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Cup champion Wings well represented

by Mike G. Morreale

The Red Wings' Pavel Datsyuk is up for two awards this year, the Selke Trophy and the Lady Byng Memorial Trophy.
Datsyuk's 2007-08 highlights
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TORONTO -- The Detroit Red Wings aren't done yet.

Just eight days after earning their 11th Stanley Cup in franchise history, a few more significant chunks of hardware might be awarded to members of the Stanley Cup champions Thursday night when the NHL honors a season of excellence with the 2008 Awards Show (7 p.m. ET, VERSUS, CBC).

The black-tie event, to be held at the Elgin Theatre in Toronto, will award individuals in 10 categories. Five members of the Red Wings -- forwards Pavel Datsyuk and Henrik Zetterberg, defensemen Nicklas Lidstrom and Chris Chelios and coach Mike Babcock -- have been nominated for awards. Datsyuk, in fact, is up for two -- the Selke Trophy as the League's finest defensive forward and the Lady Byng Memorial as the League's most gentlemanly player.

Additionally, players selected to the All-Star and All-Rookie Teams will also be announced. Players, coaches, presenters and special guests will arrive on the red carpet beginning at 5:45 p.m. ET, followed by the live theatre show at 7 p.m. ET.
Zetterberg, fresh off his Conn Smythe Trophy-winning performance as the most valuable player throughout the Stanley Cup Playoffs, joins Datsyuk for Selke honors. Lidstrom is up for yet another Norris Trophy as top defenseman; Chelios has been nominated for the Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy, given to the player who shows perseverance to hockey, and Babcock is a finalist for the Jack Adams Award as the NHL's best coach.

Here's a closer look at the nominees in each category.

Hart Trophy (NHL's Most Valuable Player) --
Each of the finalists, Washington's Alex Ovechkin, Pittsburgh's Evgeni Malkin and Calgary's Jarome Iginla, truly provided their teams added offensive punch and inspiration throughout the season.

Ovechkin, a first-time Hart nominee, tallied 112 points (65 goals, 47 assists), captured the Art Ross Trophy as NHL scoring leader and Maurice Richard Trophy as the League's top goal scorer.

Malkin, a Hart finalist for the first time, led the Penguins in scoring and finished second in the League overall to Ovechkin with 106 points (47 goals, 59 assists).

Iginla, a Hart Trophy finalist for the third time after finishing second in 2002 and 2004, tallied his second career 50-goal season in the NHL (50 goals, 48 assists) with a career-best 98 points.

Vezina Trophy (NHL's top goaltender) -- This could be the closest race of any of the categories as finalists Martin Brodeur of the New Jersey Devils, Henrik Lundqvist of the New York Rangers and Evgeni Nabokov of the San Jose Sharks are all worthy recipients.

Brodeur posted a 44-27-6 record with a 2.17 goals-against average, .920 save percentage and four shutouts in 2007-08, ranking among League leaders in minutes played (first, 4,635), victories (second) and goals-against average (fifth).
Lundqvist is a Vezina finalist for the third consecutive season, having placed third in 2006 and 2007. He posted a 37-24-10 record with a 2.23 goals-against average and .912 save percentage in 72 games and led all goalies with 10 shutouts.

Nabokov, a Vezina Trophy finalist for the first time, led the NHL in victories (46-21-8) while posting 25 one-goal wins. He ranked second among NHL goaltenders in minutes played (4,561), third in goals-against average (2.14) and tied for third in shutouts (six).

Norris Trophy (NHL's top defenseman) -- Nicklas Lidstrom, who has already earned five Norris Trophies, has been nominated for the award nine times in the past 10 seasons. He helped the Red Wings post the NHL's best defensive record in 2007-08 with a League-low 2.16 goals per game. He is opposed by Calgary's Dion Phaneuf and Boston's Zdeno Chara.
Phaneuf, who was named the cover athlete and spokesman for NHL® 09 by Electronic Arts Inc., led the Flames defense in scoring with a career-high 60 points (17 goals, 43 assists) in 82 games while topping the team in average ice time per game (26:25) and hits (194).

Chara, who as a member of the Ottawa Senators finished second to New Jersey's Scott Niedermayer in 2004, ranked third among NHL players in average ice time per game (26:50) and set career highs for goals (17), assists (34) and points (51) in a season.

Calder Trophy (NHL's top rookie) -- What do the Chicago Blackhawks and Red Wings have in common? Each team has as many as two players up for one individual award. Chicago has two nominees in the running for the Calder, including Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews. The other rookie of the year finalist is Washington's Nicklas Backstrom, who finished second among NHL rookies with 69 points (14 goals, 55 assists) in 82 games, three points behind Kane.

Kane, the first player selected in the 2007 Entry Draft, finished the season as the League's rookie scoring leader and tops on the Blackhawks with 72 points (21 goals, 51 assists) in 82 games.

Despite missing more than a month due to a mid-season knee injury, Toews led all rookies in goals (24), tied for the lead in power-play goals (seven) and ranked third in points (54).

Lady Byng Trophy (NHL's gentlemanly player) -- Pavel Datsyuk, voted the Lady Byng winner in 2006 and 2007, could become the first player in more than 70 years to capture the award three consecutive times. He finished fourth in the NHL scoring race with a career-high 97 points (31 goals, 66 assists) in 82 games, collecting just 20 penalty minutes, and led all NHL players with a plus-41 rating.

First time League trophy finalist, Buffalo's Jason Pominville, is up against Pavel Datsyuk and Martin St. Louis for the Lady Byng Trophy.
Buffalo's Jason Pominville, a first-time League trophy finalist, finished the season with just 20 penalty minutes and a career-high 80 points (27 goals, 53 assists) in 82 games and led the Sabres in assists and a plus-16 rating.

Tampa Bay's Martin St. Louis is a Lady Byng finalist for the third time, having finished runner-up to Datsyuk in last season's balloting and third in 2004. St. Louis (26 PIM) finished second on the Lightning in scoring with 83 points (25 goals, 58 assists) in 82 games.

Frank Selke Trophy (NHL's top defensive-forward) -- While New Jersey's John Madden is a Selke finalist for the fourth time and seeking his second award, Detroit's Pavel Datsyuk and Henrik Zetterberg are first-time finalists for the trophy.

Madden led Devils forwards in shorthanded goals (three), average ice time per game (19:26) and average shorthanded minutes per game (3:35).

Datsyuk led all NHL players in plus-minus with a career-best plus-41 rating, topped all NHL forwards with 144 takeaways and ranked first among Detroit forwards with 42 blocked shots.

Zetterberg led Detroit forwards in average ice time per game (22:04) and ranked second to Datsyuk with a plus-30 rating. He was second on the club to Kris Draper with a 55.0 face-off winning percentage.

Jack Adams Award (NHL's top Coach) -- Mike Babcock posted his third consecutive 50-win season behind the Detroit bench as the Red Wings (54-21-7, 115 points) captured the Presidents' Trophy for the NHL's top regular-season record while establishing a record for most first-half victories, going 30-8-3 through 41 games.

Washington's Bruce Boudreau, named coach on Nov. 22 with the Caps (6-14-1) at the bottom of the Eastern Conference standings, led his team to a 37-17-7 mark the rest of the way, including seven consecutive victories to close the season and capture the Southeast Division title.

Montreal's Guy Carbonneau guided the Canadiens (47-25-10, 104 points) to their first 45-win and 100-point season in 15 years, first division title in 17 years, first Eastern Conference title in 19 years and best road record (25-12-4) in 29 years.

Masterton Trophy (Perseverance to hockey) -- Chris Chelios, a three-time Norris Trophy winner and 11-time All-Star, completed his 24th NHL regular-season and ninth with the Red Wings. He's appeared in 1,616 regular-season games, sixth on the all-time list and, in January, the 46-year-old Chicago native became the second-oldest player to Gordie Howe to play in the National Hockey League.

Masterton finalist Jason Blake was diagnosed with chronic myelogenous leukemia and was one of three Leafs players to play in all games.
Toronto's Jason Blake was diagnosed with chronic myelogenous leukemia, a rare but treatable form of cancer, and still completed the season as one of only three players to appear in all 82 Maple Leafs games. Blake hosted a leukemia awareness night at Air Canada Centre in January and donated $1,000 per goal and $500 per assist during the month to the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society of Canada.

Edmonton's Fernando Pisani, who missed training camp and the first 26 games of the regular season due to ulcerative colitis, made an inspirational return to the Oilers' lineup Dec. 2 in a 4-0 victory at Anaheim and played all of Edmonton's remaining games.

Lester B. Pearson (NHL's top player voted by NHLPA) -- The same three nominees for the Hart Trophy are also up for the Pearson award -- Ovechkin, Malkin and Iginla.

In just his third season, the emotionally charged Ovechkin, 22, appeared in all 82 games for the Capitals and led the League in goals (65) and points (112).

Malkin, 21, appeared in all 82 games for the Stanley Cup finalist Penguins, leading the team in goals (47) and assists (59) while finishing second in the NHL in total points (106).

The 30-year-old Iginla, who captured the Pearson Award in 2001-02, appeared in 82 regular-season games for Calgary and finished the season with 50 goals and 48 assists for a career-high 98 points.

In addition, the winner of the King Clancy Memorial Trophy for leadership and humanitarian contributions to his community, won by Montreal's Saku Koivu last season, also will be presented. The NHL is in its 25th year of partnership with the Canadian Diabetes Association. Since its inception, the awards show has raised more than $4 million for the Association in support of diabetes research and education.

Contact Mike Morreale at

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