NHL Awards explained
Someone asked me to go through each Award given at the NHL awards and explain how they’re given and what they’re for so instead of answering an ask I decided to make a separate post.
All these awards are based on the regular season only and votes are cast before the playoffs even begin.
Hart Memorial Trophy
This is the leading lady of the NHL Awards. The Hart Memorial Trophy is in essence the MVP award. It was first awarded in 1924 and is voted on by the Hockey Writers Association. Each member of this association votes for a first, second, and third place winner and they are all added up with first place votes weighing more then third and so on. This association votes on most of the awards. It officialy goes to the player most valuable to their team and does not necessarily go to the best player in the league, although most of the time it does.
Lady Byng Memorial Trophy
This trophy basically goes to the most gentlemanly player in the league. Imagine playing a sport know for being so rude you award players who are nice. It was donated to the lead by Lady Byng of Vimy in the 1920′s. Anze Kopitar is the current holder of the award, and like a lot of awards the winner is chosen by the Hockey Writers Association. A lot of the time it goes to a player with the highest playing ability matched with the lowest penalty box score. Usually theyre a top 6 forward on a team and some only go to the penalty box once or twice all season.
This is another big ticket, the Vezina trophy is the MVP but for goalies. Goalies can still win the Hart, Carey Price for instance one both in a single year. The trophy is named after a goaltender for the montreal canadiens who played for the club from 1910-1925. It was first awarded in 1927 and the current holder is Braden Holtby of the Washington Capitals. It’s generally used as a good measure to how good a goaltender is, which may sound weird to clarify but a lot of these awards don’t measure what they say they do according to critics. However, the Vezina is pretty straight forward.
Calder Memorial Trophy
the Calder is another headliner at the NHL Awards because it’s the MVP for rookies. It is named after Frank Calder who was the first ever president for the NHL. The Oldest ever player to win the calder was 31 years old, as he played in the KHL for most of the career before playing his rookie season in the NHL. After that they changed the rules so only rookie players under 26 as of September 15th of that year, could win the calder. This is also voted on by the Hockey Writers Association.
Art Ross Trophy
This one is different because this is not a trophy that is voted on it’s earned. The Art Ross Trophy goes to the player with the most points at the end of the season. It was donated to the league by Art Ross who was a GM and coach for the Boston Bruins until the mid 50′s.
James Norris Memorial Trophy
this is one that I personally don’t really like. The Norris trophy is supposed to be a sort of MVP for defensemen but it doesn’t really measure good defensemen it measures defensemen who score a lot. A lot of people would tell you that a defenders job is not to be a forward. It was named after James Norris who was the owner of the red wings from the 30′s to 1952. Bobby Orr won the award 8 straight seasons. The winner is chosen by the Hockey Writers Association.
Bill Masterton Trophy
This trophy is awarded to the player who shows the most perseverance and dedication to hockey. This trophy tends to start a lot of controversy because people like to think it’s the award that goes to the player who was closer to dying. They obviously do not see how terrible it is to award a player for almost dying. But that’s another conversation. It was named after Bill Masterton, a North Stars player who died after he sustained an injury in a hockey game. The trophy has been around since the 60′s. The winner is chosen by the Hockey Writers Association.
Ted Lindsay Award
This is a unique one, and it’s usually paired with the Hart trophy but not always. Basically it’s another MVP award except the big difference is that this award is voted on by the NHLPA, basically the players vote on the MVP. It was called the Lester B Pearson award but in 2010 they renamed it after Red Wings great Ted Lindsay.
Jack Adams Award
The Jack Adams is another award I don’t like much. It’s awarded to the best coach at the end of the regular season. But it usually ends up being the coach that over-preformed or a coach of a team that over-preformed. For me it’s usually the “wow we didn’t think your team would be this good” award. Usually the team that wins it baffles us so much that it could only be the coach. This though means coaches like Quenneville only won it once,a nd he was with the Blues at the time. Other coaches like Alain Vigneault have never won it after leading his team to the President’s trophy and now rehauling the New York Rangers. instead it goes to guys like John Tortorella, who was being paid not to coach the canucks for a bit. And Dan Bylsma who was fired from the team he won it with because of how poorly the team was preforming. My favorite was Patrick Roy, who won it in 2014 and 2 years later quit because he was doing nothing. Basically, in my opinion, it’s like another Vezina trophy except the goalie gets no credit. The only time it really semed to actually go to the best coach recently was this past winner was Barry Trotz.
Frank J Selke Trophy
I like to call this trophy the Bergy because he’s won it 3 times and has been nominated almost every other year he’s been eligible for it. This award, like most of them, is voted on by the Hockey Writers Association. It goes to the best two-way forward. Basically a high scoring player who is also defensively inclined. Players usually up for this award are like Bergeron, Toews, Kopitar, last year there was also Ryan Kesler ect. Basically the guys who aren’t high scorers but big names anyway on their team. It’s been awarded since about 1977
William M Jennings Trophy
This is another award that is based on stats and is therefore earned differently than the other ones. This trophy goes to the best goalie tandem, or the goalies of the team with the best goal for. As in if your team lets in the least amount of goals during a season both goalies will receive this award. It’s a little goofy in my opinion because goal differential is a team stat but i like the idea of multiple goalie awards.
King Clancy Memorial Trophy
This award is awarded to the player who exemplifies leadership on and off the ice and has made a humanitarian contribution to their community. This usually goes to players who have some sort of leadership place on their team whether with an A or a C but who also is known for charity and programs for their community. It’s one of the two Charity awards. It is voted on by the Hockey Writers Association.
NHL Foundation Player Award
This award is the other charity award. Basically this award goes to the player who applies the “values of hockey to enrich their community.” The winner of this award gets a 25,000 check donated to a charity of their choice from the NHL.
Maurice “Rocket” Richard Trophy
Soon their going to change this one to the Alex Ovechkin trophy, just kidding kind of not really. Anyway this one is another one based on stats. the Rocket Richard Trophy is awarded to the highest goal scorer that year. This is just based on goals and not on points total like the Art Ross is. Rocket Richard was the first ever NHL player to hit 50 goals in a single season and he’s an iconic Montreal Canadiens player. The Habs donated this award to the league in 1998 and it was first awarded in 1999 to Teemu Selanne. And I joked a little at the beginning but Ovechkin has a record 6 Rockey Richard trophies
Mark Messier Leadership Award
This is a unique award because the winner for this award is chosen by Mark Messier himself, who also awards it personally to the winner on stage. The winner of the Messier Leadership Award is usually a captain who best shows leadership skills on and off the ice for his team.
The NHL General Manager Award
This one is pretty self explanatory. IT is awarded to the best general manager of the year. It has been awarded since 2010 and has not been given to someone more than once. the winner is chosen by a panel of all the general manages, a few executives and a few media members.