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Trophy Tracker

Top pick MacKinnon of Avalanche deserves Calder

Tuesday, 04.08.2014 / 1:30 AM / Trophy Tracker

Jon Lane - NHL.com Staff Writer

With the 2013-14 regular season rapidly coming to a close, NHL.com looks at some of its biggest storylines and award contenders.

During a close race for the Calder Trophy, Colorado Avalanche rookie Nathan MacKinnon often found himself mentioned in the same breath as Wayne Gretzky, even breaking a record held by "The Great One" for 34 years along the way.

Combine that with MacKinnon's standing at or near the top of most major scoring categories and his role in Colorado's stunning turnaround from Western Conference basement dwellers to legitimate Stanley Cup contenders, and the Avalanche forward is NHL.com's pick as the League's top rookie.

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Avalanche's Roy deserves Jack Adams Award

Monday, 04.07.2014 / 3:00 AM / Trophy Tracker

Brian Compton - NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor

With the 2013-14 regular season rapidly coming to a close, NHL.com looks at some of its biggest storylines and award contenders.

After finishing with the second-fewest points in the NHL in 2012-13, the Colorado Avalanche experienced major changes in the front office and, ultimately, behind the bench last summer.

Two of the greatest players in the history of the franchise were placed in roles that would help change the culture. Joe Sakic, the former captain and all-time leading scorer, was named executive vice president of hockey operations last May.

Less than two weeks later, Sakic named Patrick Roy, the former goaltender who led them to two Stanley Cup championships, as the sixth coach in Avalanche history. He replaced Joe Sacco after the Avalanche missed the Stanley Cup Playoffs for a third straight season.

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Lightning's Cooper deserving of Jack Adams Award

Sunday, 03.02.2014 / 3:00 AM / Trophy Tracker

Brian Compton - NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor

With three-quarters of the 2013-14 season behind us, NHL.com attempts to project winners of the major individual awards. Today we predict the winner of the Jack Adams Award, an annual award presented by the National Hockey League Broadcasters' Association to the NHL coach judged to have contributed the most to his team's success.

Nearly four months have passed since superstar forward Steven Stamkos broke his tibia in a game against the Boston Bruins on Nov. 11, yet the Tampa Bay Lightning remain very much in the mix for a spot in the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

Led by Jon Cooper, who is in the midst of his first full season as Tampa Bay's coach, the Lightning entered the Olympic break with 33 victories, good for second place in the Atlantic Division.

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Lightning's Bishop leads contenders for Vezina

Saturday, 03.01.2014 / 3:00 AM / Trophy Tracker

Corey Masisak - NHL.com Staff Writer

Ben Bishop
Goalie - TBL
RECORD: 28-9-4
GAA: 2.00 | SVP: 0.932
With three-quarters of the 2013-14 season complete, NHL.com looks at some of the biggest storylines and award contenders. Today we predict the winner of the Vezina Trophy, an annual award voted by general managers and presented to the NHL's best goaltender.

Ben Bishop is trying to follow in the skate tracks of Sergei Bobrovsky.

Bobrovsky came out of nowhere to win the Vezina Trophy in 2012-13, his first season with the Columbus Blue Jackets, after being traded by the Philadelphia Flyers the previous summer. Bishop, who was stuck in a goaltending logjam with the Ottawa Senators before being traded to Tampa Bay late last season, could be authoring a similar story in 2013-14.

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Blackhawks' Keith leads race for Norris Trophy

Friday, 02.28.2014 / 3:00 AM / Trophy Tracker

Dan Rosen - NHL.com Senior Writer

With three-quarters of the 2013-14 season complete, NHL.com looks at some of the biggest storylines and award contenders. Today we predict the winner of the James Norris Memorial Trophy, an annual award presented by the Professional Hockey Writers Association to the NHL's best defenseman.

Duncan Keith's skating, awareness and puck movement have been as good this season as they were throughout the 2009-10 season. The Chicago Blackhawks defenseman was good enough to win the Norris Trophy then, just as he is now.

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Avalanche's MacKinnon leads race for Calder

Thursday, 02.27.2014 / 3:00 AM / Trophy Tracker

Jon Lane - NHL.com Staff Writer

With three-quarters of the 2013-14 season complete, NHL.com looks at some of the biggest storylines and award contenders.

The number of precocious newcomers to the NHL seems to increase annually, and that's made handicapping the Calder Trophy race for 2013-14 more difficult than predicting exactas.

But there's something about Nathan MacKinnon's makeup. Life in the League immediately became routine for the 18-year-old Colorado Avalanche rookie, who was taken No. 1 in a fertile 2013 NHL Draft.

"First time I met him I realized this is going to be a piece of cake for him on his own," Avalanche captain Gabriel Landeskog said. "Off the ice you can't tell he's a rookie. He's certainly one of the guys on the ice. He's gotten more and more comfortable as the season has gone along and gotten better and better and has been one our best players over the past couple of months."

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Penguins' Crosby remains Hart Trophy favorite

Wednesday, 02.26.2014 / 3:00 AM / Trophy Tracker

Adam Kimelman - NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor

With three-quarters of the 2013-14 season complete, NHL.com looks at some of the biggest storylines and award contenders. 

It hasn't seemed to matter who his linemates are, or what kind of teammates he's been on the ice with. All Pittsburgh Penguins center Sidney Crosby has done is produce and help his team win games.

And with a daily injury report that has at times read like an all-star game roster, and a Penguins roster that at times has featured as many American Hockey League players as NHL, Crosby has shown this season why he's the best -- and most valuable player -- in the League.

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Lightning's Cooper is Adams leader at halfway mark

Friday, 01.10.2014 / 3:00 AM / Trophy Tracker

Brian Compton - NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor

NHL.com's midseason edition of Trophy Trackers attempts to project winners of the major individual awards. Today we predict the winner of the Jack Adams Award, an annual award presented by the National Hockey League Broadcasters' Association to the NHL coach judged to have contributed the most to his team's success.

When superstar forward Steven Stamkos broke his tibia in a game against the Boston Bruins on Nov. 11, one had to think the Tampa Bay Lightning were in a whole heap of trouble.

After all, Stamkos had 14 goals in 16 games, helping Tampa Bay race out to an impressive 12-4-0 start after finishing in fourth place in the Southeast Division last season with 18 wins in 48 games.

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Rask over Bishop for midseason Vezina Trophy

Thursday, 01.09.2014 / 3:00 AM / Trophy Tracker

Corey Masisak - NHL.com Staff Writer

NHL.com's midseason edition of Trophy Trackers attempts to project winners of the major individual awards. Today we predict the winner of the Vezina Trophy, an annual award given to the goalkeeper adjudged to be the best at this position as voted by the general managers of all NHL clubs.

The goaltending position can be a volatile one in any season, but as NHL.com Senior Writer Dan Rosen wrote, the 2013-14 campaign has been a particularly precarious one for "No. 1" goalies.

Not only have backups been pressed into duty or earned more playing time, goaltending depth beyond the two NHL guys has been critical in several cities. Standout work from breakout stars, combined with inconsistent play from more established ones, has brought new names into the conversation for the Vezina Trophy.

The goalie who won the award in 2013 (Sergei Bobrovsky) is tied for 28th in save percentage among qualified goalies and has missed time with an injury. The goalie who won the Conn Smythe Trophy in 2012 (Jonathan Quick) is also tied for 28th in save percentage and has missed significant time with injury.

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Blackhawks' Keith leading Norris race at midseason

Wednesday, 01.08.2014 / 3:00 AM / Trophy Tracker

Dan Rosen - NHL.com Senior Writer

NHL.com's midseason edition of Trophy Trackers attempts to project winners of the major individual awards. Today we predict the winner of the Norris Trophy, an annual award given to the defense player who demonstrates throughout the season the greatest all-round ability in the position.

Duncan Keith won the Norris Trophy four years ago. His coach thinks he's playing better this season.

"I think he's defended better," Chicago Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville said. "I think his gap has been better. I think offensively, his play selection or his puck patience, he's added another level or element to it. I just think consistency is the best way to measure defensemen and that's what we're seeing."

Keith entered play Tuesday leading all defensemen with 39 assists and 42 points. He is on pace for 71 assists and 76 points, which would top his career-highs of 55 and 69 from the 2009-10 season, when he won the Norris Trophy.

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