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NHL to reveal award winners leading up to Game 2

by Dan Rosen /

CHICAGO -- As the Chicago Blackhawks and Boston Bruins try to rehydrate, recover and gather their emotions after their marathon Game 1 in the Stanley Cup Final, the hockey world will be allowed the opportunity to quickly swing its attention to a different set of Hall of Fame hardware that is shined up and ready to be handed out.

All 13 of the NHL postseason awards will be distributed before the opening faceoff in Game 2 of the Stanley Cup Final on Saturday at United Center (8 p.m. ET; NBCSN, CBC, RDS).

The winners of the Bill Masterton Memorial, Frank J. Selke, King Clancy and Lady Byng trophies, the Jack Adams Award, the Mark Messier NHL Leadership Award, the NHL Foundation Player Award and the NHL General Manager of the Year Award were revealed Friday.

Beginning at 7 p.m. ET Saturday, NBC Sports Network and CBC will join forces to co-host a live pregame television special in which the winners of the Hart Memorial, Calder Memorial, James Norris Memorial and Vezina trophies, along with the Ted Lindsay Award, will be revealed. The show can be seen on NBCSN in the United States and CBC in Canada.

The biggest question heading into awards season is who will win the Hart Trophy as the NHL's most valuable player for the 2012-13 season? The finalists are Pittsburgh Penguins captain Sidney Crosby, Washington Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin and New York Islanders center John Tavares.

Crosby, who won the Hart Trophy in 2007, looked like he was going to be a runaway winner three-quarters of the way into the 48-game season, but he missed the final 12 games due to a jaw injury. He still finished tied with Ovechkin for third in the NHL with 56 points on 15 goals and 41 assists in 36 games.

Ovechkin looked like he had no chance at any postseason honors a third of the way through the season, but he rediscovered his MVP form and put up 46 points, including 21 goals, over his final 32 games to help the Capitals win the Southeast Division. He won the Rocket Richard Trophy with 32 goals and is in line to win the Hart Trophy for the third time in his career. He won in 2008 and 2009.

Tavares, a first-time finalist for the Hart Trophy, led the Islanders into the Stanley Cup Playoffs for the first time since 2007 with 47 points on 28 goals and 19 assists.

Crosby and Ovechkin join Art Ross Trophy (awarded to the League's leading scorer) winner Martin St. Louis (60 points) as finalists for the Ted Lindsay Award, which goes to the most outstanding player as voted on by the players. St. Louis won the Lady Byng Trophy, which is awarded to the player who best demonstrates sportsmanship and gentlemanly play, Friday for the third time in his career.

New York Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist is in line to win the Vezina Trophy as the League's top goaltender for a second straight season. First-time finalists Sergei Bobrovsky of the Columbus Blue Jackets and Antti Niemi of the San Jose Sharks are his competition. Bobrovsky nearly led the Blue Jackets to the playoffs with a 2.00 goals-against average and .932 save percentage.

There will be a first-time winner of the Norris Trophy, awarded to the League's top defenseman. P.K. Subban (Montreal Canadiens), Ryan Suter (Minnesota Wild) and Kris Letang (Pittsburgh Penguins) are first-time finalists.

The three finalists for the Calder Trophy as the League's best rookie would make up one heck of a line if they were on the same team. It would be Florida Panthers center Jonathan Huberdeau in the middle of Blackhawks left wing Brandon Saad and Canadiens right wing Brendan Gallagher.

Huberdeau's 31 points tied him with Edmonton Oilers forward Nail Yakupov for most among rookies this season. Gallagher had 28 points, and Saad had 27 playing mostly on a line with Jonathan Toews and Marian Hossa.


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