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2011 NHL Awards

Gillis would trade GM award for Cup

Thursday, 06.23.2011 / 12:13 AM / 2011 NHL Awards

John Kreiser - NHL.com Columnist

It's not that Mike Gillis was unhappy about being named the NHL's top general manager at the NHL Awards show. It's just that he'd gladly have traded the trophy he received Wednesday night for the one he and the Vancouver Canucks team he built didn't get a week earlier.

"It's great, I guess," Gillis said. "It's nice, I appreciate it but I would trade it in anytime for a Stanley Cup."

Gillis' Canucks came up one win short in their bid for the first Stanley Cup in the franchise's 41-year history -- the Canucks lost 4-0 in Game 7 to the Boston Bruins. But even that disappointment couldn't erase the accomplishments of the greatest season in franchise history.

Perry, Thomas lead honorees at NHL Awards

Wednesday, 06.22.2011 / 11:48 PM / 2011 NHL Awards

Shawn P. Roarke - NHL.com Senior Managing Editor

LAS VEGAS -- The best was saved for last at Wednesday night's 2011 NHL Awards at the Pearl Theater in the Palms Casino.

In a night filled with star power and feel-good moments, Anaheim forward Corey Perry stole the show with his surprise victory against Vancouver's Daniel Sedin in the Hart Trophy race. The Hart was the last of the trophies announced during the two-hour ceremony, hosted by comedian Jay Mohr and featuring a bevy of entertainment and hockey luminaries as presenters.

After he was announced as the winner, Perry showed the most emotion of the night, flirting with tears on more than one occasion during a short, but heartfelt, acceptance speech.

"You didn't know what to expect coming in and all of the sudden you hear your name and it's -- it surprised me," said Perry, who also won the Maurice "Rocket" Richard Trophy as the League's top goal-scorer.

Bylsma salutes his players after winning Adams

Wednesday, 06.22.2011 / 11:37 PM / 2011 NHL Awards

John Kreiser - NHL.com Columnist

Dan Bylsma didn't lead the Pittsburgh Penguins to the Stanley Cup this spring, as he did two years ago. But in many ways his performance behind the bench this season was even better than it was during the Penguins' run to the 2009 Cup.

Bylsma led the injury-ravaged Penguins to a 106-point season and a playoff berth. His work in getting the Pens to the playoffs despite playing large portions of the season without stars Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin was recognized on Wednesday when he won the Jack Adams Award as the NHL's coach of the year.

The Penguins finished 49-25-8 -- the second-most victories and points in franchise history. They did it despite missing key contributor Jordan Staal during the first half of the season, then losing Crosby to a season-ending concussion in early January and Malkin to knee surgery not long afterwards.

Lidstrom back on top with seventh Norris Trophy

Wednesday, 06.22.2011 / 11:12 PM / 2011 NHL Awards

Shawn P. Roarke - NHL.com Senior Managing Editor

LAS VEGAS -- After a two-year hiatus, Nick Lidstrom is once again on top.

The illustrious defenseman won the Norris Trophy on Wednesday night at the NHL Awards show at the Pearl Theater in the Palms Casino. It is his seventh Norris Trophy, but his first in three years -- and perhaps the most unlikely of his Hall of Fame-worthy career.

"I was a  little bit surprised," Lidstrom told NHL.com. "I thought it was going to be a tight race. I thought both (Shea) Weber and (Zdeno) Chara had great seasons too.  Coming here, I wasn't sure at all that I was going to win it.

But Lidstrom did win it – even if it was by the closest of margins.

Thomas joins Bernie Parent in rare triple-trophy win

Wednesday, 06.22.2011 / 10:43 PM / 2011 NHL Awards

Shawn P. Roarke - NHL.com Senior Managing Editor

LAS VEGAS – Tim Thomas has no plans to rest on his laurels.

After authoring one of the most amazing goaltending stories in the history of the game – wrapped up Wednesday night with his winning of the Vezina Trophy as the League's best goalie this season – Thomas is already looking forward to a sequel.

He has little interest in contemplating his accomplishments this season, a list that includes setting the mark for best save percentage in a season in NHL history, leading the League in goals-against average this season, winning the Conn Smythe Trophy as most valuable player in the Stanley Cup Playoffs, earning the Vezina Trophy on Wednesday night and, most importantly, claiming the first Stanley Cup of his career exactly one week ago with a shutout in Game 7 against Vancouver.

"I'm still playing and the way I feel, I still have many good years ahead of me," said the 37-year-old Thomas. "The goal is always to get better. I think that should be everybody's approach in life in whatever they choose to do. I'd like to see what I can do to raise the bar higher."

Skinner highlights NHL All-Rookie team

Wednesday, 06.22.2011 / 10:35 PM / 2011 NHL Awards


Calder Trophy winner Jeff Skinner of the Carolina Hurricanes and fellow finalists Logan Couture and Michael Grabner highlighted the 2010-11 NHL All-Rookie Team, announced Wednesday night.

Skinner, Carolina's top pick in last year's Entry Draft, led all first-year players with 63 points, including 31 goals. Grabner, of the New York Islanders, was tops among first-year players with 34 goals, while Couture scored 32 goals to help the San Jose Sharks win the Pacific Division title.

Also named to the All-Rookie Team are goaltender Corey Crawford of the Chicago Blackhawks and defensemen John Carlson of the Washington Capitals and P.K. Subban of the Montreal Canadiens.

Sedins lead postseason All-Star teams

Wednesday, 06.22.2011 / 10:33 PM / 2011 NHL Awards


Vancouver's Sedin twins, Daniel and Henrik, were voted to the NHL's First All-Star Team, becoming the first brothers in 41 years to be honored together.

The last brothers to be named First-Team All-Star in the same season were Phil and Tony Esposito, representing the Boston Bruins and Chicago Blackhawks, respectively, in 1969-70.

Joining Vancouver's dynamic duo are Detroit defenseman Nicklas Lidstrom, who garnered his 10th career berth on the First Team. Lidstrom, who was presented with his seventh Norris Trophy at Wednesday's NHL Awards show, joins Ray Bourque (13) and Doug Harvey (10) as the only defensemen in League history with 10 or more First Team selections.

Skinner credits teammates for Calder win

Wednesday, 06.22.2011 / 10:00 PM / 2011 NHL Awards

Bob Condor - NHL.com Editor-in-Chief

LAS VEGAS -- For a kid who turned 19 just last month, Jeff Skinner acted his age Wednesday night for perhaps the first time this season. 

"You think about what you want to say if you win," Skinner was telling the assembled media backstage Wednesday after winning the Calder Memorial Trophy as the NHL's outstanding rookie in 2010-11. "It was overwhelming ... Then I got a little nervous (during his acceptance speech), the audience was laughing when I was making a joke ... and I thought maybe I should have practiced my speech a little bit more."

No matter, Skinner softened the Pearl Theater crowd with his smile, having already won over thousands of teenage girls who voted on Seventeen.com for which of three John Varvatos designer suits he should wear at the NHL Awards. Scoring 31 goals and leading all rookies with 63 points boosted Skinner's profile, along with being the only first-year draftee among the three finalists -- San Jose's Logan Couture and the New York Islanders' Michael Grabner were the others.

Eberle's goal voted best of the year on Facebook

Wednesday, 06.22.2011 / 9:08 PM / 2011 NHL Awards


Edmonton rookie Jordan Eberle wasted no time making an impact -- his first goal, which came in his NHL debut against Calgary, was voted as the goal of the year by NHL fans on Facebook, as presented at the Awards show Wednesday night in Las Vegas.

Eberle raced down right wing, used a toe drag to maneuver past the defense and beat Miikka Kiprusoff for a spectacular shorthanded goal.

Eberle, the 22nd pick in the 2008 Entry Draft, finished his first NHL season with 18 goals -- none as spectacular as his first one.

Kesler takes home Selke for first time

Wednesday, 06.22.2011 / 8:30 PM / 2011 NHL Awards

Bob Condor - NHL.com Editor-in-Chief

LAS VEGAS -- On a night brimming with big stars, it can be easy to overlook the most vital luminaries. Backstage discussing his Frank J. Selke Award for best defensive forward this past NHL season, Ryan Kesler didn't miss the brightest reason for his honor.

"I guess all those years of my Dad yelling 'backcheck' paid off," said Kesler, who is clearly still struggling with the Game 7 loss in the Stanley Cup Final one week ago tonight.

Kesler's father was on hand for the award, which Kesler won for the first time in his third straight year as a finalist. The elder Kesler makes regular trips to Vancouver and other NHL cities to see his son play.

"He always taught me that defense came first," explained Kesler. "I went with it ... I came into this League as a third-line checking center and turned into this."
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