Home > Commentary > Awards Finalist Review – Part One

Awards Finalist Review – Part One


The NHL has rolled out lists of finalists for this 2011-12 season so this is a great time to dissect, discuss , disseminate and any other di- word you’d like to inject here. Two at a time over the next month or so, we’ll roll out our take on the finalists selected and who we think will take home the hardware on June 20 at the 2012 NHL Awards Show  at the Encore Theater at Wynn in Las Vegas.

Calder Memorial Trophy Finalists:

New Jersey Devils center Adam Henrique, Colorado Avalanche left wing Gabriel Landeskog and Edmonton Oilers center Ryan Nugent-Hopkins have been named this year’s finalists for the Calder Trophy.

Jason’s Take: I have a feeling that RNH’s injury shortened rookie campaign will affect him here. So, it’s a horse race between the Avs Landeskog and the Devils Henrique and I’ll predict the winner as Adam Henrique. He was helped by injuries to Travis Zajac and Jacob Josefson that gave him an opening to show what he was made of and did he ever. As the first line center, with Parise and Kovalchuk skating on either side of him, he led all rookies with 35 Assists and third overall with 51 points. He also was tied for the league lead with 4 shorties.

Justin’s Take: My pick is Ryan Nugent-Hopkins a.k.a. the Nuuuuuge!! For me, RNH’s shoulder injury should not be a factor with regards to whether or not he wins the Calder Trophy. If anything, his injury proves that he deserves to win the Calder because the numbers he did put up, while healthy, are incredible. Choosing Rookie of the Year should go to the player that deserves it. Not giving him the award would be like punishing RNH because he got hurt.

I am hoping that the members of the Professional Hockey Writers’ Association take that into consideration when casting their vote. The trophy goes “to the player selected as the most proficient in his first year of competition in the National Hockey League. Nugent-Hopkins fits that description more accurately then the other two finalists.

Lady Byng Memorial Trophy Finalists:

Florida Panthers defenseman Brian Campbell, Edmonton Oilers right wing Jordan Eberle and New York Islanders left wing Matt Moulson had outstanding seasons offensively while managing to stay far away from the penalty box. For that reason, those players have been named the finalists for this year’s Lady Byng Memorial Trophy.

Jason’s Take: This one is going to be tough to judge as each player fits the mold for the trophy so well. If history tells us anything though, Defensemen typically get the short end of the stick in receiving the Lady Byng. Campbell was very productive as a blueliner dishing 49 assists, scoring 4 goals and collecting 53 points. That said, I would probably vote for Eberle: 34 Goals, 42 Assists, 10 Powerplay Goals and 76 points (all career highs) with only 10 minutes in the sin bin.

Justin’s Take: Jordan Eberle. Although I believe that Brian Campbell deserves strong consideration. From what I’ve seen in interviews (mostly when he was with the Hawks), Campbell is the type of guy you want in the locker room. Great attitude, always willing to help out, always giving his teammates good advice. But I think Eberle just comes out as the stronger candidate. Eberle, 21, was one of just two players to finish with no more than 10 penalty minutes while scoring at least 30 goals. Moulson was the other. The Islanders left-winger had just three minor penalties through the course of the season, as did Campbell, who is the lone defenseman in the final three.

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