Here are all the links from around the hockey world and my ballot from last night’s NHL Awards now that the results are in. I can confirm I was not the one person to give Torey Krug a Norris Trophy vote despite what the unwashed masses in Ottawa choose to believe. Also, I did not throw a first-place vote to Brad Marchand in Hart Trophy voting. Still, I think it’s a safe bet that the same person did both.
Anyway, on to my ballot with a brief explanation for each of the votes:
1. Connor McDavid
2. Sidney Crosby
3. Brent Burns
4. Patrick Kane
5. Brad Marchand
McDavid was the obvious MVP as he helped lift the Oilers into the playoffs, and was the only guy in the NHL to hit 100 points this past season. In hindsight, I should have included Sergei Bobrovsky and omitted Patrick Kane from the list and always have a difficult time determining when a season from a goalie is or isn’t Hart-worthy. But I certainly feel good about throwing a fifth-place vote to Marchand after a phenomenal season for the B’s.
1. Brent Burns
2. Erik Karlsson
3. Victor Hedman
4. Duncan Keith
5. Zach Werenski
Burns had such a transcendent offensive season for the Sharks and I like the fact that he can play a physical game as well as roaming around creating offense. That being said, it would have been an easy first place vote for Karlsson if the playoffs were included along with the regular season. The fifth place vote was the only one I really had to think hard and long about but felt like Werenski really played a big role in the Columbus turnaround this season.
1. Auston Matthews
2. Zach Werenski
3. Patrik Laine
4. William Nylander
5. Matt Murray
Plenty of good rookies to choose from in the voting, but it was fairly easy to choose Matthews as a dominant force for a Leafs team on the upswing. 40 goals as a 19-year-old rookie is a ridiculous amount of goals.
1. Oscar Klefbom
2. Johnny Gaudreau
3. Brandon Saad
4. Marian Hossa
5. Marcus Johansson
My votes are usually all over the map for Lady Byng, but Klefbom and Gaudreau were both solid picks as the top two. Gaudreau finished with 60 plus points and just four penalty minutes, and that’s pretty tough to do.
All Bergeron all the way and there was a wide margin between him and second place. The fact he managed to play at a Selke level while also being hurt the entire season just adds to the toughness factor for the best two-way player I’ve covered in my time in Boston.
On to the links...
*FOH (Friend of Haggs) Chris Johnston has the Golden Knights ready to take their first step toward contending after building their team, and their coffers, at the expansion draft.
*We’ll see how history views this trade a year or two down the line, but the Islanders definitely got a lot better with Jordan Eberle joining John Tavares in Brooklyn next season.
*Fresh off his Norris Trophy win, bearded Brent Burns was mistaken for a swashbuckling pirate on a visit to Disney.
*Reilly Smith is on the move again, this time to the Vegas Golden Knights, and the word on the street was that Boston inquired about bringing him back if the Panthers were willing to take Jimmy Hayes back. Don’t think it was much of a conversation. I guess there really is no trade-backesies in the NHL.
*PHT writer Cam Tucker has the Nashville Predators pretty busted up after losing James Neal in the expansion draft.
*For something completely different: Ron Howard is taking over directing the standalone Han Solo movie, and I’ve got to say that I don’t hate this.