Tony X, of course, is Hockey's First Black Fan and I really hope the NHL makes him present with Anson Carter because I think the internet will legitimately melt.NHL Awards presenters, including Tony X pic.twitter.com/VJI2mcrkoh— Sean Leahy (@Sean_Leahy) June 21, 2016
We'll get some hot blondes to look at, and we'll also get Jason Priestley (who I may or may not be named after, I'm still waiting on an official ruling from my mom).
But what really matters tonight is the awards and who is going to win them. Let's jump in:
Hart Memorial Trophy and Vezina Trophy
Patrick Kane -1100 and Braden Holtby -3000
I'm going to combine these two categories into one big boring one because Kaner and Holtby ran away with them over the course of the year.
Calder Memorial Trophy
Artemi Panarin -375
Connor McDavid +270
Shayne Gostisbehere +900
The Rookie of the Year award this year isn't going to go to the most talented rookie (McDavid) or the most valuable (Gostisbehere). It's going to Panarin, who played on a line with the guy who led the league in points and led his team to three Stanley Cups in the last six years.
You can bet Panarin with 100% certainty that he's going to win, though you're going to want to throw him into a parlay to make it worth anything. (Panarin-Kane-Holtby parlay pays -233)
Frank J. Selke Award
Anze Kopitar -110
Patrice Bergeron EVEN
Ryan Kesler +650
Bergey has already won this award three times, and for good reason - he's a lockdown center, and this award rotates between him and Toews (Kesler won it in 2011, and before that it was Datsyuk and Brind'Amour for five years).
Much like the Bergeron/Toews/Kopitar group took over after the Datsyuk/Brindy phase, there is another group of Selke Guys on the horizon. Names like Aleksander Barkov and Sean Couturier will creep in, and Panthers/Flyers fans will argue for their inclusion in the award discussion well before they are ready.
But this year, I think it has to be Kopitar. He's always been in the discussion, and I believe the Hockey Media will reward him for that. Yes, obviously Bergeron is deserving. But Kopitar has been a "Selke Guy" for a while and he just got the captaincy in LA. It's time he got his trophy.
Jack Adams Award
Barry Trotz -135
Gerard Gallant +105
Lindy Ruff +900
I wonder if we can find out when these ballots were due, because if playoff performance is going to be factored in I'd take Gallant. Trotz was handed a roster that would have won 60 games if you simulated the season on NHL16. Gallant took a team full of old guys and rookies and turned them into a dark horse candidate in the Atlantic with an extremely bright future, though they were bounced in the first round.
(Does a Google search) Okay so the ballots were due at the end of the regular season, meaning we're choosing between the coach who rode his stacked roster to the Presidents' Trophy and the coach who rode his hodgepodge roster to the best season in franchise history. Recent history tends to favor the coach of the team that wasn't an all-time great, plus Fuck The Caps. I'll take Gallant at +105.
James Norris Trophy
Erik Karlsson -145
Drew Doughty +145
Brent Burns +550
I made a joke earlier about the internet burning to the ground if the make the two black guys present together, but that almost doesn't even matter because it's going to burn to the ground anyway when they announce the Norris winner.
Karlsson doesn't play defense, Doughty doesn't play offense, and Burns plays both very well but apparently isn't a legit candidate.
People much smarter than me have made cases for Karlsson, Doughty, and Burns (probably a hundred times apiece for the first two). In my Dumb Person analysis, here's what I can recall from my various reading over the course of the year (all facts may or may not be true):
- Karlsson plays more minutes than anyone in the league. His team is about league average with him on the ice, and they would drop to an Auston Matthews sweepstakes-caliber team with him on the bench. The big knock on him is he quarterbacks the Senators' offense instead of just standing in front of slapshots all night.
- Doughty is a classic defense-first defenseman's defenseman. He may not score a lot of goals or generate a lot of offense, but he Gets To The Dirty Areas and Plays Physical In His Own End. Or something. I don't know. His offensive production is so bad that one person making charts comparing all the possible Norris candidates (I'm drawing a blank on who it was but I'll update this if I can find it) had to actually lower his limits for offensive production to get Doughty included in the top 20 defensemen.
- Burns led all defensemen league-wide in goals.
If you can't tell from those summaries, I think Karlsson should win and I'd prefer Burns over Doughty. But this is a two-horse race, and I'm backing EK. If I have to pick one reason, it's the difference in the Sens' on-ice product when he's on the ice versus when he's on the bench.
The Bet Slip
Kane/Holtby/Panarin parlay -233