The 2012 NHL Awards were handed out in Las Vegas Wednesday night. The two-hour show didn’t have a host, but rather a variety of celebrity presenters, including Matthew Perry, Joshua Jackson and Vince Vaughn. The musical performances by Nickleback were, well, typical of Nickleback.
The most entertaining part of the show may have been Will Arnett’s various Brendan Shanahan impersonations. Although the most memorable moment belongs to Henrik Lundqvist, whose slip of the tongue will likely garner thousands of views on YouTube.
With that in mind, here are the 2012 NHL Award winners.
Hart Trophy: Evgeni Malkin
No surprise here, Malkin scored 50 goals and 109 points in 75 games. He also had a plus-18 rating, nine game winning goals and averaged over 21 minutes in ice time.
The 25-year-old has now won the Calder, Art Ross, Conn Smythe, Hart, Ted Lindsay and numerous other awards and team championships as a member of the Pittsburgh Penguins and Team Russia.
Ted Lindsay Award: Evgeni Malkin
Malkin became the 14th player to win the Ted Lindsay Award (formerly the Lester B. Pearson) and the Hart Trophy in the same season. Malkin led the Penguins to the second-best record in the Eastern Conference. He won the Art Ross Trophy in the process, scoring 109 points in only 75 games.
Vezina Trophy: Henrik Lundqvist
Lundqvist was the obvious choice. He played a crucial role in the New York Rangers' regular season success, racking up a 39-18-5 record. Lundqvist had a 1.97 goals-against average, .930 save percentage and eight shutouts.
Norris Trophy: Erik Karlsson
The show opened with the presentation of the Norris Trophy to the Senators' Erik Karlsson. It was perhaps the most highly debated award, with many supporting Karlsson because of his offensive output, while others argued he wasn’t good enough in his own zone.
Expect the debate to rage on in the coming years, as Karlsson will likely continue to have offensive success.
Calder Trophy: Gabriel Landeskog
Although it seemed like a tight race, Landeskog's win may still may come as a surprise to many fans. The Edmonton Oilers’ Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and the Avalanche’s Landeskog each registered 52 points this season, however, Nugent-Hopkins played in 20 less games.
Henrique put up 51 points in 74 games and was a solid all-round player, notching four shorthanded goals. Perhaps Landeskog’s physical play, five game winning goals and plus-20 rating, were factors that swayed the vote.
Jack Adams Award: Ken Hitchcock
John Tortorella and Paul McLean had great seasons, but Hitchcock stands alone for his impressive work in St. Louis. Hitchcock turned the Blues into a defensive juggernaut, boasting the NHL’s best goals-against average and winning the Central division.
GM of the Year Award: Doug Armstrong
Armstrong did great work in St. Louis, but what about the Florida Panthers’ Dale Tallon? Under Tallon, the Panthers made the playoffs for the first time since 2000 and won the Southeast division. If there was any 'upset' or 'snub'' this year, this was it.
Other award winners include Brian Campbell, who became the first defenseman to win the Lady Byng Trophy in over 50 years. The Bruins’ Patrice Bergeron took the Selke Trophy; preventing Pavel Datsyuk from winning the award for a fourth time. The Masterton Trophy went to Max Pacioretty, who overcame injuries sustained in a brutal collision with Zdeno Chara and a stanchion.
The King Clancy Trophy went to the Senators' Daniel Alfredsson, while Mike Fischer of the Predators took home the Foundation Award. The Mark Messier Leadership Award went to Coyotes’ captain Shane Doan, who has spent his entire career with the franchise.
The 2012 NHL Awards Show was a success, even with the absence of two of the leagues biggest stars, Sidney Crosby and Alex Ovechkin. The majority of fans will likely be satisfied with the 2012 award winners.
The offseason continues with the NHL entry draft on Friday in Pittsburgh, followed by the opening of the free agency market on July 1st.
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