Jets launching into awards territory


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The Winnipeg Jets’ surge to the top of the NHL’s Central Division standings hasn’t gone unnoticed by hockey media and fans across North America.

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Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 26/01/2018 (1954 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

The Winnipeg Jets’ surge to the top of the NHL’s Central Division standings hasn’t gone unnoticed by hockey media and fans across North America.

The Professional Hockey Writers Association revealed Friday the winners of 10 mid-season awards, based on a vote of more than 150 journalists in NHL markets across the league and 2,000 fans who cast their ballots online.

Among the local highlights are goalie Connor Hellebuyck finishing second in Vezina Trophy voting, and coach Paul Maurice sitting third in Jack Adams Award voting.

Three other members of the Jets garnered some votes: Blake Wheeler was fifth in Hart Trophy voting, Kevin Cheveldayoff was sixth for GM of the year and rookie Kyle Connor 10th in Calder Trophy voting.

PHWA members will vote on end-of-season NHL awards in April.

Here’s the top-3 mid-season results for each category:

Hart Trophy — to the player adjudged to be most valuable to his team

1. Nikita Kucherov, Tampa Bay Lightning

2. Nathan MacKinnon, Colorado Avalanche

3. John Tavares, New York Islanders

Norris Trophy — to the defenceman who demonstrates the greatest all-round ability in the position

1. Victor Hedman, Tampa Bay Lightning

2. Drew Doughty, Los Angeles Kings

3. John Klingberg, Dallas Stars

Selke Trophy — to the forward who best excels in the defensive aspects of the game

1. Patrice Bergeron, Boston Bruins

2. Sean Couturier, Philadelphia Flyers

3. Anze Kopitar, Los Angeles Kings

Calder Trophy — to the player selected as the most proficient in his rst year of competition

1. Mathew Barzal, New York Islanders

2. Brock Boeser, Vancouver Canucks

3. Charlie McAvoy, Boston Bruins

Lady Byng Trophy — to the player adjudged to have exhibited the best type of sportsmanship and gentlemanly conduct combined with a high standard of playing ability

1. Johnny Gaudreau, Calgary Flames

2. Auston Matthews, Toronto Maple Leafs

3. Ryan O’Reilly, Buffalo Sabres

Vezina Trophy — to the goaltender adjudged to be the best at his position

1. Andrei Vasilevskiy, Tampa Bay Lightning

2. Connor Hellebuyck, Winnipeg Jets

3. Pekka Rinne, Nashville Predators

WAYNE GLOWACKI / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS FILES Connor Hellebuyck’s play in Winnipeg’s goal so far this season has earned him an early mention for the Vezina, and an invite to the all-star game.

Jack Adams Award — to the coach adjudged to have contributed the most to his team’s success

1. Gerard Gallant, Vegas Golden Knights

2. Jon Cooper, Tampa Bay Lightning

3. Paul Maurice, Winnipeg Jets

GM of the year award — to the general manager adjudged to have contributed most to his team’s success

1. George McPhee, Vegas Golden Knights

2. Steve Yzerman, Tampa Bay Lightning

3. Ray Shero, New Jersey Devils

Rod Langway Award — to the defenceman who best excels in the defensive aspect of the game

1. Drew Doughty, Los Angeles Kings

2. Zdeno Chara, Boston Bruins

3. Victor Hedman, Tampa Bay Lightning

Comeback player of the year award — to the player who returned to a previous high level of performance that was interrupted by subpar play, long-term injury or major illness.

1. Steven Stamkos, Tampa Bay Lightning

2. Brian Boyle, New Jersey Devils

3. Claude Giroux, Philadelphia Flyers

● ● ●

PHIL HOSSACK / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS Winnipeg Jets head coach Paul Maurice is in the conversation for the NHL's coach of the year.

Wheeler says it will be chaos. Hellebuyck was more concerned about making his flight in time. Maurice doesn’t want either player to pull a muscle.

The all-star break has arrived, and Wheeler and Hellebuyck are representing the Jets this weekend in Tampa Bay, Fla.

“Chaos. It’s going to be hectic. But this whole weekend isn’t about rest and recovery. It’s going to be a fun experience, the family is going to be down there, so I’m excited about it,” Wheeler said following the Jets’ 4-3 shootout loss in Anaheim on Thursday night.

Wheeler and his teammates took a charter flight back to Winnipeg, arriving just after 4 a.m. Friday. There wasn’t much time for Wheeler or Hellebuyck to catch their breath before flying to Florida.

“Hopefully, I can catch my plane, maybe do a little bit of relaxing,” Hellebuyck joked in a post-game chat in California. “I’m just going to enjoy the whole weekend, soak everything in, try to make some memories.”

Maurice said he’s happy for his two players, even though he’d prefer they were putting their feet up and getting some rest.

“Make sure you warm up before the game, don’t pull anything, and enjoy the heck out of it,” was Maurice’s advice to the pair.

● ● ●

The Jets did some roster shuffling Friday connected to the upcoming NHL and AHL all-star games.

Goalie Michael Hutchinson was returned to the Manitoba Moose. That allows him to go to Utica, N.Y., to play in Monday’s AHL all-star game. He’s expected to head right back to the Jets in time for Tuesday’s game at Bell MTS Place against the Tampa Bay Lightning.

In exchange, the Jets recalled goalie Jamie Phillips from the Moose. The move is purely to ensure the team has a goalie when they return to practice Monday — especially since Hellebuyck will be making his way back from Florida after playing in Sunday’s NHL all-star game.

Phillips, 24, is 1-1 with a 2.24 goals-against average and .932 save percentage with the Moose this season.

This also allows top goalie prospect Eric Comrie to continue playing with the Moose, as he did Friday night and is expected to do tonight in Laval.

Manitoba also recalled goalie Colton Phinney from their ECHL affiliate in Jacksonville to serve as Comrie’s backup this weekend.

Phinney, 24, is in his first pro season of hockey after four seasons at Princeton University. He owns a 3-7-1 record with a 3.49 GAA and a .878 SV% in 15 appearances with Jacksonville.

In an additional move, the Jets returned winger Brendan Lemieux to the Moose. He has dressed in seven games with the Jets so far this season, and had been up with the team as an extra forward on this road trip. It’s possible he could be recalled next week, depending on whether injured forward Adam Lowry is ready to return to the lineup.

Twitter: @mikemcintyrewpg

Trevor Hagan / The Canadian Press Winnipeg Jets' Blake Wheeler during first period NHL hockey action against the Vancouver Canucks.
Mike McIntyre

Mike McIntyre
Sports columnist

Mike McIntyre grew up wanting to be a professional wrestler. But when that dream fizzled, he put all his brawn into becoming a professional writer.


Updated on Friday, January 26, 2018 11:07 PM CST: adds photo

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