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Sunday, April 11, 2010

The BN Readers' Choice Player Awards

As the season wraps up today, we too at Bettman's Nightmare wrap up our own event, the reader's poll for NHL player awards.  Admittedly, we only represent a small slice of the hockey opinion world, but in the long run you will probably see a lot of the real winners reflected by these picks.  So, without further ado, your choices:

Masterton Trophy:  Michael Cammalleri, Montreal Canadiens

Cammalleri narrowly edged out Tim Connolly and Marian Gaborik to nab the Masterton, but truly any one of these players deserved the award for their impressive comebacks from injury (or injuries).  I like to think I influenced this decision.

Lady Byng Trophy:  My Mom

She's actually not that nice to me.
Jack Adams Award:  Dave Tippett, Phoenix Coyotes

Tippett gets the nod as most of us agree that, really, taking the Coyotes to the playoffs is nearly the most difficult thing to do.  At least since Gordon Bombay took a rag-tag bunch of kids to a state pee-wee championship...

Selke Trophy:  Ryan Kesler, Vancouver Canucks & Pavel Datsyuk, Detroit Red Wings

We have co-winners for the Selke, as both Kesler and Datsyuk edged out David Backes for top honors.  It's hard to deny the contribution of either player, as Kesler takes care of the defensive side of the puck for a potent Canucks offense and Datsyuk continues to be one of the best all-around players in the league.

Calder Trophy:  Jimmy Howard, Detroit Red Wings

Dangerous playoff teams rarely become so without scary-good goaltending, and Howard has solidified the Red Wings' place as the team to look out for going into the postseason.  Going 37-15-10 over 63 games (61 starts) with a 92.4 save percentage, saving the Red Wings' season after Osgood proved to be ineffective in is hard to argue that any other rookie meant more to his team than Howard.

Norris Trophy:  Duncan Keith, Chicago Blackhawks

With great skill on both ends of the ice, only Tippett had a more overwhelming victory in our polls.  The 69 points and 14 goals were a pleasant surprise for the defensively-reliable Keith.

Vezina Trophy:  Ryan Miller, Buffalo Sabres

In an incredibly close vote, Miller edged out Breezer for the Vezina.  And really, who can argue?  He went 41-18-8 in 69 games (68 starts) with a 92.9 save percentage and 2.22 goals-against average (he was 2nd in the NHL in the latter two categories).  He brought a good team up to the status of a great team.  And now we'll see what he can do in the playoffs.

Hart Trophy:  Ryan Miller, Buffalo Sabres & Ilya Bryzgalov, Phoenix Coyotes

For as close as the Vezina vote was, the Hart vote was even closer.  And frankly, it doesn't do either player justice to say one was more important to his team.  Neither the Sabres nor the Coyotes could have made the playoffs without the performance of their starting goalies, plain and simple.

Thanks for voting!

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