The Nationwide Hockey League introduced the recipients of 4 of its annual awards Thursday, two months after the steady season was once swiftly halted, then canceled.
Regardless that there was once little suspense since all 4 awards honor regular-season statistical leaders in quite a lot of classes, the awards had been a mental marker that reified a unusual timeline that has observed play suspended, gamers in large part not able to coach on ice and, maximum not too long ago, steps taken towards a posh, expanded 24-team playoff that might be performed over the summer time.
“I feel it’s a type of moments the place we understand that the steady season is over and it’s directly to playoff mode,” Florida Panthers defenseman Keith Yandle mentioned.
Yandle said that one of the award races will have modified form within the canceled portion of the season, however he emphasised that each participant was once coping with the similar atypical cases. The league had finished about 85 % of the steady season when play was once suspended on March 12.
“It’s now not like one or two groups were given to play 10 video games extra. Just about everybody performed an identical quantity of video games and the ones guys had been identified for having superb years,” Yandle mentioned.
Washington Capitals left wing Alex Ovechkin gained his document 9th scoring identify as he and Boston Bruins proper wing David Pastrnak shared the Maurice “Rocket” Richard Trophy, awarded to the league’s best target scorer. Each gamers scored 48 targets. Ovechkin was once two targets shy of his 9th 50-goal season, which might have tied a document shared by way of Wayne Gretzky and Mike Bossy, with 13 video games left at the Capitals’ time table when the season was once halted.
Toronto Maple Leafs heart Auston Matthews completed the truncated marketing campaign one target at the back of Ovechkin and Pastrnak. Along with a possible tie-break, Matthews will have doubtlessly fired his solution to the trophy had the season been finished. Washington had performed 69 video games whilst Boston and Toronto had every performed 70 when play was once suspended.
“I wouldn’t thoughts having a recreation towards Boston or Toronto in order that the ones 3 guys can come to a decision,” Capitals heart Evgeny Kuznetsov mentioned. “Or, in the event that they need to be ingenious, they might create a problem for the ones 3 guys and feature a contest between them to turn their abilities.”
Edmonton Oilers ahead Leon Draisaitl gained the Artwork Ross Trophy because the league’s best level manufacturer in probably the most comfy type of any of Thursday’s winners. He completed 13 issues forward of his teammate Connor McDavid.
Draisaitl, the primary German participant to win a scoring identify in a significant North American league, will for sure obtain attention for the Hart Trophy, awarded to the N.H.L.’s most dear participant. Partial to his nation’s football league, the Bundesliga, Draisaitl mentioned he was hoping the N.H.L. would glean courses from that league’s restart previous this month.
“They’ve performed an excessively skilled activity of creating it as shut as imaginable to a standard recreation day and a standard structure,” he mentioned.
In a far nearer race, the Bruins’ goalie tandem of Tuukka Rask and Jaroslav Halak gained the William M. Jennings Trophy, awarded every season to the goalies for the crew that allowed the fewest targets. They edged out the Dallas Stars’ Ben Bishop and Anton Khudobin by way of simply seven targets allowed, and had performed yet one more recreation than Dallas.
The Bruins additionally earned the Presidents’ Trophy, awarded to the crew with the very best level overall. That they had a recreation in hand and a 6-point benefit at the runner-up St. Louis Blues, their Stanley Cup finals adversary final 12 months.
Not like the N.B.A., which in some cases makes use of league honors to dictate the incomes possible of its gamers, bonuses within the N.H.L. for league awards are restricted. Nearly all of gamers would not have monetary incentives of their contracts by the use of promises within the collective bargaining settlement, as the ones most effective observe to entry-level gamers and over-35 veterans on one-year contracts.
Just one participant who was once an award winner or runner-up Thursday, Khudobin, is headed towards possible unfastened company. None are on entry-level contracts and none face possible wage arbitration for subsequent season.
The participant brokers Allan Walsh and Eustace King agreed that any possible bonuses referring to trophies or their factoring into wage arbitration had been issues that the N.H.L. and its gamers’ union would adjudicate within the close to long term on account of the unusual nature of this season and subsequent. It was once one of the problems to be resolved between the 2 facets within the close to long term.
“All we’ve got at the moment is an settlement at the structure of a go back to play, if we’re in a position to get to the purpose the place we’re in a position to play video games, that’s all we’ve got,” Walsh mentioned.