NHL Award Finalists and Picks Part 3

Part one can be found here, while part two can be found here.

Vezina Trophy: Best Goaltender

Finalists:

  • Martin Brodeur, New Jersey Devils
  • Ryan Miller, Buffalo Sabres
  • Ilya Bryzgalov, Phoenix Coyotes

Interesting how the three finalists for the most outstanding goaltender went one-and-done in the playoffs. All three goalies are outstanding in their own way. All three competed for their native countries in the Olympics, despite Brodeur getting benched after the first matchup against Miller and the United States. Brodeur was the workhorse of NHL goalies as he led all goaltenders in games played (77) , wins (45) , and shoutouts (9). Miller kept his hot streak going after the United States Olympic run as he posted a 9-2-1 record after the Vancouver games. He also posted a .929 save percentage while winning 41 games. Bryzgalov was the one of the trio who had more of a breakout season. He posted career-high’s in games played (69), wins (42), and shutouts (eight). His season also led to the Coyotes posting franchise best marks in wins and points in a season.

My Pick: Bryzgalov

GM of the Year

Finalists:

  • George McPhee, Washington Capitals
  • Don Maloney, Phoenix Coyotes
  • David Poile, Nashville Predators

The work of a general manager is like walking a fine line. If the team has a successful season, the GM is given credit for assembling a fantastic roster. If they start to lose games, the finger is pointed at them. The three finalists this season has either seen the fruits of their labor some to fruition or has kept their team competitive in the salary cap era of the NHL. McPhee and Poile didn’t have to tinker with their teams as much as Maloney had to, but they did enough to have their team keep improving over the course of the season. McPhee signed Mike Knuble to help Alex Ovechkin and Niklas Backstrom form one of the most powerful lines in the NHL. Poile was patient in Nashville, as the team was struggling early in the season. Instead of blowing it up right there, he let coach Barry Trotz work it out before making moves at the deadline to push Nashville into the seventh seed in the playoffs. Maloney had a tough situation last off season as he couldn’t make any moves due to the team being in bankruptcy court and not knowing his operating budget. He did what he could, and fielded a young, competitive team to¬† make the playoffs and bring fans back to the arena.

My Pick: Maloney

Washington defenseman Mike Green is a finalist for the Norris Trophy. Last season he finished second behind Boston's Zdeno Chara.
Washington defenseman Mike Green is a finalist for the Norris Trophy. Last season he finished second behind Boston's Zdeno Chara.

Norris Trophy: Most Outstanding Defenseman

Finalists:

  • Drew Doughty, Los Angeles Kings
  • Mike Green, Washington Capitals
  • Duncan Keith, Chicago Blackhawks

It’s weird to see a Norris Trophy finalist list without seeing Nicklas Lidstrom. Could it be the end of an era of one of the best defensemen in league history? The three finalists up for the award this season is part of the youth movement the league is going for. Mike Green has both the offensive and defensive capabilities that’s needed for a top notch blueliner. Green finished runner-up to Zdeno Chara last season, and lead all defensemen this season in goals, assists, points, and power play goals. Doughty would be the second-youngest winner, behind Bobby Orr. Keith posted career high’s in goals, assists and points while finishing second behind Green in assists and points.

My Pick: Green

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