Make us your home page

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Top Lightning contenders for NHL awards

The NHL regular season ends today, and that means voting for the league's annual awards is underway. The Lightning should have several members of the organization under consideration.

Here is a quick look:

Calder Trophy (top rookie): Colorado's Nathan MacKinnon is the favorite, but those who have watched the Lightning know how good left wing Ondrej Palat has been. His 59 points lead the team and entering Saturday were second in the league to MacKinnon's 63. His plus-32 led all rookies, and whereas MacKinnon does not play on the penalty kill, Palat plays in all situations.

Others who should get consideration in voting by the Professional Hockey Writers Association include Tampa Bay center Tyler Johnson and Boston defenseman Torey Krug.

Jack Adams Award (top coach): The favorite is believed to be Patrick Roy for the turnaround of the Avalanche, but there is no denying the job done by Tampa Bay's Jon Cooper. Not many were picking the Lightning to make the playoffs. But despite the loss of Steven Stamkos for 45 games because of a broken right tibia, the Marty St. Louis drama and a lineup that in Friday's home regular-season finale had eight rookies, Tampa Bay is in the postseason for the first time since 2011. Stamkos has said he has never had such a good relationship with a coach, which says a lot about Cooper's ability to set a tone and connect with his players.

Others who should get consideration from NHL broadcasters are Philadelphia's Craig Berube, Anaheim's Bruce Boudreau and Columbus' Todd Richards.

Hart Trophy (most valuable player): Pittsburgh's Sidney Crosby should be the runaway winner in the voting by the hockey writers association. But Lightning goaltender Ben Bishop could get a bunch of top-three votes, which would get him to Las Vegas for June's awards ceremony. The unquestioned team MVP, Bishop set team records with 37 wins, a 2.23 goals-against average and a .924 save percentage, and carried the team while Stamkos was sidelined.

Vezina Trophy( top goalie): Bishop's 37 wins are fourth in the league, and he is in the top 10 in goals-against average and save percentage. Boston's Tuukka Rask (36-15-6 with a 2.04 goals-against average and a .930 save percentage) is the likely favorite in the voting by general managers.

General manager of the year: It's hard to argue with the Lightning's Steve Yzerman, who hired Cooper, traded for Bishop and added Valtteri Filppula through free agency. He also found a way to turn the Marty St. Louis situation into a positive by trading St. Louis to the Rangers for Ryan Callahan and first- and a second-round draft picks. And he did it while negotiating only with New York. The award is voted on by the league's 30 general managers and a panel of NHL executives and print and broadcast journalists.

Top Lightning contenders for NHL awards 04/12/14 [Last modified: Saturday, April 12, 2014 11:29pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Bucs talk social issues, protests at team meeting


    TAMPA — Each time Dirk Koetter walks through the door of his office at One Buc Place, he passes by the only jersey framed on his wall.

    Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver Mike Evans (13) wears custom cleats to represent Ross Initiative in Sports for Equality (RISE) as part of the NFL???‚??„?s "My Cause, My Cleats Campaign" before the start of a football game between the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and San Diego Chargers at Qualcomm Stadium in San Diego, Calif., on Sunday, Dec. 4, 2016.
  2. The 10 silliest names for college football bowl games


    The Bad Boy Mowers Gasparilla Bowl hadn't even been officially announced when SBNation called it the silliest bowl name ever. Ten others worthy of consideration:

    Logo for the Bad Boy Mowers Gasparilla Bowl. [MATT BAKER | Times]
  3. Austin Pruitt faces the Blue Jays tonight at the Trop.
  4. USF football and the undefeated degree of difficulty


    TAMPA — In the wake of the latest solar eclipse, USF fans eagerly await the next astronomical phenomenon.

    USF head coach Charlie Strong leads his team during practice last month in Tampa.
  5. Nature Coast puts unbeaten streak on the line vs. IMG White


    BROOKSVILLE — Nature Coast currently rides a 22-game regular-season win streak, but first-year football coach Cory Johns was not around for any of those wins. Neither was most of his coaching staff. This is an entirely new campaign with new obstacles ahead.

    Nature Coast offensive lineman Louis Miele (66) blocks a Sunlake defensive player during the Clash 4 Clayton football scrimmage and fundraiser Aug. 12 at Springstead High School.