Seravalli breaks down the PHWA mid-season awards
TAMPA, Fla. — It’s fitting that the hockey world will gather at the home of the league’s top team this weekend for the NHL All-Star Game – just like it used to be when defending Stanley Cup champions took on a team of all-stars in the 1950s and 60s.
For the first time since then, the Professional Hockey Writers' Association brought back another blast from the past: mid-season awards.
The Tampa Bay Lightning cleaned up in the voting, with its stars sweeping the Hart, Norris and Vezina Trophies, as well as the inaugural Comeback Player of the Year Award.
Vegas Golden Knights coach Gerard Gallant and general manager George McPhee were runaway winners for the Jack Adams and GM of the Year Awards.
For the first time, hockey fans across North America were given a vote thanks to the power of social media.
More than 150 writers and broadcasters and 2,000 fans completed ballots for 10 mid-season awards, which included the traditional end-of-season honours, plus two new awards including the Rod Langway Award for best ‘defensive defenceman’ and Comeback Player of the Year, awarded to a player who has returned to a previous high level of performance.
The voice of fans proved critical as a dead heat for third place in the Jack Adams Award was broken by fan ballot. Winnipeg Jets coach Paul Maurice moved into third place after sitting just one point back of Devils coach John Hynes before fan voting was factored in.
Calgary Flames winger Johnny Gaudreau took home the Lady Byng through the half season, while Jets goaltender Connor Hellebuyck is on track to become the first-ever Vezina Trophy finalist in Winnipeg Jets history.
Here are the full results of the PHWA’s 2017-18 mid-season awards:
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 first 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
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 adjusted 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
Contact Frank Seravalli on Twitter: @frank_seravalli