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Trophy Tracker

Masterton Trophy tracker: Booth is back

Friday, 02.25.2011 / 9:00 AM / Trophy Tracker

Mike G. Morreale - NHL.com Staff Writer

If there's one thing hockey players are known for, it's perseverance and dedication to their sport. Philadelphia forward Ian Laperriere exemplified that spirit when he returned to the lineup only 32 days after blocking a shot and suffering a brain contusion during last year's Stanley Cup Playoffs.
 
Although Laperriere would play in only 13 postseason games last season, he became an inspiring storyline for fans and players in Philadelphia.
 
One of the NHL's special postseason awards, the Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy, doesn't go to the player who scored the most goals, recorded the most points or was judged to be the most indispensable to his team. Instead, it honors the player who has overcome adversity -- on and/or off the ice -- and in doing so displays that perseverance and dedication to the game.

Thomas continues to be the clear Vezina choice

Friday, 02.25.2011 / 9:00 AM / Trophy Tracker

NHL.com

One of the hallmarks of winning any sort of individual hardware in the NHL is usually performing consistently throughout the season.

When it comes to awarding the Vezina Trophy, the choice seems fairly obvious. There are plenty of goaltenders who have put together strong runs of several weeks or even a month or two at a time. Only one of them, however, has been at or near the top in all the important statistical categories since the opening month of the season.

Holmgren leads the pack for GMs

Friday, 02.25.2011 / 9:00 AM / Trophy Tracker

Brian Compton - NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor

"We're happy where we are, but it's a long year and a tough League. Our goal is to get into the playoffs. Last year, we snuck in (and showed) anything can happen." -- Flyers GM Paul Holmgren

This is the time of season when a top-line general manager figures out how to turn a team that is almost there into a true championship contender.

Whether it's adding a missing piece via a trade, calling up a young player who is ready to contribute at the NHL level or simply motivating his team by letting it know he believes everything needed to compete for the Stanley Cup is already there, the cream of the crop in terms of executives are often determined this time of year.

Lady Byng Trophy tracker: St. Louis once again

Friday, 02.25.2011 / 9:00 AM / Trophy Tracker

John Kreiser - NHL.com Columnist

After finishing as the runner-up for three consecutive seasons, Tampa Bay Lightning forward Martin St. Louis finally won the Lady Byng Trophy -- awarded for "skillful and gentlemanly play" -- last June.

Don't be surprised if he goes home with the same hardware again this spring.

"When you get in your 30s, you have to prove you can still play," the 35-year-old former undrafted free agent said.

Here's how the Lady Byng race is shaping up with about 20 games left in the regular season: 

Selke: Malhotra's numbers prove true worth

Friday, 02.25.2011 / 9:00 AM / Trophy Tracker

Dave Lozo - NHL.com Staff Writer

"The Frank J. Selke Trophy is an annual award given to the forward who best excels in the defensive aspects of the game."

Pretty straightforward wording to determine who wins the award, right?

The only problem for those who have to pick the player who deserves the trophy is deciding what constitutes good defense. Is it takeaways? Is it plus-minus? Can't we just add the two numbers and give the award to that guy?

There might not be a more subjective award that's handed out by the NHL.

For me, there are three very important components to how good a player is defensively:

Devils' turnaround makes Lemaire the Adams pick

Friday, 02.25.2011 / 9:00 AM / Trophy Tracker

Brian Compton - NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor

"Guys, they don't panic. Last year compared to this year, it's pretty much the same group, but I know at certain times last year we panicked, and I don't see this now. It's the players that take charge, just the way they're talking on the bench. I feel they know what to do."
-- Devils coach Jacques Lemaire

At the midpoint of this season, Tampa Bay's Guy Boucher seemed a safe bet to take home the award for the League's best coach in the 2010-11 season. Despite numerous changes on Florida's gulf coast in personnel, ownership and the front office, Boucher had guided the young Lightning to an impressive first-half charge in a division typically ruled by the Washington Capitals.

A lot can change in 20 games, however.

While the Lightning are still bulling their way towards a division title, a midseason replacement has turned the race for this season's Jack Adams Trophy on its head by engineering what could end up one of the great comebacks ever, and it's in the Garden State, scene of that astonishing turn of events, that we find NHL.com's pick for the Adams at the season's three-quarter pole.

Despite position change, Byfuglien is a star

Sunday, 01.09.2011 / 6:44 PM / Trophy Tracker

John Manasso - NHL.com Correspondent

ATLANTA Kris Versteeg was recalling a game about four years ago when he and Dustin Byfuglien were toiling for the Norfolk Admirals, the Chicago Blackhawks' affiliate in the American Hockey League at the time.

Byfuglien was bouncing up and down between Blackhawks and the Admirals and with the way the schedule worked out, Byfuglien ended up playing his fifth game in five days back with Norfolk.

"Still he had three breakaways shorthanded as a (defenseman)," said Versteeg, now in Toronto. "It was a display that I don't know if I will ever see again in pro hockey.

"But you know he has it. He has what it takes to do it."

Masterton Trophy tracker: Burns back in form

Sunday, 01.09.2011 / 9:00 AM / Trophy Tracker

NHL.com

If there's one thing hockey players are known for, it's perseverance and dedication to their sport. Chicago defenseman Duncan Keith embodied that grit and toughness during last season's run to the Stanley Cup when he infamously took a puck to the mouth, knocking out numerous teeth, but returned to play later in the game.

One of the NHL's more special postseason awards, the Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy, doesn't go to the player who scored the most goals, recorded the most points or was judged to be the most indispensable to his team. Instead, it honors the player who has overcome adversity -- on and/or off the ice -- and in doing so displays that perseverance and dedication to the game.

Lidstrom is on pace to add Lady Byng to mantle

Saturday, 01.08.2011 / 9:00 AM / Trophy Tracker

John Kreiser - NHL.com Columnist

The Lady Byng Trophy is given for "skillful and gentlemanly play" and has historically been the property of skilled (and often small) forwards. No defenseman has won it since Detroit's Red Kelly in 1954. Another Red Wing, Nicklas Lidstrom, was on track to be the second at the quarter pole -- and as the season reaches the halfway point, he's still there.

At age 40, Lidstrom is at the top of his game – no mean feat when your resume includes six Norris Trophies and four Stanley Cups. Through the Wings' first 40 games, Lidstrom has 11 goals and 39 points -- he's third in goals and second in points among defensemen. He's also taken just five minor penalties in those 40 games. Lidstrom is averaging more than 23-1/2 minutes a game -- a hefty total for anyone, let alone someone who turns 41 this spring.

Malhotra making a play for the Selke Award

Saturday, 01.08.2011 / 9:00 AM / Trophy Tracker

NHL.com

While the common perception would be that the job of an NHL forward is to put the puck in the opponent's net, it's also important the guys up front be defensively sound as well. While it might not lead to as many endorsement deals or big-money contracts as scoring 40-plus goals a season, a solid two-way forward is worth his weight in gold as far as his coach is concerned.

The Frank J. Selke Trophy is awarded annually "to the forward who best excels in the defensive aspects of the game." Pavel Datsyuk of the Detroit Red Wings has laid claim to it each of the last three seasons, and he's once again looking like a solid candidate. However, he has his challengers who also understood that keeping the red light behind their own goaltender off can be just as important as turning on the one at the other end.
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