2013/14 Season Predictions – Awards
After setting myself up for a fall by penning my predictions for the Eastern and Western Conference this week, attention moves to the individual awards today; as I dole out my picks for the Hart, Norris and the six other major honours.
Hart Trophy – Sidney Crosby
The universal favourite; Crosby is the best player in the game today, and the Hart has really become the award for ‘best player’ (much to my ire given the ‘official definition’ of the award). So it’s pretty easy to see why I, and so many others, think ‘Sid the Kid’ will pick up the Hart Trophy come seasons end.
Art Ross – Sidney Crosby
Again, perhaps something of an ‘easy choice’. A cop out even. But, as with the Hart, it is not exactly a stretch to see Crosby clutching the Art Ross at the end of season awards.
Rocket Richard – Steven Stamkos
Three for three in the ‘easy picks’ stakes; the Tampa Bay sniper has amassed 208 goals in 373 NHL games and is still only 23. Whilst a strong case can be made for Alexander Ovechkin to win the Rocket Richard again, the Bolts superstar is my favourite to win his third title.
Norris Trophy – Ryan Suter
Many felt the Wild blue liner should have won the Norris last year. Whether you blame the ‘East coast bias’ of the voters for that or not, a full NHL schedule this season should allow the go to D man in Minnesota to get plenty of exposure across North America.
Calder Trophy – Alexsander Barkov
Opportunity is key in the battle for the Calder. Barkov’s new team mate Jonathan Huberdeau got plenty on a poor Panthers side last year, and I see no reasons ‘Sasha’ won’t get the same in the sunshine state this year. Time playing pro hockey in Europe should allow the Panthers forward to hit the ground running.
Vezina Trophy – Henrik Lundqvist
With a new Coach behind the bench, and a new philosophy as a result, the Rangers have a period of adjustment to negotiate. The super Swede will be as important as ever if New York are to adapt and succeed under Vigneault. And if King Henrik does one thing well, it’s excelling when the Rags need him to!
Selke Trophy – Jonathan Toews
It’s no secret that the Selke is basically a three horse between Toews, Pavel Datsyuk and Patrice Bergeron. Either of the other two would be a worthy winner, but the Hawks Captain just seems to get better and better and looks set to defend his crown.
Jack Adams – Patrick Roy
I pegged the Avs to steal a wild card spot in my Western Conference predictions; if I’m right, ‘St Patrick’ will be a large reason why – providing the Avs with a much needed rocket up the back side. Want to see the fire Roy still possess? Look no further than his opening night explosion against Anaheim!