The 2019 NHL season came to an official close on the night of June 19 when the best skaters gathered for the league’s awards show in Las Vegas. While there weren’t too many surprises, a couple of cases could be made for some players getting snubbed after the seasons they produced.
Below is the compiled list of those that received awards, with a couple of other names mixed in. Click here for more information on all the winners.
Hart Trophy: Nikita Kucherov
No shocker here, the Tampa Bay Lightning cruised through the season up until their ultimate collapse in the playoffs. They were led by Kucherov who also led the NHL with 128 points. He put up ridiculous numbers (41 goals and 87 assists) and he’s been a staple to the Lightning’s success by consistently being one of the best teams in the NHL.
Possible snub – Sidney Crosby
I’m sure naming him the league MVP would generate some eye rolls but he’s continued to put up big numbers every season. The main difference between Pittsburgh and Tampa Bay is having more pieces to surround their star players. Crosby still ended up hitting the century mark by scoring 35 goals and assisting on another 65.
Willie O’Ree Community Hero Award: Rico Phillips
Mark Messier NHL Leadership Award: Wayne Simmonds
Vezina Trophy: Andrei Vasilevskiy
As mentioned above, the Lightning had a really solid team this year. That’s what made their first-round departure from the playoffs that much more shocking. While they blew away the competition much of the season, Vasilevskiy remained stout in net until the Columbus Blue Jackets figured out the puzzle. He finished the year with 39 wins, saving 93% of the shots he faced, averaging 2.40 goals.
Possible snub – Ben Bishop
Besides trading for Mats Zuccarello midway through the season, the Dallas Stars made a push late in the season with their defense and physicality. Even though Bishop is one of the oldest goalies in the league, he made the most of his opportunities and nearly saw the Stars advance to the Western Conference Finals. Bishop finished the season with a 93% save percentage, tallying 27 wins and allowing a shade under two goals on average.
Jack Adams Award: Barry Trotz
Trotz joined a short list as just the fifth coach to ever win multiple Coach of the Year awards. He won his first back in the 2015-16 season with the Washington Capitals. Following last season, Trotz was narrowly edged out by Vegas Golden Knights Gerard Gallant, leading the Knights to the Stanley Cup Finals for their inaugural season. Of course, they were defeated by Trotz’s Caps and the Cup stayed in DC for the first time. Trotz took on a new challenge, taking the reins for the New York Islanders. After a dismal 35-37-10 record in 2017-18, Trotz whipped them into shape en route to a 48-27-7 record, finishing second in their Conference and qualifying for the playoffs for the first time in three years.
Possible snub – Craig Berube
This one gets an asterisk to go alongside his name due to the fact Berube served as an interim coach. By now, everyone who has watched a wink of hockey knows who this guy is and what he’s accomplished. A quick departure from previous coach Mike Yeo, taking on the weight of a team that had sunk to the bottom of the league. The Blues put together a remarkable comeback, going from worst to near first and worked their way through the playoffs. They completed the “comeback story” by winning the Cup for the first time in franchise history. Berube was named a finalist for Coach of the Year.
Frank J, Selke Trophy: Ryan O’Reilly
O’Reilly added another piece of hardware to his resume by winning the Selke Trophy as the best defensive forward this past season. He continued to be a machine in the faceoff circle, leading the league with 1,086 wins, 121 of which were short-handed. While known for his defense, O’Reilly used his offensive play to take over the second half of the Stanley Cup finals, ultimately leading him to be named MVP and winning the Conn Smythe trophy.
Bill Masterton Trophy: Robin Lehner
In order to qualify for this award, a hockey player must show perseverance against mental health issues or dealing with addiction. Lehner exhibited these traits when openly admitting to dealing with mental health issues leading up to the season. He went on to lead the Islanders to the playoffs for the first time in three years. Lehner finished with a 25-13-5 record with a 93% save rate, averaging 2.13 goals. There’s also rumor he might end up retiring before next season for various reasons.
James Norris Trophy: Mark Giordano
Ted Lindsay Award: Nikita Kucherov
King Clancy Trophy: Jason Zucker
GM of the Year: Don Sweeney
Everyone can recall the moment when the Boston Bruins and their fan base were livid on a visible tripping call. While it wasn’t Sweeney who threw the water bottle (President Cam Neely did though), the Bruins simmered down and saw Sweeney win GM of the Year. The Bruins finished with 107 points in the regular season, tying for second in the league. It certainly wasn’t the way they hoped their playoff run would end, but at least their franchise added some hardware.
Lady Byng Trophy: Aleksander Barkov
Calder Trophy: Elias Petterson
When it comes to rookies in the league, their play can be hit or miss due to lacking experience on the big stage. Some guys ultimately have “it” and are naturals, making a seamless transition, while others are deemed “projects” and take more time to develop. Petterson proved to be a natural this past season, setting rookie records for the Vancouver Canucks. He finished up with 66 points, setting the record by six points, with a combined 28 goals and 38 assists. This kid is special and is going to continue making noise in the future as the Canucks try and make it to the playoffs for the first time since 2014-15.
Possible snub – Jordan Binnington
Throughout the 2019 playoffs, Binnington was stellar. He suffered two or three mediocre performances and was pulled one time but ultimately helped the Blues in a big way to winning the Cup. Binnington went up against the likes of Connor Hellebuyck (young goalie), Bishop, Martin Jones, and Tuukka Rask (all vets). He set a record for most wins in the playoffs during his rookie year and helped turn the Blues from a worst to first team in the league.