For the first time in a long time, I’ll actually be watching the NHL awards ceremony come June 21st. Not just because the new expansion draft will take place at the same time, but also because the Oilers actually have a few (Connor) players nominated for some awards. Let’s take a look at what Oiler fans can look forward to come the ceremony.
Alright, fine, Connor McDavid is the only player to be nominated for some awards. He’s already got the Art Ross under his belt, but he’s also up for the Hart Trophy against Bobrovsky and Crosby, as well as the Ted Lindsay Award against Crosby and Burns. In my opinion, Connor has the Hart locked up. He crushed the scoring race and was one of the main reasons the Oilers were as successful as they were. Although the team proved in the playoffs that we didn’t need Connor to score, his play was as significant as ever during the regular season.
The Ted Lindsay Award, voted for the most outstanding player in the NHL also looks promising for Connor. I think it’s safe to say he proved himself to be one of the top two players in the NHL this year, if not number one in front of Crosby. An inkling in me thinks that three awards for Connor this year would be too good to be true, so for that reason I think someone else could take this one. But I wouldn’t count it out.
Peter Chiarelli and Todd McLellan are also up for the GM of the Year Award and the Jack Adams, respectively. These are pretty expected nominees as Chia made arguably the biggest trade of the summer with Taylor Hall. He also added free agents Milan Lucic, Matt Benning, Kris Russell, and Drake Caggiula, all of whom had huge impacts on the team’s success this year. Todd McLellan also coached the team to its first playoff birth in ten years, so his nomination isn’t surprising either. Will they win them? My guess is no.
Todd is up against Mike Babcock and John Tortorella for the Jack Adams and I feel like GMs will vote in Babcock for his first ever Jack Adams Award. Besides, do we really want Todd to win this trophy? Just look at what happened to the last few coaches the year after they took home the Jack Adams. Peter Chiarelli’s up against Pierre Dorion of the Senators and David Poile of the Predators who were also involved in some big headline trades this past summer. If Chia doesn’t win this one, my bet is Poile for the Preds.
I’m looking forward to seeing the vote tally, as Cam Talbot HAD to have been close to a Vezina nomination, and I would have liked to see Oscar Klefbom get nominated for the Lady Byng. Playing between 21-23 minutes per night, Klef only tallied six penalty minutes all year long. Maybe the NHL should mix in a defenceman for the nominations once in a while, no?
Do you think Connor will take home all three awards? Do you think Todd and Pete will win in their fields? Let me know in the comments!