It's unclear when the NHL Awards show — originally scheduled for June 17 — will be held, but with the league formally ending the regular season as part of its new Return To Play plan, we can start thinking about who deserves to win the league's regular season awards.
Earlier this spring, we poked around the internet to see how the Flyers would fare in awards races if the NHL went straight to the postseason.
Here's what we found:
Flyers fans should feel pretty good about The Athletic's awards choices, which it published Monday.
In what will become a recurring theme — as NBC Sports Philadelphia's Jordan Hall predicted it would back in January — Sean Couturier wins the publication's Selke Trophy in a runaway contest. Here's what they had to say about Coots' 2019-20 season to date:
Sean Couturier’s case for the Selke did not rest on reputation. He had another fantastic two-way season by the numbers to give him the edge over Anthony Cirelli and Patrice Bergeron, who has won the award four times since 2012.
But that's not all: the site also handed the Jack Adams to Alain Vigneault in his first season with the Flyers. Here's its rationale for tapping Vigneault:
When the NHL paused its season, the Flyers were inarguably the hottest team in hockey. With nine wins in their last 10 games, the Flyers had stormed up the Metropolitan Division standings and were embarking on an unlikely late-season charge for divisional supremacy. A big reason for that? Coach Alain Vigneault.
You can read right here why NBC Sports Philadelphia's Brooke Destra thinks Vigneault for Jack Adams is the right call.
Over at NESN — which, yes, is a Boston-area site — the Couturier love fest continues. He's the only Flyer who gets a nomination, but he also wins the Selke in its awards, published Saturday, making him two for two.
Here's its explanation:
Couturier has been a defensive menace for the Flyers this season, and his league-leading face-off percentage out of qualified forwards certainly doesn’t hurt. Look at pretty much any metric that matters to you: shots against, high danger chances against, the eye test — it doesn’t matter. He’s right in the thick of the conversation every time and deserves to win this season.
Detroit Free Press
The Free Press handed out its hypothetical NHL Awards, and while the paper didn't have any Flyers winning, it at least nominated two of Philly's finest.
Couturier once again got a nod as a Selke nominee, losing to Boston's Patrice Bergeron, and James van Riemsdyk was named as a Lady Byng nominee, which would be pretty neat recognition for the 30-year-old.
The USA TODAY selections shook things up a bit, in unexpected ways. For one, it somehow ignored the Selke, which is unfortunate for Couturier's sake. But it also added a new Flyers name to the NHL Awards scrum: Carter Hart.
Hart received a nomination for the Vezina in the USA TODAY awards, published last week, losing the award to Tuukka Rask, who will receive no argument after his dominating performance against the Flyers earlier this month.
Vigneault also received his second nod for the Jack Adams, but lost to the Blue Jackets' John Tortorella.
It's possible these awards might look entirely different when they come together, but while we all collectively wait for hockey to return, these results aren't too bad.
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