A Guide to the NHL Awards

Ah, it’s that time of year. Baseball is in swing, the NFL draft just went down and the playoffs are providing nightly excitement between the NBA and NHL. There are only two downsides to this time of year: one, it has to end; two, confusion arises.

Why does confusion arise? Because of the NHL award system. Their awards, named after legendary figures both on and off the ice, are handed out each year with confusing titles. Instead of the MVP Award as in most other sports, it’s the Hart Trophy.

To help you keep your awards straight and who’s in the running for them, here’s an explanatory guide through the NHL awards:

Name of Award (Year of Creation)

  • Description

o   Finalists for 2014 Award

Team Awards:

Prince of Wales Trophy (1925)

  • Awarded to the Eastern Conference playoff champion

o   Boston Bruins, Montreal Canadians, Pittsburgh Penguins, New York Rangers

Clarence S. Campbell Bowl (1968)

  • Awarded to the Western Conference playoff champion

o   Chicago Blackhawks, Minnesota Wild, Anaheim Ducks, Los Angeles Kings

Stanley Cup (1893)

  • Awarded to the NHL playoff champion

o   Combination of finalists from Campbell Bowl and Prince of Wales Trophy

Presidents’ Trophy (1986)

  • Awarded to the club finishing the regular season with the best overall record based on points

o   Boston Bruins (2013-14 Winner)


Individual Awards:

Hart Memorial Trophy (1924)

  • Most Valuable Player

o   Sidney Crosby, Pittsburgh Penguins

o   Ryan Getzlaf, Anaheim Ducks

o   Claude Giroux, Philadelphia Flyers

Lady Byng Memorial Trophy (1925)

  • Player who exhibited outstanding sportsmanship and gentlemanly conduct combined with a high standard of playing ability

o   Patrick Marleau, San Jose Sharks

o   Ryan O’Reilly, Colorado Avalanche

o   Martin St. Louis, New York Rangers

Vezina Trophy (1927)

  • Best Goalie

o   Semyon Varlamov, Colorado Avalanche

o   Ben Bishop, Tampa Bay Lightning

o   Tuukka Rask, Boston Bruins

Calder Memorial Trophy (1937)

  • Rookie of the Year

o   Nathan MacKinnon, Colorado Avalanche

o   Tyler Johnson, Tampa Bay Lightning

o   Ondrej Palat, Tampa Bay Lightning

Art Ross Trophy (1948)

  • League leader in total points

o   Sidney Crosby (2013-14 Winner)

James Norris Memorial Trophy (1954)

  • Best All-Around Defenseman

o   Zdeno Chara, Boston Bruins

o   Duncan Keith, Chicago Blackhawks

o   Shea Weber, Nashville Predators

Conn Smythe Trophy (1965)

  • Most Valuable Player of the Playoffs

o   Undetermined until playoffs conclude

Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy (1968)

  • Perseverance, Sportsmanship, and Dedication to Hockey

o   Jaromir Jágr, New Jersey Devils

o   Manny Malhotra, Carolina Hurricanes

o   Dominic Moore, New York Rangers

Ted Lindsay Award (1971) – Previously referred to as Lester B. Pearson Award (1971-2009)

  • NHL’s Most Outstanding Player voted by Players Association

o   Sidney Crosby, Pittsburgh Penguins

o   Ryan Getzlaf, Anaheim Ducks

o   Claude Giroux, Philadelphia Flyers

o   This group looks familiar? They’re the same nominees for the Hart Trophy.

Jack Adams Award (1974)

  • Coach of the Year Award

o   Patrick Roy, Colorado Avalanche

o   Mike Babcock, Detroit Red Wings

o   Jon Cooper, Tampa Bay Lightning

Frank J. Selke Trophy (1978)

  • Best defensive-minded Forward

o   Anze Kopitar, Los Angeles Kings

o   Patrice Bergeron, Boston Bruins

o   Jonathan Toews, Chicago Blackhawks

William M. Jennings Trophy (1982)

  • Goalkeeper having played a minimum of 25 games and with the fewest goals scored against
  • Can be multiple winners

o   Jonathan Quick (2013-14 Winner)

King Clancy Memorial Trophy (1988)

  • Leadership Award and Noteworthy Humanitarian Contribution

o   No finalists picked

NHL Foundation Player Award (1998)

  • Uses core values of hockey to enrich the lives of others

o   Patrice Bergeron, Boston Bruins

o   Brent Burns, San Jose Sharks

o   Duncan Keith, Chicago Blackhawks

Maurice ‘Rocket’ Richard Trophy (1999)

  • Top Goal Scorer

o   Alexander Ovechkin, Washington Capitals (2013-14 Winner)

Mark Messier Leadership Award (2007)

  • Exemplifies Leadership qualities on and off the ice

o   Dustin Brown, Los Angeles Kings

o   Ryan Getzlaf, Anaheim Ducks

o   Jonathan Toews, Chicago Blackhawks

NHL General Manager of the Year

  • Top National Hockey League General Manager

o   List unavailable – Voting unfinished


Now-Defunct Awards:

O’Brien (1910-1950)

  • Stanley Cup Runner-Up

NHL Plus-Minus Award (1983-2008)

  • Player with the highest plus-minus statistic

Roger Crozier Saving Grace Award (2000-2007)

  • Awarded to Goalie who played at least 25 games who has highest save percentage

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