The NHL announced its three finalists for the Vezina Trophy on Monday morning and Sharks netminder Evgeni Nabokov was joined by New Jersey’s Martin Brodeur and the New York Rangers Henrik Lundqvist as a potential winner.
The Vezina Trophy is annually awarded "to the goalkeeper adjudged to be the best at his position,"
The 30 NHL Club General Managers submitted ballots for the Vezina Trophy at the conclusion of the regular season, with the top three vote-getters announced as finalists. The winner will be announced Thursday, June 12 during the 2008 NHL Awards Television Special and will be broadcast on VERSUS.
Summaries on the season for each finalist are listed below.
Evgeni Nabokov, San Jose Sharks Nabokov, a Vezina Trophy finalist for the first time, led the NHL in victories (46), just two shy of Brodeur's NHL-record 48 set last season, and posted 25 one-goal victories, ranking second. He finished second among NHL goaltenders in minutes played (4,561), third in goals-against average (2.14) and tied for third in shutouts (six). Nabokov posted a 43-game consecutive-start streak to begin the season, one short of the longest such streak since 1989-90. He had started 51 consecutive games dating back to March 24, 2007 before getting the night off in Anaheim Jan. 13.
Martin Brodeur, New Jersey Devils Brodeur has earned his eighth career nomination as a finalist and is in quest of his fourth career win; he captured the trophy in 2003, 2004 and 2007. 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). He became just the second goaltender in NHL history to reach the 500-win mark, following Patrick Roy, and ended the season with 96 career shutouts, seven shy of all-time leader Terry Sawchuk. He extended NHL records by registering his third consecutive and seventh career 40-win season, and 10th consecutive campaign with 70-or-more games.
Henrik Lundqvist, New York Rangers Lundqvist is a Vezina Trophy 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 NHL goaltenders with 10 shutouts. He tied his career high in victories, set last season, and is only the second goaltender in NHL history to record three consecutive 30-win seasons to begin his career, joining Philadelphia's Ron Hextall (1986-87 to 1988-89). Lundqvist's 10 shutouts were the most by a Rangers goaltender since John Ross Roach posted 13 in 1928-29.
HISTORY The Vezina Trophy was presented to the National Hockey League in 1926-27 by former Montreal Canadiens owners Leo Dandurand, Louis Letourneau and Joe Cattarinich 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. Until 1981-82, the trophy had been awarded to the goaltender(s) on the club allowing the fewest number of goals during the regular season -- the current basis for the William Jennings Trophy.
MORE TO COME The NHL will announce the three finalists for each of its awards daily. The announcement schedule for the rest of this week:
Tuesday, April 22: Norris Trophy (outstanding defenseman) Wednesday, April 23:Calder Trophy (outstanding rookie) Thursday, April 24: Lady Byng Trophy (sportsmanship) Friday, April 25: Frank Selke Trophy (defensive forward)