carat diamond and some gravel. The 5 carat diamond is both the "most oustanding diamond" and the "most valuable diamond to his box".

The analogy holds well in hockey.

Its entirely ridiculous to give a player an award because his teammates suck but he wasn't as good as the player who happened to play on a team with good teammates.
As for your Thornton argument, perhaps you should read this this
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