Tampa Bay's Victor Hedman wins Conn Smythe as playoff MVP

Victor Hedman of the Tampa Bay Lightning has gained the Conn Smythe Trophy as playoff MVP

EDMONTON, Alberta — When the Tampa Bay Lightning had been nonetheless in Toronto, they loved some contemporary air out of doors on the soccer stadium throughout the bubble.

Victor Hedman kicked and made a 50-yard box function, football taste, completely splitting the uprights.

Is there the rest this man can not do?

Hedman did all of it off and on the ice for the Lightning on methods to successful the Stanley Cup, and the large Swedish defenseman was once awarded the Conn Smythe Trophy as playoff MVP after the Lightning gained the Stanley Cup on Monday night time, getting rid of Dallas in six video games.

“That closing duration was once almost certainly the longest duration of my lifestyles,” Hedman stated. “I’m confused. You clearly want your circle of relatives and fanatics may well be right here, however we felt the reinforce from again house.”

Even with Nikita Kucherov and Brayden Level filling the scoresheet, it was once not possible to overstate Hedman’s price to Tampa Bay offensively, defensively and within the management division within the absence of injured captain Steven Stamkos.

5 years after Tampa Bay’s run to the overall when trainer Jon Cooper stated Hedman “put us on his again,” he scored 10 objectives, stored many others and helped raise his staff to a championship.

“Through the years you’ll be able to more or less see his self assurance develop, his skill to make performs simply on the subsequent degree,” longtime teammate Tyler Johnson stated. “He’s truly simply grown into the beast he’s now.”

Hedman averaged 26 mins and post 22 issues all over the Lightning’s 25-game trip from round-robin play thru to the overall. The 29-year-old skated virtually a complete hour all over the Lightning’s five-overtime victory towards Columbus within the first around and he was once a horse once more within the double OT loss to Dallas in Sport five.

A Norris Trophy finalist because the NHL’s best defenseman 4 years in a row and the 2018 winner, Hedman managed the play and made the playoffs a private show off.

“I’ve by no means observed somebody 6-6 skate like him,” stated Rick Bowness, who coached Hedman as a Tampa Bay assistant for 5 years and whose Dallas Stars had been eradicated within the ultimate by way of the Lightning. “He’s only a particular athlete. He’s. He’s a different particular person. He’s a good looking all the way down to earth humble child with simply heaps of skill.”

Hedman has had large moments within the playoffs: 3 game-winning objectives, together with the sequence clincher in beyond regular time towards Boston and Sport three of the overall to place the Lightning up at the Stars. In Sport four, he stored a function by way of clearing the puck out earlier than it slid into the web.

“He’s implausible,” stated Nashville captain Roman Josi, this season’s Norris winner. “I like observing him play. I consider taking part in towards him when I used to be like 16 and I already knew how just right he was once going to be. He’s this kind of entire defenseman.”

Cooper, requested concerning the presence of former New York Rangers captain Ryan McDonagh in filling the management void with Stamkos injured, unprompted introduced up Hedman. Stamkos additionally singled out Hedman for what he has achieved within the locker room, which contains making his teammates higher.

“My first yr I got here into the league, Heddy gained the Norris that yr,” younger defenseman Mikhail Sergachev stated. “It was once implausible to look at him play in each and every state of affairs and the way skilled he’s off the ice and the way great of a man he’s. … At the ice, he’s a beast. It’s simply a laugh to look at him play and be told from him.”

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Observe AP Hockey Author Stephen Whyno on Twitter at https://twitter.com/SWhyno

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Extra AP NHL: https://apnews.com/NHL and https://twitter.com/AP—Sports activities

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