NEW YORK - Ben Bishop of the Dallas Stars, Robin Lehner of the New York Islanders and Andrei Vasilevskiy of the Tampa Bay Lightning are the three finalists for the 2018-19 Vezina Trophy, awarded "to the goaltender adjudged to be the best at his position," the National Hockey League announced today.
The general managers of the NHL's 31 teams submitted ballots for the Vezina Trophy at the conclusion of the regular season, with the top three vote-getters designated as finalists. The winner will be revealed Wednesday, June 19, during the 2019 NHL Awards™ presented by Bridgestone at Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino in Las Vegas.
Following are the finalists for the Vezina Trophy, in alphabetical order:
Ben Bishop, Dallas Stars
Playing his second season in Dallas, Bishop established personal bests and ranked in the top three in the NHL in save percentage (1st; .934), goals-against average (2nd; 1.98) and shutouts (3rd; 7) to backstop the Stars to their first playoff berth since 2015-16. Bishop, who went 27-15-2 in 46 games, posted an 8-1-0 record (0.78 GAA, .972 SV%, 4 SO) in his final 10 outings of 2018-19 to solidify Dallas' postseason appearance. That included a stretch of three consecutive shutouts from March 5-12 (94 SV), helping Bishop set a career high and team record with a 233:04 shutout sequence (March 2-19). The 32-year-old also established a franchise record with his .934 save percentage, the eighth-best by any goaltender in League history (minimum: 25 GP). Bishop - who finished second in voting in 2015-16 and third in 2013-14 (w/ TBL) - is seeking to become the first goaltender in Stars/North Stars history to win the Vezina Trophy.
Robin Lehner, New York Islanders
Lehner made an immediate impact in his first season with the Islanders, placing in the top five in the NHL in save percentage (2nd; .930), goals-against average (3rd; 2.13) and shutouts (t-4th; 6) to also lead New York to its first playoff appearance since 2015-16. Lehner, whose .930 save percentage established a franchise record, earned a career-high 25 victories in 46 contests, aided by an eight-game winning streak from Dec. 18 - Jan. 10 (1.45 GAA, .951 SV%, 1 SO). Lehner - along with teammate Thomas Greiss - helped the Islanders become the second team in League history (and first since 1918-19) to go from worst to first in goals against, propelling the franchise to its second William M. Jennings Trophy. The 27-year-old Gothenburg, Sweden, native - who on Friday was named a finalist for the Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy - is vying to become the second player in Islanders history to capture the Vezina Trophy; Billy Smith won the award in 1981-82 en route to the team's third straight Stanley Cup.
Andrei Vasilevskiy, Tampa Bay Lightning
Vasilevskiy posted a League-leading 39 victories in 53 games to help the Lightning match an NHL record with 62 total wins and earn their first Presidents' Trophy in franchise history. Vasilevskiy, who shared first place in the NHL and established a team record with 44 victories in 2017-18, won 18 of his final 21 starts this season to guide Tampa Bay to its historic finish. That included a 10-game winning streak from Feb. 9 - March 5 (1.76 GAA, .943 SV%, 2 SO), eclipsing his career high of nine set in 2017-18. Vasilevskiy lost consecutive starts just once in 2018-19 (Feb. 5-7), compiling a 13-0-1 record in games following a defeat (1.56 GAA, .952 SV%, 4 SO). Overall, he finished the season in the top 10 in the NHL in shutouts (t-4th; 6), save percentage (6th; .925) and goals-against average (9th; 2.40). The 24-year-old Tyumen, Russia, native - who finished third in voting last season - is aiming to become the first player in Lightning history to claim the Vezina Trophy.
Leo Dandurand, Louis Letourneau and Joe Cattarinich, former owners of the Montreal Canadiens, presented the trophy to the NHL in 1926-27 in memory of Georges Vezina, the outstanding Canadiens goaltender who collapsed during an NHL game on Nov. 28, 1925, and died of tuberculosis a few months later. Before the 1981-82 season, the goaltender(s) of the team allowing the fewest number of goals during the regular season was awarded the Vezina Trophy.
The three finalists for NHL Trophies are being announced by NBC Sports in the United States and Sportsnet/TVA Sports in Canada during pregame programming for the Stanley Cup Playoffs through Sunday, April 28. The series of announcements continues Sunday, April 21, when the three finalists for the James Norris Memorial Trophy will be unveiled.
2019 NHL Awards™ presented by Bridgestone
The NHL Awards™ returns to Las Vegas this summer at Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino. The 2019 NHL Awards™ presented by Bridgestone will be held Wednesday, June 19, at Mandalay Bay Events Center. It marks the first year that the NHL Awards™ will be held at the resort's sports and entertainment venue as well as the first time that Bridgestone will serve as the presenting sponsor of the event. NBCSN and Sportsnet will broadcast the 2019 NHL Awards™ presented by Bridgestone live in the United States and Canada, respectively, at 8 p.m. ET / 5 p.m. PT.
Tickets to the 2019 NHL Awards™ presented by Bridgestone are on sale to the general public at www.nhl.com/awardstickets. This ticket opportunity is available on a first-come, first-served basis, while supplies last.
This will be the 11th year of a successful partnership between Las Vegas and the League and the 10th time that the NHL will honor the best hockey players in the world and the top performances of the season in Las Vegas. Prior Las Vegas venues that have hosted the NHL Awards™ include Palms Hotel (2009-11); Encore at Wynn Las Vegas (2012 and 2014); MGM Grand Garden Arena (2015); The Joint, Hard Rock Hotel & Casino (2016 and 2018); and T Mobile Arena (2017).
A full lineup of presenters and entertainment will be announced at a future date. Fans can tweet about the event using the official hashtag #NHLAwards.