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2020 NHL Awards: Finalists & Predictions

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The Finalists have been announced. Here’s a simple reason for every award winner:

LAS VEGAS, NV - JUNE 19: Joe Thornton of the San Jose Sharks poses for photos on the red carpet during the 2019 NHL Awards at Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino on June 19, 2019 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Photo by Jeff Speer/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The NHL wrapped up the rolling scheduling of releases to announce the 2020 NHL Awards Finalists on Tuesday morning with the nominations for the Hart Memorial Trophy. Unsurprisingly, not a single Sharks player graces this list, but it’s a rare year that one of them doesn’t deserve it.

Deservedness will be a point of contention from now until whenever the Conference Finals happen, as that’s when the winners will be announced, with the exact time, date and format to be determined. It’s a little more fun to argue over who deserves it more when you’ve got no skin in the game.

Mostly I just think I deserve an award for sitting through last season. We all do.

Ted Lindsay Award

Awarded to the NHL’s outstanding player as selected by the members of the NHLPA.
Finalists: Leon Draisaitl (Edmonton Oilers), Nathan MacKinnon (Colorado Avalanche), Artemi Panarin (New York Rangers)

This is kind of like a little popularity contest. I think Nathan MacKinnon is probably going to win Prom King.

Calder Memorial Trophy

Awarded to the league’s most outstanding rookie player.
Finalists: Quinn Hughes (Vancouver Canucks), Cale Makar (Colorado Avalanche), Dominik Kubalik (Chicago Blackhawks)

No matter who wins this, we all lose because Avalanche fans will never shut up about the results. Give it to Quinn Hughes.

Jack Adams Award

Awarded to the NHL coach adjudged to have contributed the most to his team’s success (i.e. Coach of the Year).
Finalists: Bruce Cassidy (Boston Bruins), John Tortorella (Columbus Blue Jackets), Alain Vigneault (Philadelphia Flyers)

This award is at least 80 percent luck. Sounds like the 2019-20 Flyers.

Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy

Awarded to the player who best exemplifies the qualities of perseverance, sportsmanship, and dedication to hockey.
Finalists: Stephen Johns (Dallas Stars), Oskar Lindblom (Philadelphia Flyers), Bobby Ryan (Ottawa Senators)

Lady Byng Memorial Trophy

Awarded to the player who exhibited outstanding sportsmanship and gentlemanly conduct combined with a high standard of playing ability.
Finalists: Nathan MacKinnon (Colorado Avalanche), Auston Matthews (Toronto Maple Leafs), Ryan O’Reilly (St. Louis Blues)

The league really isn’t going to give an award for “gentlemanly conduct” to the guy who sexually harassed a security guard or the guy who drove his truck into a Tim Horton’s, are they? They must realize that’s too on the nose, right? Right?

Vezina Trophy

Awarded to the league’s top goaltender.
Finalists: Connor Hellebuyck (Winnipeg Jets), Tuukka Rask (Boston Bruins), Andrei Vasilevskiy (Tampa Bay Lightning)

Gary Bettman, I am begging you, however you decide to broadcast the NHL Awards this year, please show this tweet on screen when you announce the Vezina win:

Thank you for your consideration.

Frank J. Selke Trophy

Awarded to the forward who best excels in the defensive aspects of the game.
Finalists: Patrice Bergeron (Boston Bruins), Sean Couturier (Philadelphia Flyers), Ryan O’Reilly (St. Louis Blues)

If they aren’t going to rename this the Patrice Bergeron Award, they might as well start being honest and call this the face-off award. But maybe wait until he retires or something, because Couturier should win it this year, no question.

James Norris Memorial Trophy

Awarded to the defenseman who demonstrates throughout the season the greatest all-round ability in the position.
Finalists: John Carlson (Washington Capitals), Victor Hedman (Tampa Bay Lightning), Roman Josi (Nashville Predators)

Carlson was having an unreal season prior to the pause, a full ten points ahead of Josi. For all intents and purposes, he finished the season with the highest points per game average for a defender since 1994. It’s a good year for a make-up win because there’s no question he would’ve gotten it regardless.

Hart Memorial Trophy

Awarded to the “player judged most valuable to his team.”
Finalists: Leon Draisaitl (Edmonton Oilers), Nathan MacKinnon (Colorado Avalanche), and Artemi Panarin (New York Rangers)

Leon Draisaitl has cracked 100 points each of the last two seasons, one of which was over just 71 games. What more do you want from him? Do you need blood? Give him an MVP award already, you ghouls.