If the NHL doesn’t return this season, it will be a shame on so many accounts. Of course the health and well-being of the players, staff and fans takes precedence over the game, however for Bruins’ fans a cancelled season, will be the end to a very promising year that could have very well ended up with the B’s hosting the Cup in June. Another unfortunate consequence will be the likely cancellation of the NHL awards, and the best players in the league not getting the formal recognition they deserve for great seasons thus far.
All this aside, its still fun to take a look at who may win the NHL’s top honors, if the season came back, or the NHL thought it should still reward the very best for great regular season campaigns. Here’s a list of who would win what, if regular season awards were given out:
Starting with the easy ones:
The Maurice ‘Rocket’ Richard Trophy: David Pastrnak (Boston Bruins) and Alex Ovechkin (Washington Capitals).
Both have 48 goals and there is no tiebreaker for this award.
The Art Ross Award: Leon Draisaitl (Edmonton Oilers)
With a healthy lead at the suspension of play, Draisaitl takes home the Art Ross with 110 pts.
The William Jennings Award: Tuukka Rask and Jaroslav Halak (Boston Bruins)
The dynamic duo in Boston had only given up 167 goals this season or exactly 2.39 goals against per game
The President’s Trophy: The Boston Bruins
100 Points in 70 games with a .714 winning % is pretty damn good.
Now, for things to get a bit more interesting;
The Vezina Trophy: Tuukka Rask (Boston Bruins)
Runner-Up: Connor Hellebuyck (Winnipeg Jets)
Make no mistake Hellebuyck has had an incredible year on a Jets team that self-destructed before the season began, but Rask has been even better. At the suspension of hockey, for goalies who have played at least 30 games, Rask was 2nd in SV%, 1st in GAA, tied for 2nd in shootouts (although the leader Hellebuyck at 6 SO’s has played 17 more games) and 7th in wins.
If Rask doesn’t win, and he could very likely not win, its the fact that he splits more games with Halak than Hellebuyck does in Winnipeg with Laurent Brossoit, and that because the Bruins are such a good all-around team, their individual performances often get overlooked (more on this later).
Lady Byng Trophy: Nathan MacKinnon (Colorado Avalanche)
Runner-Up: Auston Matthews (Toronto Maple Leafs)
Mackinnon, who’s having a great year in Colorado once again, and may be a Hart Trophy nominee, will come up short in the Hart voting, but ends up going home with the Lady Byng as a consolation trophy.
GM of the Year: Ken Holland (Edmonton Oilers)
Runner-Up: Joe Sakic (Colorado Avalanche)
Getting rid of Lucic’s disgusting contract and bringing in a semi-productive James Neal, signing Darnell Nurse, and acquiring Mike Green, Andreas Athanasiou and Tyler Ennis give Holland the nod for GM of the year.
Jack Adams Award: Jared Bednar (Colorado Avalanche)
Runner-Up: John Tortorella (Columbus Blue Jackets)
Torts would make a great selection for Coach of the Year, since everyone thought the Blue Jackets would be a disaster on ice after the mass exodus prior to the season beginning, however Bednar wins because what he’s done with the Avs despite significant injuries to key players.
To be honest, Bruce Cassidy really deserves this trophy more than Torts or Bednar. The Bruins, who could have folded this year after last year’s heartbreaking finals loss, followed by a ton of man-games lost this year, have been absolutely dominant for large stretches of the season, and much of the credit needs to go to Cassidy and his coaching staff. BUT...the Bruins are once again too good of an all-around team for the umpteenth time in a row, and Cassidy will get overlooked once again.
Selke Trophy: Sean Couturier (Philadelphia Flyers)
Runner-Up: Patrice Bergeron (Boston Bruins)
Couturier is a great two-way player and has been in the running for the Selke for a number of years now. After a solid season at both ends of the rink, Couturier will win the Selke over Patrice Bergeron...but come on!
Is there really a better defensive player in the NHL the Bergy. Absolutely not! Talk about greatness being overlooked, Patrice Bergeron who has 4 Selke trophies, really should have 6 or 7, but is take for granted by voters far too often. Andrew Bershire, does a great job outlining why Bergy is the the best two-way player in the league in his article “Why Bruins’ Patrice Bergeron still holds title of best defensive forward”
Calder Trophy: Cale Makar (Colorado Avalache)
Runner-Up: Quinn Hughes (Vancouver Canucks)
Despite Hughes having a few more points than Makar when the season went on pause, Makar is the best rookie in the NHL this year. 50pts in 57 games, including 19 on the powerplay and 4 GWG, to go with a +12 rating, make Makar the Calder Winner.
Sidenote: Dominik Kubalik could steal the Calder from both Hughes and Makar after a torrid January and February.
Norris Trophy: John Carlson (Washington Capitals)
Runner-Up: Roman Josi (Nashville Predators)
Josi has had a great year, the Preds have not. Although this cannot be blamed on Josi in anyway, it will play on the voters’ minds when they select the Norris Trophy winner. Carlson, on the other hand, has been fantastic and the Caps before the league stopped looked like legitimate Cup contenders.
Ted Lindsay Award: Connor McDavid (Edmonton Oilers)
Runner-Up: Sidney Crosby (Pittsburgh Penguins)
McDavid still has the most respect and votes of the his fellow NHLer’s and wins this Ted Lindsay again.
Hart Trophy: Leon Draisaitl (Edmonton Oilers)
Runner-Up: Connor McDavid (Edmonton Oilers)
What Draisaitl has done in Edmonton all year long is truly outstanding and he rightfully deserves the Hart Trophy for the 2019-2020 NHL season. 4th in goals (43) 1st in assists (67), 1st in PTS (110), 1st in PP points makes Draisaitl an easy shoe-in for the league’s MVP.
There you have; Predictions that very well may never even get tested if the league doesn’t return and NHL hardware is not given out at the conclusion of the season. Nonetheless, what do you think of these predictions? Will Bergeron and Rask get robbed if awards are handed out? Is Drasaitl really the NHL MVP? And could this be the year Cassidy final gets some recognition for the job he’s been doing in Boston? Let us know your thoughts below in the comments.