The Nashville Predators are holding their own Awards Show tonight in lieu of anyone attending that one that some people are going to in Las Vegas.
We are pretty sure that the Nashville Predators invitations to the big shindig in Las Vegas tonight to honor the best in the NHL must have gotten lost in the mail. Those things happen, but the league needs to do a better job to make sure that our players get there.
So we don’t want to sound ungrateful or anything but we are having our very own Predators Awards Show this evening and ONLY the Nashville Predators are invited. So there. In case you can’t make it, here are the awards that will be presented:
Vezina Trophy (Best Goaltender)
Pekka Rinne – Okay, let’s get the easy one out of the way first. We know that Carter Hutton was up for “Best Announcer From the Bench” but Pekka ran away with the best goaltender award. Hopefully, he wins it even easier this coming season. We are pretty sure at this point that it won’t be Hutton.
Art Ross Trophy (Highest Scorer)
Filip Forsberg – It was kind of touch and go for Prince Filip at the half-way point of the season but he came on strong and repeated as our Predators Art Ross Trophy winner with 33-31-64. The surprising thing is that second place went to Roman Josi with 61 points. You generally don’t want a defenseman to be your top scorer.
Maurice “Rocket” Richard Trophy (Highest Goal Scorer)
Filip Forsberg – Once again it was Forsberg by a whisker. James Neal had 31 and the two had quite a race down the stretch. This was also a repeat category for young Filip and he may dominate this category for years to come for the Predators. Forsberg also tied for the team record with his 33, first scored by Jason Arnott.
Norris Trophy (Best Defenseman)
Roman Josi – Josi is a first-time winner in this category for the Nashville Predators, long dominated by Shea Weber. We actually feel that Josi should be in Las Vegas for the League Norris Trophy Award presentation tonight but let’s not spread any sour grapes at our Preds Awards show.
Calder Trophy (Rookie of the Year)
Viktor Arvidsson – The Nashville Predators had no less than eight rookies play for them this season. At times, they had five rookies in the lineup. None was quite as impressive as the young Energizer Bunny, Viktor Arvidsson though. Especially that game six Overtime goal. Big things are expected from this young man in the future.
Selke Trophy (Best Defensive Forward)
Calle Jarnkrok – There were a lot of candidates for this award. James Neal was an amazing +27 on the season. Mike Fisher was in the running as was Filip Forsberg with all of his takeaways, but he already has an award for each hand and we didn’t want him to get hurt carrying them all. In the end, it went to Jarnkrok who played nice defensively against some of the top players on other teams. He was good on faceoffs and played great on the penalty kill as well.
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Lady Bing Trophy (Most Gentlemanly Play)
Mike Fisher – Okay, a little controversy on this pick. Not that Fisher isn’t deserving. Calle Jarnkrok had only 14 penalty minutes in 81 games. 14!!! There were seven players in the league with over 100 and Barett Jackman had 76. We got a late call from a young lady named Carrie Underwood who said that if her husband didn’t win an award, she wasn’t coming to the Awards Show and wouldn’t sing a song there. Thus, Mike Fisher with only 29 penalty minutes wins the award.
Masterton Trophy (Perseverance, Sportsmanship, and Dedication to Hockey)
Shea Weber – We know, we know…there are folks around the league that have doubts about the Sportsmanship aspect of this one. We in Smashville don’t though. The Captain is very deserving of this award. Who has more Perseverance or Dedication than Weber? And he only had 27 Penalty Minutes. He just hits harder than most.
Jack Adams Award (Coach of the Year)
Peter Laviolette – Phil Housley kept trying to tell us that it should count that he joined the Hall of Fame this season but we told him that was as a player, not a coach. Peter Laviolette had a really tough act to follow with the Nashville Predators after Barry Trotz left and we don’t think anyone can argue that he’s done a terrific job.
Hart Trophy (MVP)
Roman Josi – Wow, was this a tough one. So many deserving candidates. Filip Forsberg led the team in scoring and goals. James Neal had 31 goals and was a +27. Ryan Johansen came in and virtually turned the team around.
After much disagreement and thumb wrestling in the PredLines offices, we give this award and deservedly so, to young Roman Josi. Where would we have been without him this season? He gave a Norris Trophy performance all season long. He also gave an MVP-worthy performance.
Hopefully, next year the powers that be will realize that we have some pretty darn good players here in Nashville and will send their invitations to the Las Vegas gala via certified mail so they don’t get lost.