LAS VEGAS — Carey Price has plenty of shutouts in his hockey career. At the NHL awards, he picked up his first hat trick.
The Montreal Canadiens star captured the Hart Trophy as the most valuable player, Vezina Trophy as the best goaltender and Ted Lindsay Award as the most outstanding player as voted by his peers. Price became the first goaltender since Dominik Hasek in 1998 to win all three.
Counting the William H. Jennings Trophy for the best goals-against average, Price is the first goalie in NHL history to sweep all four awards.
"Everything has just fallen into place for some reason," Price said Wednesday night at the MGM Grand. "The team has been playing well. Things are just awesome at home. My family is doing great. It’s just been such a blessing."
Price won the Hart, as voted by the Professional Hockey Writers’ Association; the Lindsay, as voted by players and the Vezina, as voted by general managers. Allowing a league-low 189 goals earned him a share of the Jennings with Corey Crawford of the Chicago Blackhawks.
Price won the Hart, Vezina and Lindsay in runaway fashion. Alex Ovechkin, John Tavares, Pekka Rinne, Devan Dubnyk and Jamie Benn were all competing for second.
"I’m very humbled by it," Price said Wednesday night at the MGM Grand. "It’s something that I’ll never forget, that’s for sure."
Price thanked his wife and teammates and offered a message of encouragement to First Nations children in his three acceptance speeches. By the end he ran out of things to say.
"You try and prepare something to say and it never really comes out the way you had in mind," said Price, whose 44 wins, 1.96 goals-against average and .933 save percentage led the NHL. "I’m just truly grateful to be here."
Price was the big winner on an impressive night for Canada’s teams and Canadian-born stars.
Ottawa Senators captain Erik Karlsson won his second Norris Trophy as the league’s best defenceman, finishing ahead of the Canadiens’ P.K. Subban and Drew Doughty of the Los Angeles Kings. Karlsson credited the Senators’ run to the playoffs for the award, but his improved all-around play — even since winning in 2013 — was also a factor.
"I think I’m a better player than the first time I won it," Karlsson said. "I made improvements, but I think there is still a ways to go."
Teammate Mark Stone finished second to Florida Panthers defenceman Aaron Ekblad in Calder Trophy voting as rookie of the year. Calgary Flames forward Johnny Gaudreau was third.
Calgary coach Bob Hartley was the easy choice by broadcasters for the Jack Adams Award by guiding the upstart Flames to the playoffs amid almost no pre-season expectations. Hartley said the coach of the year honour was a reflection of his players’ success.
"As a coach you just have to put the players on the ice, set a plan and go from there," Hartley said. "They’re the performers. Apart from my wife, I don’t know anyone who comes to the Saddledome to watch me."
One of the players fans enjoyed watching this season, Jiri Hudler, won the Lady Byng Trophy for sportsmanship and gentlemanly conduct combined with high performance. He had 14 penalty minutes while finishing eighth in points, becoming the first Czech-born player to get the Lady Byng.
"I couldn’t believe it because (Jaromir Jagr) had a lot of points, but I talked to him today and he said he was always a fighter," Hudler said. "Then, he said he was hooking a lot so he had a lot of penalty minutes. But, I’m happy, real happy."
Two-time Canadian Olympic gold medallist Patrice Bergeron of the Boston Bruins won the Selke Trophy as the best defensive forward for the third time in four years. Bergeron is just one short of Habs Hall of Famer Bob Gainey, who won the award four times.
The general manager of the 2010 and 2014 Canadian Olympic teams, Steve Yzerman, got his recognition Wednesday night for his work in building the Eastern Conference-champion Tampa Bay Lightning.
But this was Price’s night. As he stood with replica trophies on the table in front of him, the 27-year-old who backstopped Canada to Olympic gold in Sochi and the Canadiens to first in the Atlantic Division had his mind on the big trophy he hasn’t won: the Stanley Cup.
"That’s my ultimate goal," Price said. "I’d trade all four of these in for that one."