The terms "finalists" and "nominees" for the annual NHL Awards are something of a misnomer. There is neither a process of elimination nor one of establishing a group of three worthy candidates from which a winner is selected.
Instead, there is a single ballot conducted, with most awards being voted upon by members of the Professional Hockey Writers Association (PHWA). There is a descending points system for a first-place through fifth-place vote, and the top three point-getters are then announced as "finalists" although the winner has already been determined. The voting totals are then released after the awards are presented.
COUTURIER FINISHES SECOND
A career-best offensive season for Flyers' top-line center Sean Couturier helped him earn a first-time finalist spot for the Selke Trophy, awarded to the player selected as the NHL's top defensive forward. He was up against Boston Bruins center Patrice Bergeron and LA Kings center Anze Kopitar; both previous winners of the Award.
Couturier finished 2nd in the balloting with 976 points including 37 first-place votes, 47 for second place and 37 for third. Kopitar won the award for the second time, receiving 1,152 points. Bergeron placed third with 817 points. Flyers captain Claude Giroux placed tied for 16th on the strength of one third-place vote. Last year, Couturier placed 47th in the balloting with two points (a pair of 5th-place votes).
GIROUX BARELY EDGED OUT OF BEING A FINALIST
A Hart Trophy finalist (3rd place in the ballot) in 2013-14, Flyers captain Claude Giroux placed 4th the in the voting this season for the National Hockey League's most valuable player. He received 546 points, including 10 first-place votes, 10 second place votes and 44 third-place votes. First-time winner Taylor Hall received 1,264 points, while top runner-up Nathan MacKinnon received 1,194 and third-place finisher Anze Kopitar narrowly edge out Giroux with 551 points.
Giroux also finished ninth in the balloting for the Lady Byng Trophy (NHL's most gentlemanly player) with 123 points including six for first-place. Vegas Golden Knights sniper William Karlsson was this year's winner.
GHOST AND NORRIS RESULTS
Flyers defenseman Shayne Gostisbehere finished 10th in the Norris balloting, receiving 31 voting points (four votes for third-place, two for fourth, and five for fifth). He was four points behind St. Louis Blues defenseman Alex Pietrangelo. Tampa Bay Lightning standout Victor Hedman won the award with 1,385 points.
SIMMONDS, HAKSTOL & HEXTALL
Flyers right winger Wayne Simmonds was a nominee for the Mark Messier NHL Leadership Award. This honor is chosen a bit differently that the other trophies. The Messier Award is selected by the NHL naming three nominees and then Messier himself selects the winner. The Messier Award honors an individual player who leads by positive example through on-ice performance, motivation of team members and a dedication to community activities and charitable causes. Vegas defenseman Deryk Engelland won the 2018 award. Winnipeg Jets forward Blake Wheeler was the other nominee.
Dave Hakstol finished 14th in the Jack Adams Award balloting for NHL coach of the year, with two third-place votes. Vegas Golden Knights coach Gerard Gallant won the award. The Adams is selected via vote by the National Hockey League Broadcasters Association at the end of the regular season.
Ron Hextall received one first-place vote and finished 8th for the General Manager of the Year Award. Vegas GM George McPhee won the award. The award is selected by a 41-person panel, including the 31 NHL general managers, five NHL executives and five media members.