What happens in Vegas… isn’t the 2013 NHL Awards.
Since the NHL season was only half-size, and the annual hardware ceremonies will only be half-cocked. Suites at the Wynn and velvet-rope galas cut into HRR, so don’t expect a Nickelback performance or a series of Will Arnett sketches poking fun at Brendan Shanahan. This year it’s strictly handshakes and hardware.
Spread over two evenings, Friday and Saturday, between games 1 and 2 of the Stanley Cup final, this slapdash version of the affair will involve considerably fewer tuxedo rentals and consume considerably more bandwidth.
The biggies — Hart, Calder, Vezina, Norris and Ted Lindsay — will be presented Saturday at 7 p.m. ET in advance of Game 2 and televised on CBC in Canada and NBC in the States.
Friday’s 5 p.m. ET warm-up presentation is only available on cable (NHL Network) and online (NHL.com is live-streaming).
Without further adieu, here is your cheat sheet — nominees, winners, snubs — for all the awards to be handed out Friday evening. Return to sportsnet.ca Saturday for Part 2 of our predictions.
Awarded to: Player who exhibits the best sportsmanship and gentlemanly conduct combined with a high standard of playing ability
Who decides: Professional Hockey Writers’ Association
Nominees: Patrick Kane (Chicago Blackhawks), Matt Moulson (LW, New York Islanders), Martin St. Louis (Tampa Bay Lightning)
Who will win: Martin St. Louis
Who should win: Martin St. Louis
Who got the shaft: Logan Couture
Explain yourself: Patrick “He’s Matured!” Kane has no shot here, and Matt Moulson will win at least one of these after St. Louis retires. This will be St. Louis’ third Lady, and the scoring champ’s consolation for not getting a Hart nomination. Couture emerged as San Jose’s best player, taking just two minors while racking up 21 goals and 16 assists.
Awarded to: Forward who best excels in defensive aspects of the game
Nominees: Patrice Bergeron (C, Boston Bruins), Pavel Datsyuk (C, Detroit Red Wings), Jonathan Toews (Chicago Blackhawks)
Who will win: Jonathan Toews
Who should win: Patrice Bergeron
Who got the shaft: Derek Stepan
Explain yourself: Can’t kick up a fuss if any of these incredible two-way players win. Like St. Louis, Toews will take home the trophy as a consolation for not being considered a Hart finalist (and for captaining of the NHL’s best team). But Bergeron is the one truly deserving; his +24 rating and mind-boggling 61.2% success rate in the faceoff circle should be honoured. Despite his modest pay rate, Stepan outperformed all Rangers forwards overall.
Awarded to: Coach who contributes most to his team’s success
Who decides: NHL Broadcasters’ Association
Nominees: Bruce Boudreau (Anaheim Ducks), Paul MacLean (Ottawa Senators), Joel Quenneville (Chicago Blackhawks)
Who will win: Paul MacLean
Who should win: Paul MacLean
Who got the shaft: Mike Babcock
Explain yourself: Just happy to be nominated last year, Brandon Prust’s favourite “fat, bug-eyed walrus” produced one glorious doppelganger, countless quotables, and 25 victories with a pesky, injury-ravaged team. Babcock’s banged-up roster kept the Red Wings’ playoff streak alive — and upset the Anaheim Ducks — despite losing his rock, Hall of Fame defenceman Nicklas Lidstrom, to retirement.
Awarded to: Player who best exemplifies perseverance, sportsmanship and dedication to hockey
Nominees: Sidney Crosby (Pittsburgh Penguins), Josh Harding (Minnesota Wild), Adam McQuaid (Boston Bruins)
Who will win: Josh Harding
Who should win: Josh Harding
Who got the shaft: Gregory Campbell, Chris Campoli
Explain yourself: Harding, fighting tooth and nail with MS, posted an inspiring shutout in his season debut, then stepped in last-minute admirably for injured starter Niklas Backstrom in the playoffs. Postseason efforts don’t count, however, which is why Gregory “60 seconds on a broken leg” Campbell was overlooked. And Campoli dedicated himself during the lockout, fighting hard for the union, only to lose a job come puck drop.
Awarded to: Player who exemplifies great leadership qualities to his team, on and off the ice during the regular season
Who decides: Mark Messier, based on suggestions by fans, clubs and NHL personnel
Nominees: Daniel Alfredsson (Ottawa Senators), Dustin Brown (Los Angeles Kings), Jonathan Toews (Chicago Blackhawks)
Who will win: Daniel Alfredsson
Who should win: Daniel Alfredsson
Who got the shaft: Henrik Zetterberg
Explain yourself: Alfredsson is so likeable, even Leafs fans and Gatorade bottles are starting to come around. The Sens captain since forever wins because he is the oldest leader here; every season could be his last. Zetterberg took the weight of Lidstrom’s ‘C’, threw the Wings on his back and led by superb play in the crunch.
Awarded to: The best-performing GM
Who decides: The GMs and a panel of NHL executives, print and broadcast media
Nominees: Marc Bergevin (Montreal Canadiens), Bob Murray (Anaheim Ducks), Ray Shero (Pittsburgh Penguins)
Who will win: Marc Bergevin
Who should win: Marc Bergevin
Who got the shaft: Peter Chiarelli
Explain yourself: Murray wisely locked up franchise forwards Corey Perry and Ryan Getzlaf before an open-market cash-in, and Shero won the Iginla sweepstakes, acquired the Dallas Stars’ captain for a bargain and got decent value for Jordan Staal, who was destined to leave anyway. But tasked with overhauling an East-worst Habs outfit, Bergevin hired the right coach in Michel Therrien and convinced stud RFA D-man P.K. Subban to sign for less than he’s worth.
Maurice Richard Trophy: Washington Capitals wing Alex Ovechkin’s late-season surge earned him the award for most goals scored in the regular season (32).
Art Ross Trophy: Martin St. Louis, a repeat Art Ross winner, takes the award for most points scored (60). St. Louis is both the oldest (37) and shortest (5’8″ soaking wet) man to win the NHL scoring-race chalice.
William M. Jennings Trophy: Corey Crawford (1.94 GAA) and Ray Emery (1.94 GAA) posted identical goals-against averages to capture the William Jennings. The Blackhawks’ dynamic duo led the league almost wire-to-wire, surrendering just 102 goals total during the regular season.
King Clancy Memorial Trophy: Presented to the player who has made the greatest humanitarian contribution to hockey. No player has ever won it more than once, so count out Alfredsson, Shane Doan, Saku Koivu, Vincent Lecavalier and Jarome Iginla. If your awards pool goes this deep, bet on a veteran. Teemu Selanne or Martin Brodeur, perhaps?
NHL Foundation Player Award: Given to the player “who applies the core values of hockey — commitment, perseverance and teamwork — to enrich the lives of people in his community,” this slab of hardware is decided by NHL commissioner Gary Bettman and executives Pat Flatley, Bernadette Mansur and Kenneth Martin, Jr. Eerily similar to the King Clancy, the Foundation Award is about doing good. Traditionally, the winner gets to donate $25,000 — or the value of Raffi Torres’ next suspension — to a charity of his choice. Recent winners include Mike Fisher, Dustin Brown and Ryan Miller.
(No polls necessary; everyone consider for these is a winner!)