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Tavares, Martin Up For NHL Awards

by Cory Wright / New York Islanders


Wednesday June 22 at 7 p.m. on NBCSN; red carpet at 5 p.m. on Facebook

John Tavares and Matt Martin are both up for NHL Awards Wednesday night in Las Vegas. Keep in mind, these are different from the very prestigious #IslesAwards, which you should vote for.

John Tavares - Nominated for Mark Messier Leadership Award

Tavares is up for the Mark Messier Leadership Award, given "to the player who exemplifies great leadership qualities to his team, on and off the ice during the regular season." The Islanders' captain is the heartbeat of his team, leading by example with his heart and hustle on every shift. Fittingly, Tavares led the Islanders in goals (33) and points (70) and led them to the second round of the playoffs, scoring the tying and winning goals in Game 6 vs. Florida. Other nominees: Alex Ovechkin, Shea Weber

Matt Martin - Nominated for the NHL Foundation Player Award

Martin is up for the NHL Foundation Player given to the player "who applies the core values of (ice) hockey-commitment, perseverance and teamwork-to enrich the lives of people in his community." Martin's community outreach extends from Brooklyn to the Eastern tip of Long Island and beyond, as he supports four charities/causes through the Matt Martin Foundation. Martin has raised money for the Islanders Children's Foundation, the NYPD Widows and Children's Fund, ACDS and Boomer Esiason's Foundation for Cystic Fibrosis.

Other nominees: Brent Burns, Mark Giordano


Winning either award would be a first for the Islanders' organization, as both awards are relatively new. The most recent Islander to win an NHL Award was Doug Weight, who won the King Clancy Memorial Trophy in 2011 for off-ice leadership and making a humanitarian contribution to his community.

But the Islanders have a proud history at the NHL Awards. An Islander has won the major award for each position at least once, including Al Arbour's Jack Adams Trophy in 1979. Mike Bossy, Bryan Trottier, Denis Potvin and Billy Smith have their names on a host of hardware, including the Hart, Norris, Vezina, and Art Ross Trophies. Michael Peca has the Islanders' only Selke Trophy (best defensive forward), while Ed Westfall (1977) and Mark Fitzpatrick (1992) have their names engraved on the Bill Masterton Trophy for perseverance, sportsmanship and dedication to hockey.

Here are the most decorated Islanders of all time.

Billy Smith: 3-Time NHL Award Winner

There are only two awards given exclusively to goalies, but Billy Smith has won them both. Smith won the team's only Vezina (best goaltender) in 1982 posting a 32-9-4 record and followed it up with a William Jennings Trophy (fewest goals against) the following season. He split the award with backup Roland Melanson, but also took home the 1983 Conn Smythe (playoff MVP) after guiding the Islanders to a sweep of the Edmonton Oilers and a fourth-straight Stanley Cup.

Denis Potvin: 4-Time NHL Award Winner

During the late 1970's, Denis Potvin all but owned the Norris Trophy as the NHL's top defenseman, winning it three times (1976, 78, 79) in a four-year span. Only Bobby Orr (8), Nicklas Lidstrom (7), Doug Harvey (7) and Ray Bourque (5) have more Norris Trophies than the Islanders' captain. Potvin scored 98, 94 and 101 points respectively in those three seasons, ultimately becoming one of three Islanders to score 1,000 points with the club. He was also the first Islander to win the Calder Memorial Trophy (top rookie), taking the award in 1974.

Mike Bossy: 5-Time NHL Award Winner

Mike Bossy won five NHL awards during his 10-year career. Bossy burst onto the scene in 1978, scoring 53 goals en route to the Calder. Bossy is considered the greatest pure goal scorer to ever play the game, but he also did so with class, taking the Lady Byng Memorial Trophy three times (1983, 84, 86). Bossy also won the 1982 Conn Smythe after scoring 27 points (17 goals, 10 assists) in 19 games. Unfortunately for Bossy, the Rocket Richard Trophy (given to the league's top goal scorer) wasn't an official award until the 1998-99 season, or else he would have two more trophies on his mantle.

Bryan Trottier: 5-Time NHL Award Winner

Bryan Trottier has the most varied trophy case of any Islander, winning five different trophies during his Hall-of-Fame career. Trottier - the Islanders all-time leading scorer - won the Art Ross Trophy as the NHL's top scorer in 1979 after netting 134 points (47 goals, 87 assists). For his astounding point totals, he also won the Hart Trophy as league MVP, making him the first Islander to win both major awards. In addition, Trottier won the Calder in 1976, scoring 95 points (32 goals, 63 assists) in his rookie campaign and the Conn Smythe in 1980. His last award came in 1989, when he became the first Islander to win the King Clancy.

Click here for a full list of Islanders' award winners.

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