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Lightning up for four awards Wednesday Night in Las Vegas

by Staff Writer / Tampa Bay Lightning

Tampa Bay Lightning players and executives are nominated for four awards as the NHL prepares to host the 2011 NHL Awards Show on Wednesday at the Pearl Concert Theater inside the Palms Hotel in Las Vegas (7 p.m., Versus). Martin St. Louis is nominated for both the Hart and Lady Byng Trophies while Steven Stamkos is up for the Ted Lindsay Award and Steve Yzerman is a finalist for NHL General Manager of the Year.

The Hart Memorial Trophy is awarded annually to the player who is most valuable to his team. St. Louis, who took home the trophy in 2004, is the only player in franchise history to be nominated for the award. St. Louis put up MVP-like numbers, ranking second in the NHL in points with 99 and setting a franchise record with 68 assists. More-importantly, he helped lead the Lightning back into the playoffs for the first time since 2007 and the Eastern Conference Finals for the first time since 2004. The Bolts also posted the second-best record in franchise history, going 46-25-11 during the regular season. The other nominees up for the award are Corey Perry of the Anaheim Ducks and Daniel Sedin of the Vancouver Canucks.

This is St. Louis’ sixth nomination for the Lady Byng Memorial Trophy, given annually to the player that best demonstrates sportsmanship and gentlemanly conduct. He has been a finalist in each of the previous four seasons, taking home the award for the first time in 2010 after being the runner-up to Pavel Datsyuk in 2009, 2008 and 2007. St. Louis was also nominated for the Lady Byng in 2004, when he finished third behind then-teammate Brad Richards. In 2010-11, St. Louis tied a career low with 12 penalty minutes. The other nominees are Loui Eriksson of the Dallas Stars and Nicklas Lidstrom of the Detroit Red Wings.

Stamkos is vying to become the second player in Lightning history (St. Louis, 2004) to bring home the Ted Lindsay Award, given to the most outstanding player as selected by the National Hockey League Player’s Association. Stamkos finished 2010-11 second in the NHL with 45 goals and has more than any other player during the previous two seasons with 96. He was also second in power play goals with 17 and fifth in points with 91. The other nominees are Perry and Daniel Sedin.

Yzerman is the first Lightning general manager to be nominated for the NHL General Manager of the Year Award after its debut at last year’s awards show. Voting on the award are all 30 NHL general managers, select NHL executives as well as print and broadcast media. Yzerman guided the Bolts to a 23-point improvement from the previous season as well as their first playoff berth in three seasons and their first trip to the conference finals in five.

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