One Could Hope
These next few awards are those Predators players are not far from being finalists for. They need a little help from the frontrunners falling back to earth a little bit. Nonetheless, be on the lookout for some Predators to make the final cut for the Jack Adams, Vezina, GM of the Year, and William M. Jennings Trophies.
Jack Adams Award
The Jack Adams Award is for the head coach who is judged to have contributed most to his team’s success. Ex-Predators coach, Barry Trotz was a finalist for this award twice as the bench boss for Nashville. Current coach, Laviolette, has been nominated for his contributions to the Philidelphia Flyers as well as the Predators. In recent years, Laviolette easily should have been considered for this award. This year is a little different due to how deep of a roster Nashville has. Either way, he is Nashville’s only head coach, so he gets the nod.
Considered one of the biggest awards, the Vezina goes to the best goalie in the league. Pekka Rinne is a three-time finalist for the award. He is having arguably his most proficient and consistent season of his career. He undoubtedly carried his confidence from his epic playoff performance into the new season. Unfortunately, Corey Crawford is having his best year as well. I would say Crawford should win the award, especially since his team has played so poorly this season. All things considered, Rinne is definitely having a Vezina-worthy year.
General Manager of the Year
The name says it all. Nashville Predators GM, David Poile, can be considered for this award almost every year. He is one of the more aggressive general managers in the league. This year was no different when he traded prospects, Samuel Girard and Vladislav Kamenev, in a three-team trade that landed Kyle Turris for the Predators. Since that trade, the Predators have been towards the tops in the league in offense and have the third highest point total. Unfortunately, if the Las Vegas Golden Knights continue their success, GM George McPhee is a virtual lock for the award.
William M. Jennings Trophy
The William M. Jennings Trophy is awarded to the goaltender who started at least 25 games for the team that allowed the least goals against all season. The Nashville Predators have allowed the second fewest goals this season. If the Predators can keep it up, they might actually have two goalies win the award. Obviously, Rinne will meet the qualifications, but Jusse Saros might end up playing 25 games this year as well. After a slow start to the season for Saros, Laviolette has shown his willingness to play Saros more frequently. Laviolette is on board with the idea of keeping Rinne rested for the playoffs. It doesn’t hurt that Saros has been playing lights out all year long. Saros would need a little help from Laviolette, though. Saros is currently on pace to start 21 games.