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Will Stuart Skinner win the Oilers’ first Calder Trophy?

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Photo credit:Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports
Jason Gregor
9 months ago
It is rare for a fan base to have complete agreement on a topic. It’s almost impossible because each fan values players, coaches, managers, mascots, jerseys, and anything to do with their team differently. It might not be unanimous, but one topic I’ve noticed Oilersnation is very close to wholeheartedly agreeing on is the perceived Calder Trophy snub. The organization has won a major award 68 times, but never the Calder.
The Oilers have won five Stanley Cups.
They have seven Clarence Campbell Bowls.
They won the Presidents’ Trophy twice.
And they’ve won numerous individual awards.
Edmonton has a total of 13 Art Ross Trophies. Wayne Gretzky won seven, Connor McDavid five, and Leon Draisaitl one.
An Oiler has won the Hart Trophy 12 times. Gretzky (8), McDavid (2, soon to be 3), Draisaitl, and Mark Messier (1).
The organization has 10 Ted Lindsay Trophies. Gretzky (5), McDavid (3, soon to be 4), Messier and Draisaitl (1).
They’ve won the Conn Smythe Trophy four times. Gretzky (2), Messier and Bill Ranford (1).
Three players have won the King Clancy Memorial Trophy. Kevin Lowe, Ethan Moreau, and Andrew Ference.
Paul Coffey won the Norris trophy in 1985 and 1986.
Gretzky (1980) and Jari Kurri (1985) won the Lady Byng.
Grant Fuhr won the Vezina in 1988.
Glen Sather won the Jack Adams in 1986.
McDavid won the Rocket Richard in 2023.
They’ve even won some now-defunct trophies. They won the Plus-Minus trophy four times with Gretzky (3) and Charlie Huddy (1). Lowe won the NHL’s Man of the Year Award in 1990. It was for sportsmanship and involvement with charitable groups.

ELUSIVE CALDER…

Edmonton has had five finalists. Voting has either been for the top-three, or more recently for the top-five spots.
Fuhr finished 3rd in 1982 with 5-16-14 votes (1st, 2nd, 3rd). Dale Hawerchuk won (46-7-7) and Barry Pederson was second (7-14-16). Hawerchuk tallied 45 goals and 103 points.
Jason Arnott finished 2nd in 1994 with 15-18-8. He lost to Martin Brodeur (21-16-11). Mikael Renberg and Alexei Yashin each had nine 1st place votes.
Ryan Nugent-Hopkins finished 2nd in 2012 with 26-83-22-16-2 behind Gabriel Landeskog (116-29-4-0-0). They each had 52 points, but RNH missed 20 games. This is the one I can understand irritating Oilers fans. It was like the voters punished RNH for separating his shoulder.
McDavid finished 3rd in 2016 with 25-45-48-15-8 behind Artemi Panarin (88-41-16-3-2) and Shayne Gostisbehere (33-53-42-12-8). McDavid only played 45 games, due to an injury, otherwise he likely would have won going away. Missing 45% of the season is difficult to overlook when Panarin tallied 77 points. If he had produced as little as Landeskog did in 2012, then I could see the argument for McDavid.
Will Skinner end the drought in 2023?
I don’t see an obvious favourite between Matt Beniers, Owen Power, and Skinner. It is difficult to compare them because they are a forward, defenceman, and goaltender respectively. I actually think Skinner and Power had the more impressive seasons.
Beniers had a good season, but if you compare his offensive output (24-33-57) to other rookies since 2016 when Panarin won, he ranks 13th in points.
Meanwhile, Power averaged 23:48/game, the most of any rookie player since Drew Doughty averaged 23:50 in 2009. Power was +17 at 5×5 (88-71). The Sabres were outscored 133-109 when he wasn’t on the ice.
Skinner won 29 games, the second most of a rookie goalie since 2016 when Matt Murray won 32. He had a solid .914Sv% and 2.75 GAA and set a franchise record for most wins by a rookie goalie.
I don’t see a clear-cut winner. Many had Beniers as the leader at the midway point of the season when he scored 16-18-34 in his first 40 games, however, he tallied 8-15-23 in his final 40 games.
It is hard to predict how the voting will go. I’m fascinated to see the results.

HART CHATTER...

May 6, 2023; Las Vegas, Nevada, USA; Edmonton Oilers center Connor McDavid (97) celebrates after scoring a goal against the Vegas Golden Knights during the first period of game two of the second round of the 2023 Stanley Cup Playoffs at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports
While the Calder is up in the air, the Hart Trophy has an obvious winner. McDavid will win his third Hart trophy. The only intrigue is will he become the first two-time unanimous winner in NHL history. Gretzky won unanimously in 1982 gaining all 63 first place votes. McDavid garnered all 100 votes in 2021. Others have been around 98%, so in the big picture of life it won’t change much if McDavid is unanimous or not, but his regular season production makes it possible.
We will find out Monday night at the awards in Nashville. It will be the first time I’ll be at the NHL awards ceremony. Since I’ve been covering the NHL, the players awards and draft have never been in the same city, and having both in Nashville makes it much more convenient to cover both.

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