The Professional Hockey Writers Association again denied Pittsburgh Penguins captain Sidney Crosby the Hart trophy for the league’s most valuable player. Crosby applauded and smiled as NHL leading scorer and prolific winger Tampa Bay Lightning Nikita Kucherov was awarded the prize for his 128 point outburst. Kucherov also won the Ted Lindsay award for the most outstanding player as voted by the NHL players.
Pittsburgh Hockey Now will provide the recap of the show, because the bland humor and painfully conservative attempts at laughs from host Kenan Thompson had the same comic snap as a gardening how-to manual but less relevance. The tepid show was often short on energy, originality, or anything resembling something watchable including a lame and somehow PC Lavar Ball impersonation.
Crosby scored 100 points this season, including 35 goals. He finished second in the voting but received only three first-place votes. The other finalist Edmonton Oilers superstar Connor McDavid received only one. Calgary Flames star Johnny Gaudreau finished fourth but received a pair of first-place votes.
Kucherov scored 128 points, which is more points than any player since Mario Lemieux in 1995-96. Crosby didn’t win the Hart, and he also finished fourth in Selke voting. Crosby earned 34 first-place votes which was third most received 30 second-place votes.
Penguins defenseman Kris Letang finished sixth in Norris Trophy (best defenseman) voting. He received three second-place votes and 14 third place votes.
New York Islanders goalie Robin Lehner, who won the Masteron trophy (perseverance and sportsmanship) for overcoming his battles with alcohol and substance abuse, perhaps had the most profound line of the night, “I’m not ashamed to say I’m mentally ill, but that doesn’t mean mentally weak.”
Penguins owner Mario Lemieux’s daughter Alexa, with Luc Robitaille’s daughter and one of Wayne Gretzky’s sons presented the Calder trophy to Elias Pettersson.
NHL Awards Recap:
Calder Trophy: Elias Pettersson
Lady Byng: Alexander Barkov
GM of the Year: Don Sweeney
King Clancy: Jason Zucker
Ted Lindsay Award: Nikita Kucherov
Norris Trophy: Mark Giordano
Cover of NHL 20: Auston Matthews
Masterton Trophy: Robin Lehner
Selke Trophy: Ryan O’Reilly
Jack Adams Award: Barry Trotz
Vezina trophy: Andre Vasilevskiy
Mark Messier NHL Leadership: Wayne Simmonds
Willie O’Ree Community Award: Rico Phillips who saved the youth hockey programs in Flint, Michigan.
Hart Trophy: Nikita Kucherov