NHL

Perry picks up Hart, Thomas takes home Vezina at NHL Awards

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TSN.ca Staff
6/23/2011 12:39:04 AM
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Anaheim Ducks right winger Corey Perry was named the Hart Memorial Trophy winner as the NHL MVP at the star-studded NHL Awards on Wednesday night in Las Vegas.

"(I) didn't know what to expect coming in and all of sudden you hear your name and you're like 'woah,"' said Perry. "It surprised me. I've got to give a lot of credit to my teammates and I've got a lot of family and friends here so it's pretty special."

Perry beat out Vancouver's Daniel Sedin and Tampa Bay's Martin St. Louis for the honour.

"Corey obviously had a great finish to the season and helped his team make the playoffs," Sedin told the Canadian Press. "He really deserves that award."

The Ducks forward finished the season with a late surge that saw him score 19 goals in his final 16 games to help Anaheim vault from 11th place in the West to a season-ending fourth.

Perry also accepted the Maurice Richard Trophy as goal-scoring leader with an even 50 on the season. He also had a knack for coming up clutch as 25 of his goals either tied the score or put the Ducks ahead.

Tim Thomas also collected some hardware for the second time in a week by beating Roberto Luongo, again.

The Boston Bruins netminder won his second Vezina Trophy as top goaltender, beating out Luongo and Nashville's Pekka Rinne.

Thomas led the Bruins to their first Stanley Cup win since 1972 and picked up the Conn Smythe trophy as the MVP of the playoffs, outdueling Luongo in the final.

But before that, Thomas turned in a pretty fine regular season too. Thomas led the NHL with a 2.00 goals against average and set a record with a .938 save percentage. He also had nine shutouts, second most in the league.

The whirlwind of having won the Stanley Cup, Conn Smythe and the Vezina in only a matter of days was hard to put into perspective for Thomas.

"We're just coming off winning the Cup and it's been crazy and I haven't had time to think," Thomas told the Canadian Press.

Despite losing out on the Hart Trophy, Vancouver's Daniel Sedin also had a big night at the awards.

Sedin accepted the Art Ross Trophy early in the evening for leading the league in scoring. Later on he was named as the recipient of the Ted Lindsay Award as the NHL's Most Outstanding Player as voted by the players themselves.

Sedin finished as the NHL's scoring leader with 41 goals and 63 assists for 104 points. He also helped the Canucks finish with the best record in the NHL and earn the President's trophy.

And while the losing in the Stanley Cup Final still hurts, Sedin was proud of what the Canucks accomplished.
 
"We should be happy," Sedin said. "I think the organization should be proud of our team and the players. We're going to have a lot of years going forward here where we're going to be a good team."

Detroit's Nicklas Lidstrom kicked the night off by taking home the Norris Trophy as top defenceman. It was the seventh Norris trophy for Lidstrom, which tied him with Doug Harvey for the second-most all time. Bobby Orr won the Norris Trophy eight times.

"It feels surreal having reached seven Norrises, especially at this stage in my career," said Lidstrom. "I'm very proud to still be able to play at this level and win another Norris."

Lidstrom, who recently announced that he would be returning to Detroit for his 20th season next year, beat out Boston's Zdeno Chara and Nashville's Shea Weber.

The Red Wings' captain enjoyed one of his most productive seasons, ranking second among NHL defencemen in scoring with 62 points (16 goals, 46 assists) in 82 games, highlighted by a career-best 11-game point streak.

Chara was presented with the Mark Messier NHL Leadership Award. The award is presented to a player who displays superior leadership in hockey and as a contributing member of society. Besides his accomplishments on the ice, Chara is involved with a number of charities in the Boston area.

Ryan Kesler then took home the Frank J. Selke trophy as the league's best defensive forward.

"Everything kind of happened for me this year -- 41 goals and to win the Selke is a season I'll never forget," said Kesler. "It's nice to get acknowledged. I guess all those years my dad was yelling 'backcheck' at me finally paid off."

This was Kesler's third straight nomination for the Selke and his first win. He beat out Detroit's Pavel Datsyuk and Chicago's Jonathan Toews.

Dan Bylsma of the Pittsburgh Penguins took home the Jack Adams Award as Coach of the Year. Bylsma led the Penguins to a 49-25-8 record this season despite having to deal with the prolonged absences of star centers Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin.

The Penguins earned the second-most points (106) and victories (49) in franchise history, overcoming a total of 350 man-games lost due to injury in the process.

Bylsma beat out Nashville's Barry Trotz and Vancouver's Alain Vigneault for the honour.

Carolina's Jeff Skinner was named the Calder Trophy winner as the Rookie of the Year. Skinner, as the youngest player in the NHL at 18, led all first-year players in scoring with 31 goals and 32 assists for 63 points. Skinner also participated in the NHL All-Star Game.
 
He beat out San Jose's Logan Couture and the Islanders' Michael Grabner.

Canucks goaltenders Roberto Luongo and Cory Schneider accepted the William Jennings Trophy as the goaltenders on the team allowing the fewest goals this season.

The Canucks continued their hardware haul as Mike Gillis was honoured as General Manager of the Year.

Gillis built the Canucks into the NHL's top regular season team as they captured the Presidents' Trophy with a franchise-record 117 points (54-19-9) and claimed the Northwest Division title for the third time in his three years in Vancouver.

"I'm honoured to win this award but I'd trade it in any minute for the Stanley Cup," said Gillis, who beat Tampa's Steve Yzerman and Nashville's David Poile. "I don't think any of us have kind of had an opportunity to fully decompress from what happened and understand it. It's great, but I want to win the Stanley Cup."

Philadelphia's Ian Laperriere was honoured with the Bill Masterton Trophy for perseverance. Laperriere sustained a severe injury during the 2010 Stanley Cup Playoffs when he blocked a shot with his face against New Jersey and suffered a concussion and fractured orbital bone. He returned a little more than a month later to finish the Flyers' playoff run that ended two games short of a championship.

Laperriere attempted to return in training camp, but could not overcome his concussion-related symptoms and has been on the long-term injury list all season. Nevertheless, he served the Flyers in several capacities, particularly as a mentor for young players in the organization.

Recently-retired forward Doug Weight was presented with the King Clancy Memorial Trophy for leadership qualities on and off the ice.

Tampa Bay Lightning forward Martin St. Louis won his second straight Lady Byng Trophy as most sportsmanlike player after being assessed just 12 penalty minutes this season.

Dustin Brown of the Los Angeles Kings was then presented with the NHL Foundation Player Award for his dedication to charity.

Hart Trophy winner Corey Perry  (Photo: Jeff Vinnick/NHLI via Getty Images)

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(Photo: Jeff Vinnick/NHLI via Getty Images)
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