I’ll be honest as a fan I am not happy with the NHL season. This NHL season, in my eyes, has been a disappointment. It started with the collapse of the team that resides in the city I live in (Toronto Maple Leafs). Then to make things worse, only one Canadian team ended up making it to the playoffs. However around this time, in the end of the NHL regular season, the team at Fan-I Sports like to focus on the positives, like the NHL awards. Predicting who is going to win what is so fun because with this league every year there is differing opinions on who should get what. So, here are my predictions for who is going to win each reward. This should not be confused with who I think should win the award but who I think will actually get it.
P.S the NHL names their awards after people then neglect to say what the award actually is and expect every sports fan to know which one is which. If you don’t know which one is which read the bracket beside them.
VEZINA TROPHY (Goalie of the Year):
I would like for the Winner to be Carey Price because to me, he is the embodiment of a clutch goalie, however, I know that this year it is got to go to Tuukka Rask of the Boston Bruins. He has been out of his mind this year. Statically, Josh Harding of the Minnesota Wild was better, but Harding benefits from a defensive wall system in place over at Minnesota
Winner: Tuukka Rask
NORRIS TROPHY (Defensemen of the Year):
Sadly, P.K Subban is not going to be defending this title despite my clamoring for fans to give Subban the credit that he deserves but he didn't do enough this year to be that good. This year a lot of people are really saying Duncan Keith should win the award but I really do feel like Eric Karlsson should win it despite the +/- ratio. Duncan Keith isn’t the only top defensemen on his team while Eric Karlsson is and he brings more than Duncan Keith can offensively while still being ridiculous defensively. However we live in a stats world and due to team record and +/- ratio (which I look at very seriously in any sport) I say Keith statistically deserves it more than Karlsson and will win.
Winner: Duncan Keith
CALDER TROPHY (Rookie of the Year):
There were a lot of rookies that were good this season. I even witnessed Morgan Reilly of the Toronto Maple Leafs do his thing but this award, in my mind, should go to Nathan MacKinnon of the Colorado Avalanche. Yes, Patrick Roy did a great job with that team but Nathan MacKinnon in his rookie level has displayed a level of effort and has handled the expectations of being a 1st overall draft pick amazingly well.
Winner: Nathan MacKinnon
SELKE TROPHY (The Forward who plays the best defense):
Here is where opinions really differ. This is such a hard award to judge by, so I’m going on a limb on this one. I haven’t seen many NHL games featuring this person but from the 15-20 games I’ve seen of him, David Backes is probably the best defensive forward I’ve seen play this season. I am not going to pretend like I see many St. Louis Blues games from Toronto but I know solid defense when I see it. No disrespect to the leadership and grit that Johnathan Toews and Anze Kopitar bring, but Backes is gritty, tough, hits well and still makes what I call “good stick plays”. In other words his hockey stick always seems to be intercepting a pass and still brings toughness all the while hitting the heck out of people.
Winner: David Backes
LADY BYNG AWARD (Sportsmanship award):
I have no idea who should win this award because it is hard to track what every player is doing to be a “Good Sport” so I won’t guess this one.
Winner: I have no clue.
JACK ADAMS AWARD (Coach of the Year):
Let me take this opportunity to write something. I am not a John Cooper hater but it is not like he doesn’t have talent to work with in Tampa Bay. I know everyone likes to point out the Stamkos injury and how he was able to get through it but Cooper still had Martin St. Louis, Victor Headmen, and Ben Bishop, as well as a talented rookie in Ondrej Palat to his disposal. I am not saying John Cooper is not a good coach, in fact in takes a good coach not to screw up talent, I'm just saying there are better coaches in the NHL that are better. With that being said, I would give this award to Mike Babcock for basically leading Detroit’s “Minor league” hockey team to the playoffs but I knew Detroit would be there because like I’ve said a lot “I’m not worried about Detroit” . Therefore the award should go to Patrick Roy for turning around a struggling Colorado franchise this season.
Winner: Patrick Roy
HART TROPHY (MVP):
Without question this award should go to Sidney Crosby. He is easily the best hockey player on planet earth today. Honorable mention goes to Steven Stamkos, he might have caught up statistically to Crosby if he did not have that devastating leg injury on Christmas. However Sidney Crosby is an exceptional player and probably would have won anyway.
Those who I think will win the awards. If you have any of your picks and would like to share with us or the rest of the fan-I following, contact us on twitter, Facebook or Instagram.