Tonight is the first major event of the most major week of the NHL offseason: the NHL Awards. The 2022-23 New Jersey Devils season was not just an excellent and history-setting season. It yielded three finalists for awards. And it is indeed an honor to be nominated.
The Time: 8:00 PM ET
The Broadcast: TV - TNT, Sportsnet, TVA
The Event: The 2023 NHL Awards
The Location: Nashville - also host for the 2023 NHL Draft
The Devils Up for Awards: There are three Devils up for hardware this year:
- The Big Deal, Jack Hughes, is a finalist for the Lady Byng Trophy, which is awarded to the player voted best to combine sportsmanship, gentlemanly conduct and ability as voted on by the Professional Hockey Writers Association (PHWA). The other two finalists are Anze Kopitar (who won it in 2015-16) and Brayden Point.
- Nico Hischier is a finalist for the Frank J. Selke Trophy, which is awarded the forward voted best to excel in the defensive aspects of the game as voted on by the PHWA. The other two finalists are Patrice Bergeron (who won it five times, last winning it last season) and Mitch Marner.
- Lindy Ruff is a finalist for the Jack Adams Award, which is awarded to the coach in the NHL who has “contributed the most to his team’s success” as voted on by the National Association of Broadcasters. Not the PHWA. Ruff won the Jack Adams in 2005-06 with Buffalo, edging out Peter Laviolette. The other two finalists are Jim Montgomery and Dave Hakstol.
Please keep in mind two things: these awards are for the 2022-23 season and not the 2023 playoffs; and they were already voted on. Being a finalist just means the person finished in the top three in voting. Tonight will reveal the winners.
The Quick Predictions for the Awards Involving the Devils: As much as I like Nico Hischier, the Selke is very much a reputation-driven award and I would be shocked if Bergeron did not win it a sixth time. I do think The Big Deal has the lack of fouls and the superior production to earn that Lady Byng. I think Hughes will win it. As for Ruff, well, one of the other finalists is the head coach of a Boston Bruins team that set an all-time record for points earned in a season (135) and wins (65). I do not think the broadcasters are not picking Jim Montgomery for those achievements.
While not mentioned as an award, the All-Star Teams should be announced tonight as well. I would hope Hughes, at a minimum, makes one of them. Not sure about any other Devil, though.
The Finalists for Other Awards: For the sake of awareness, here are the finalists for the other awards and my quick prediction for each of them:
- Hart Memorial Trophy (MVP): Connor McDavid, David Pastrnak, Matthew Tkachuk - Voted by PHWA. Prediction: McDavid.
- James Norris Memorial Trophy (Best Defenseman): Adam Fox, Erik Karlsson, Cale Makar - Voted by PHWA. Prediction: Karlsson
- Vezina Trophy (Best Goaltender): Connor Hellebuyck, Ilya Sorokin, Linus Ullmark - Voted by NHL General Managers. Prediction: Ullmark (93.8% save percentage and 40 wins. Bro.)
- Ted Lindsay Award (Most Outstanding Player): Erik Karlsson, Connor McDavid, David Pastrnak - Voted by the NHL Players’ Association. Prediction: McDavid
- Calder Memorial Trophy (Rookie of the Year): Matty Beniers, Owen Power, Stuart Skinner - Voted by PHWA. Prediction: Beniers
- Jim Gregory General Manager of the Year Award: Jim Nill, Don Sweeney, Bill Zito - Voted on by NHL General Managers and a panel of NHL executives, print, and broadcast media after the second round of the playoffs. So be mad at those people for not including a deserving Tom Fitzgerald for 2022-23. Anyway. Prediction: Sweeney.
- King Clancy Trophy (Humanitarian Contirbutions): Mikael Backlund, Anders Lee, Darnell Nurse - Voted on by a committee of NHL executives, commissioner Gary Bettman, and deputy commissioner Bill Daly. Prediction: N/A - It’s a humanitarian award.
- Masterton Trophy (Perseverance, Sportsmanship, Dedication to Hockey): Clayton Keller, Kris Letang, Alex Stalock - Voted on by the PHWA. Prediction: N/A - See the Clancy.
Your Time: This is the post where you can discuss the NHL Awards show as it happens. All rules apply. No swearing, no streams, no trolling, no beefs, and nothing inappropriate. Have fun and let’s hope at least one of Hughes, Hischier, and Ruff get an award to help cap off the wildly successful 2022-23 campaign. Thank you for reading and commenting.