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NHL AWARD SEASON

FP's Gary Lawless and Ed Tait reveal their picks for NHL trophies, all-star and all-rookie squads

Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 19/4/2014 (1190 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

It's a privilege and duty members of the Professional Hockey Writers' Association have each year — to vote on a number of NHL trophies and all-star teams.

Free Press columnist Gary Lawless and hockey writer Ed Tait have agreed to make their ballots public this year and we invite you to have a look at their choices and make your own.

Pittsburgh Penguins Sidney Crosby moves the puck against the Phoenix Coyotes in the third period on Tuesday, March 25, 2014, in Pittsburgh. (Peter Diana/Pittsburgh Post-Gazette/MCT)

TRIBUNE MEDIA MCT

Pittsburgh Penguins Sidney Crosby moves the puck against the Phoenix Coyotes in the third period on Tuesday, March 25, 2014, in Pittsburgh. (Peter Diana/Pittsburgh Post-Gazette/MCT)

Los Angeles Kings center Anze Kopitar (11), from Slovenia, skates with the puck with Washington Capitals center Nicklas Backstrom (19), from Sweden, behind him, in the first period of an NHL hockey game, Tuesday, March 25, 2014, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

CP

Los Angeles Kings center Anze Kopitar (11), from Slovenia, skates with the puck with Washington Capitals center Nicklas Backstrom (19), from Sweden, behind him, in the first period of an NHL hockey game, Tuesday, March 25, 2014, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

The Minnesota Wild's Ryan Suter in the third period against the Chicago Blackhawks in Game 4 of the Western Conference quarterfinals at the Xcel Energy Center on Tuesday, May 7, 2013, in St. Paul, Minnesota. Chicago won, 3-0, to take a 3-1 series lead. (Carlos Gonzalez/Minneapolis Star Tribune/MCT)

TRIBUNE MEDIA MCT

The Minnesota Wild's Ryan Suter in the third period against the Chicago Blackhawks in Game 4 of the Western Conference quarterfinals at the Xcel Energy Center on Tuesday, May 7, 2013, in St. Paul, Minnesota. Chicago won, 3-0, to take a 3-1 series lead. (Carlos Gonzalez/Minneapolis Star Tribune/MCT)

PHWA members are not asked to vote on the Vezina Trophy, it's voted on by NHL GMs, but we've asked Lawless and Tait to give us their choices.

Each PHWA voter goes through their own process but in the case of the Free Press voters, NHL players, GMs and coaches were consulted before the ballots were cast.

Ballots were due Wednesday.

 

"Sidney Crosby for the Hart was the easiest choice I made," said Lawless. "I selected Ryan Suter for the Norris but it could easily have been Drew Doughty. Shea Weber fell off for me this year because Nashville didn't make the playoffs. For me, Suter plays such big minutes and the rest of the Wild defence benefits from his subtle yet effective game. Suter leads the league in average time-on-ice with 29:24 per game which is more than two minutes ahead of everyone else in the league. I can't imagine the Wild being a playoff team without him.

"Anze Kopitar of the Kings is the best defensive forward on one of the best defensive teams in the NHL. So much of his game is puck possession but when he loses the puck, he's committed to the backcheck. And he's great in the faceoff circle."

Lawless made Winnipeg's Blake Wheeler his third selection at right wing and also gave a second-place vote to Jets defencemen Jacob Trouba for the Calder Trophy.

"Wheeler started out slow but then really came on and finished the season tied for fourth in league scoring at his position," said Lawless. "He was Winnipeg's best player and his game didn't fade when his centre changed. He just excelled and made whoever he was on the ice with better players. Trouba will be the best defenceman of his class when all is said and done. His minutes grew and the players he was used against got better as the season went on. Playing defence is about more than points and Trouba has an all around game as well as an edge."

For Tait, Crosby was an easy choice and Weber's missing the post-season didn't factor in the equation.

"The Hart race was over by Christmas for me and Sid was a slam dunk," said Tait. "When it came to the Norris a couple of factors came into play for me: Weber has been good for a long time and the fact he has never won this before -- he's been a runner-up twice -- almost seems criminal. And the fact the Preds didn't make the playoffs doesn't make his work any less distinguished. Remember, Sergei Bobrovsky won the Vezina last year and Columbus wasn't in the playoffs, either.

"MacKinnon became an easy choice for me when he broke Gretzky's rookie record for points in consecutive games. We watch Trouba every night and it's hard not to get caught up in his upside. And I suspect Krug will play a major role for the Bruins in the upcoming playoffs as a key component on their power play."

Tait said voting for the Lady Byng Trophy is one of the most difficult in the process.

"Sorry," said Tait, "but when I watch hockey I don't find myself looking at players and thinking, 'Hmm... so and so plays such a gentlemanly game. What a great sportsman.' Every year I find myself simply looking for the best player with the lowest penalty totals and that seems just plain weird.

"And the Selke? Back in the 1980s my buddies and I used to call this the Bob Gainey award because he seemed to win it all the time. Bergeron will forever be a finalist for this, ditto Jonathan Toews."

As for the all-star team, Tait said he wrestled with the idea of picking Blake Wheeler over Alex Ovechkin as his third right-winger but it was hard to ignore the Russian's 51 goals -- even though that minus-35 rating "is just plain ugly."

NHL TROPHY, ALL-STAR TEAM AND ALL-ROOKIE TEAM BALLOT

VOTER:

GARY LAWLESS

 

TROPHIES

HART TROPHY (most valuable) -- five selections

1. Sidney Crosby, Pittsburgh

2. Ryan Getzlaf, Anaheim

3. Semyon Varlamov, Colorado

4. Tyler Seguin, Dallas

5. Patrice Bergeron, Boston

 

NORRIS TROPHY (defenceman) -- five selections

1. Ryan Suter, Minnesota

2. Duncan Keith, Chicago

3. Drew Doughty, Los Angeles

4. Zdeno Chara, Boston

5. Ryan McDonough, New York Rangers

 

CALDER TROPHY (rookie) -- five selections.

(Note: An eligible player cannot have played more than 25 NHL games in any single preceding season nor in six or more games in each of any two preceding seasons. A player must not have attained his 26th birthday by Sept. 15 of the season in which he is eligible)

1. Nathan McKinnon, Colorado

2. Jacob Trouba, Winnipeg

3. Olli Maatta, Pittsburgh

4. Sean Monahan, Calgary

5. Torey Krug, Boston

 

LADY BYNG TROPHY (most gentlemanly) -- five selections

1. Ryan O'Reilly, Colorado

2. Marcus Johansson, Washington

3. Patrick Marleau, San Jose

4. Patrick Kane, Chicago

5. Marty St. Louis, New York Rangers

 

SELKE TROPHY (defensive forward) -- five selections

1. Anze Kopitar, Los Angeles

2. Patrice Bergeron, Boston

3. David Backes, St. Louis

4. Jonathan Toews, Chicago

5. Joe Pavelski, San Jose

 

Vezina Trophy (goaltender))

1. Carey Price, Montreal

2. Tuukka Rask, Boston

3. Semyon Varlamov, Colorado

 

ALL-STAR TEAM

CENTRE -- Three selections

1. Sidney Crosby, Pittsburgh

2. Ryan Getzlaf, Anaheim

3. Claude Giroux, Philadelphia

RIGHT-WINGERS -- three selections

1. Corey Perry, Anaheim

2. Alex Ovechkin, Washington

3. Blake Wheeler, Winnipeg

LEFT-WINGERS -- three selections

1. Jamie Benn, Dallas

2. Joe Pavelski, San Jose

3. Patrick Kane, Chicago

DEFENCEMEN -- six selections

1. Ryan Suter, Minnesota

2. Duncan Keith, Chicago

3. Drew Doughty, Los Angeles

4. Zdeno Chara, Boston

5. Shea Weber, Nashville

6. Ryan McDonough, New York Rangers

GOALTENDER -- three selections

1. Carey Price, Montreal

2. Tuukka Rask, Boston

3. Semyon Varlamov, Colorado

 

ALL-ROOKIE TEAM

FORWARD -- Three selections, regardless of position

1. Nathan McKinnon, Colorado

2. Tyler Johnston, Tampa Bay

3. Sean Monahan, Calgary

DEFENCEMEN -- two selections

1. Olli Maatta, Pittsburgh

2. Jacob Trouba, Winnipeg

GOAL -- one selection

Frederik Andersen, Anaheim

 

VOTER:

ED TAIT

 

HART TROPHY (most valuable) -- five selections

1. Sidney Crosby, Pitt.

2. Ryan Getzlaf, Ana.

3. Tuukka Rask, Bos.

4. Shea Weber, Nsh.

5. Semyon Varlamov, Col.

 

NORRIS TROPHY (defenceman) -- five selections

1. Shea Weber, Nashville

2. Duncan Keith, Chicago

3. Drew Doughty, Los Angeles

4. Zdeno Chara, Boston

5. Ryan Suter, Minnesota

 

CALDER TROPHY (rookie) -- five selections

(Note: An eligible player cannot have played more than 25 NHL games in any single preceding season nor in six or more games in each of any two preceding seasons. A player must not have attained his 26th birthday by Sept. 15 of the season in which he is eligible.)

1. Nathan MacKinnon, Colorado

2. Jacob Trouba, Winnipeg

3. Ondrej Palat, Tampa Bay

4. Hampus Lindholm, Anaheim

5. Torey Krug, Boston

 

LADY BYNG TROPHY (most sportsmanlike) -- five selections

1. Ryan O'Reilly, Colorado

2. Martin St. Louis, New York Rangers

3. Nick Leddy, Chicago

4. Marty Havlat, San Jose

5. Marcus Johansson, Washington

 

SELKE TROPHY (defensive forward) -- five selections

1. Patrice Bergeron, Boston

2. Anze Kopitar, Los Angeles

3. Jonathan Toews, Chicago

4. David Krejci, Boston

5. Joe Pavelski, San Jose

 

Vezina Trophy (goaltender)

1. Tuukka Rask, Boston

2. Semyon Varlamov, Colorado

3. Ben Bishop, Tampa bay

 

ALL-STAR TEAM

 

CENTRE -- three selections

1. Sidney Crosby, Pittsburgh

2. Ryan Getzlaf, Anaheim

3. Tyler Seguin, Dallas

RIGHT-WINGER -- three selections

1. Corey Perry, Anaheim

2. Phil Kessel, Toronto

3. Alex Ovechkin, Washington

LEFT-WINGER -- three selections

1. Jamie Benn, Dallas

2. Patrick Sharp, Chicago

3. Taylor Hall, Edmonton

DEFENCEMAN -- six selections

1. Shea Weber, Nashville

2. Duncan Keith, Chicago

3. Drew Doughty, Los Angeles

4. Zdeno Chara, Boston

5. Ryan Suter, Minnesota

6. Erik Karlsson, Ottawa

GOALTENDER -- three selections

1. Tuukka Rask, Boston

2. Semyon Varlamov, Colorado

3. Ben Bishop, Tampa Bay

 

ALL-ROOKIE TEAM

FORWARDS -- Three selections, regardless of position

1. Nathan MacKinnon, Colorado

2. Ondrej Palat, Tampa Bay

3. Tyler Johnson, Tampa Bay

DEFENCEMEN -- two selections

1. Jacob Trouba, Winnipeg

2. Hampus Lindholm, Anaheim

GOAL -- one selection

1. Frederik Andersen, Anaheim

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