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2012 NHL Awards

Blues' Hitchcock wins Jack Adams Award

Wednesday, 06.20.2012 / 11:27 PM / 2012 NHL Awards

Dan Rosen - NHL.com Senior Writer

LAS VEGAS -- He's a Civil War buff, a history buff, and now a first-time winner of the Jack Adams Award at 60 years old.

However, Ken Hitchcock got to the stage at the Encore Theater on Wednesday to collect his first coach of the year award in a NHL career that dates back 17 years because he forgot about history and his age to instead dedicated himself to becoming more in tune and current with today's youth.

Without intensely studying the ins and outs and intricacies of Generation Y, Hitchcock isn't so sure he would have been able to relate to the St. Louis Blues, a team that has an average age of 27.2. If he couldn't relate, there's no way the Blues would have gone 43-15-11 under Hitchcock after he took over for Davis Payne on Nov. 6.

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Campbell honored to take home Lady Byng

Wednesday, 06.20.2012 / 11:20 PM / 2012 NHL Awards

Shawn P. Roarke - NHL.com Senior Managing Editor

LAS VEGAS -- There's a simple reason why Brian Campbell only took three minor penalties this season.

"I hate to sit in the penalty box," Campbell told NHL.com, punctuating that simple statement with a hearty chuckle.

Brian Campbell
Defense - FLA
GOALS: 1 | ASST: 4 | PTS: 5
SOG: 9 | +/-: -2
There is also a more complex reason why Campbell took just three penalties despite playing more per game -- 26:53 -- than any other player in the League during the 2011-12 regular season. It has to do with the way that Campbell can sense what is going to happen on the ice before it even unfolds.

"Skating is one of my stronger points and I think I have gotten better over the years with my positioning," he said Wednesday after winning the Lady Byng Award for gentlemanly play at the NHL Awards. "I find I don't need to take those penalties."

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Players take to Twitter to salute award winners

Wednesday, 06.20.2012 / 10:41 PM / 2012 NHL Awards

NHL.com

NHL players turned to Twitter to tip their helmets to the winners at Wednesday night's NHL Awards show in Las Vegas.

Among those saluting teammates who won awards was New York Rangers goaltender Martin Biron, who backs up the newest Vezina Trophy winner, Henrik Lundqvist.

Here is a collection of Tweets from around the League:

Martin Biron, New York Rangers (@martybiron43)
Congrats @HLundqvist30 on the Vezina. From Europe to the Winter Classic, down the stretch and playoffs, the guy was a brick wall.
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Lundqvist finally wins Vezina Trophy

Wednesday, 06.20.2012 / 10:40 PM / 2012 NHL Awards

Shawn P. Roarke - NHL.com Senior Managing Editor

LAS VEGAS -- Henrik Lundqvist couldn't pull his eyes away from the Vezina Trophy.

Henrik Lundqvist
Goalie - NYR
RECORD: 10-10-3
GAA: 1.82 | SVP: 0.931
The Rangers goalie, sitting in a ball room at the Wynn Hotel just minutes after being awarded the Vezina during Wednesday's NHL Awards show, kept staring in wonder at the trophy as he discussed the accomplishment of winning it after three unsuccessful attempts earlier in his career.

"There are a couple of my heroes on here," Lundqvist said, his eyes again darting to the trophy sitting to the left of him on the table. "Patrick [Roy], Dominik [Hasek] and Marty [Brodeur] have had great careers, so it feels good. It's been a goal for me."

Lundqvist was nominated for the award three years running, starting in 2006. Yet each June, another goalie took home the trophy, leaving Lundqvist more determined to lay claim to the award that recognizes the League's best goalie, according to the NHL's 30 general managers.

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Malkin wins Hart, Lindsay at 2012 NHL Awards

Wednesday, 06.20.2012 / 9:13 PM / 2012 NHL Awards

Dan Rosen - NHL.com Senior Writer

LAS VEGAS -- Just a few years ago, Evgeni Malkin would have shuddered at the thought of going on stage to accept something as big as the Hart Trophy, an honor that requires the recipient to give a speech in front of a large live audience in front of him and an even larger audience watching at home.

Evgeni Malkin
Center - PIT
GOALS: 3 | ASST: 5 | PTS: 8
SOG: 26 | +/-: -1
Malkin didn't trust his English. He wasn't at all confident in presenting himself as anything but a Russian hockey player who spoke only Russian.

Wednesday night at Encore Theater in the Wynn Las Vegas, Malkin stepped out of his old shoes and into his new ones. Not only is he now a Hart Trophy winner for the first time in his career, but he accepted the trophy at the 2012 NHL Awards show with a confident speech given in his still somewhat limited, yet vastly improved English.

He showed poise. He followed all the rules by thanking those who mean the most to him, including former teammate and landlord Sergei Gonchar. Then, after leaving the theater, Malkin stood on the podium, his hardware -- including the Ted Lindsay Award and the Art Ross Trophy situated in front of him -- and confidently answered questions from the media for nearly 10 minutes.

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Giroux fan-selected EA Sports NHL 13 cover athlete

Wednesday, 06.20.2012 / 8:06 PM / 2012 NHL Awards

NHL.com

REDWOOD CITY, Calif. -- Electronic Arts Inc. and NHL.com announced today during the live broadcast of the 2012 NHL Awards that Philadelphia Flyers forward Claude Giroux has been selected by fans as the EA SPORTS NHL 13 cover athlete.

Giroux beat Nashville Predators goalie Pekka Rinne in the final of the first ever EA SPORTS NHL Cover Vote campaign by less than a one percent margin, in what was the closest matchup of the entire campaign. NHL 13 will be available on September 11, 2012 in North America and September 14, 2012 in Europe.

"The support fans have given me throughout the campaign has been unbelievable," said Flyers forward Claude Giroux. "I am very excited to be on the cover of NHL 13 and I want to thank everyone who campaigned and voted for me -- especially my teammates, the Flyers organization, and of course all the NHL fans who voted and tweeted."
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Pacioretty ready to take next step

Tuesday, 06.19.2012 / 11:04 PM / 2012 NHL Awards

Shawn P. Roarke - NHL.com Senior Managing Editor

LAS VEGAS -- Max Pacioretty can't believe the success he has encountered in the past season.

In his first 123 NHL games, he managed just 20 goals and saw his career almost ended by an injury caused by a check by Boston's Zdeno Chara.

Max Pacioretty
Left Wing - MTL
Goals: - | Assists: - | Pts: -
Shots: - | +/-: -
But in 2011-12, Pacioretty scored 33 goals -- and added 32 assists -- to put up a career season and stand out on a Montreal team that struggled all season.

"I've had so much success in the past year and a half and it all came pretty much out of nowhere," Pacioretty told NHL.com on Tuesday during media day for the NHL Awards.

While Pacioretty was angry that the Canadiens limped home in last place in the Eastern Conference -- enduring a season to forget that cost the jobs of the general manager and two different coaches -- the failures allowed Pacioretty to play in the World Championships.

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Hart finalists have nothing but respect for one another

Tuesday, 06.19.2012 / 10:48 PM / 2012 NHL Awards

Dan Rosen - NHL.com Senior Writer

LAS VEGAS -- Steven Stamkos' eyes lit up as he talked about Evgeni Malkin's incredible combination of skill and power. Likewise, Malkin got animated as he spoke about Stamkos' ability to get better year after year.

As for Henrik Lundqvist -- well, it's easy to tell how much respect he has for both of the forwards he's up against for the Hart Trophy at the 2012 NHL Awards show Wednesday at the Wynn Las Vegas.

The feeling of respect among the three finalists for the League's biggest individual award was on full display Tuesday during the media availability with the award finalists.

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Loss to Kings was leadership lesson for Backes

Tuesday, 06.19.2012 / 10:25 PM / 2012 NHL Awards

Shawn P. Roarke - NHL.com Senior Managing Editor

LAS VEGAS -- The Stanley Cup Playoffs are a crucible that can make or break players.

It appears that the 2012 edition of the most difficult postseason tournament in sports has made David Backes, the St. Louis Blues' captain.

David Backes
Center - STL
GOALS: 2 | ASST: 2 | PTS: 4
SOG: 12 | +/-: -5
Yes, the Blues were on the wrong end of a four-game sweep by the Los Angeles Kings in the second round, but it appears that the loss was the final lesson in Backes' maturation into a leader and not just a captain.

"We got to stare at what it takes to win a Stanley Cup right in the face," Backes said Tuesday from Media Day for the NHL Awards. "We got to battle that for four games -- and really, the difference as to what was in our locker room and in their locker room as far as players on paper, it really wasn’t that different.

"But what they had in mentality and as far as a buy-in from all their guys -- that is where the difference was. How do we get there? That's probably the million-dollar question, but I think once you see that other level -- and so many guys on our team have seen it now -- we will have way more guys on board and it will come more readily."

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Senators, Karlsson agree on 7-year contract extension

Tuesday, 06.19.2012 / 8:11 PM / 2012 NHL Awards

Dan Rosen - NHL.com Senior Writer

LAS VEGAS -- Ottawa defenseman Erik Karlsson pulled off a feat on Tuesday that most men can only dream of.

The 22-year-old Norris Trophy finalist signed a seven-year contract worth a reported $45.5 million while in Las Vegas -- a city that is basically made of money.

Karlsson, though, isn't planning a spending or gambling spree. He's getting married in 2 1/2 weeks to his longtime girlfriend Therese.
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