When the NHL decided to move their annual awards show to Las Vegas the idea was to create more buzz and publicity for the event.
I completely forgot that he show is tonight. Mission accomplished.
Still, it is a big day and there are few awards that aren’t going to be decided by a runaway vote. The three awards that are determined at the end of the season are the Richard (Corey Perry), Art Ross (Daniel Sedin) and the Jennings (Roberto Luongo). Here are my picks for the remaining awards.
Daniel Sedin. This is an easy one. Last year Henrik took home the hardware and it is safe to say the league’s top scorer will win this one. Sure, Corey Perry and Martin St. Louis were good, but neither were MVP good.
Shea Weber. Maybe surprising considering Zdeno Chara won the Cup. But Chara wasn’t even the best defenseman on his team at times this year. That honor went to Dennis Sidenberg. Weber was unreal for the Preds and was a major reason they made it out of the first round if the playoffs.
Tim Thomas. Another landslide win here. Had the Bruins lost in the first round I think Pekka Rinne wins this award. He was stellar all year and carried his team in the playoffs. Still, Thomas’ huge postseason locked up the award.
Logan Couture. This will be one of the closest votes on the evening. I take Couture because he did so much for his team all season and continued that into the playoffs. Jeff Skinner didn’t even play in the playoffs this year. Case closed.
Alain Vigneault. Of the three nominees I think he has the best credentials. Presidents Trophy, Stanley Cup Final. The other two don’t really bring the same thing to the table.
Ryan Kesler. Ever since the Olympics he has been on the fast track to superstardom. His defensive play doesn’t highlight his game. It defines it.
LADY BYNG TROPHY
Martin St. Louis. Does this really matter? Yes and no. It matters because it isn’t a major award. I’ll take St. Louis since I think this vote comes down to whoever gets the long straw.
TED LINDSAY AWARD
Daniel Sedin. I think Sedin wins this one due to a lack of options. Given a recount I bet Tim Thomas would win this one. Yet, Sedin is the best option here and that is why he will collect the trophy.
Ray Emery. Based on the severity of the injury he suffered and the level of play he returned at, he was a perfect candidate for this award. I say he wins this one in a runaway.
No Sabres on the ballot isn’t necessarily a bad thing considering Ryan Miller and Tyler Myers did not bounce back well from their award-winning seasons in 2010-11.