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Predicting Award Winners And When Vegas Wins Each Trophy

On Wednesday the NHL will host its annual awards show in which they hand out the league’s most coveted trophies to the best of the best hockey players in the world.

Of course, here in Vegas we are slightly more concerned about a certain announcement expected to come slightly prior to the Awards, but we thought we’d have some fun with it any way.

Right now every trophy, including the Stanley Cup (limited hours) are on display at in and around the lobby of the Hard Rock Hotel. In honor of the world’s coolest trophy collection gracing our fine city we are going to predict each 2015-16 winner and then tell you when you can expect each trophy to call Las Vegas home in the future.

NHL General Manager of the Year Award
2016 – Jim Rutherford
Vegas Projection – 2018

Drafting in an expansion draft seems really tough to me. You have a list of players that are sorta tainted, even though they aren’t. It’s like day old bread, yeah it’s fine but I’m going to think before buying it. The Las Vegas GM should be applauded for any roster he puts together. And if the team competes, polish the award and hand it to Vegas.

Mark Messier Leadership Award
2016 – Jonathan Tavares
Vegas Projection – 2019

I’m giving the Vegas Captain two seasons and he’ll win the Jennings award. This is an award that players work hard for, on and off the ice. Once Las Vegas’ Captain meets up with Opportunity Village, hob nobs with Monday’s Dark, and visits all other Las Vegas charities he’ll move to the front of the line. It’ll be easy for players to get involved and give back to the community because there’s no other sports figures in town doing it.

NHL Foundation Player Award (We Literally Have No Clue What This Is Actually Awarded For)
2016 – Matt Martin
Vegas Projection – 2021

This is awarded to “an NHL player who applies the core values of hockey — commitment, perseverance and teamwork — to enrich the lives of people in his community. So pretty much the last one, but somehow different. We’ll take it down in 2021. Why not.

Frank J. Selke Trophy (Best Forward At Defense)
2016 – Anze Kopitar
Vegas Projection – 2020

Selke-type players are relied heavily on, and serve as the team’s central nervous system. Selke award players are usually drafted, and developed to become a two-way player. Las Vegas can easily draft a player like that, and develop him into a Selke winner. There’s no real pressure to win, so Vegas can develop young players on NHL ice. A young, defensive forward should learn a great deal in the first few seasons.

Jack Adams Award (Best Coach)
2016 – Barry Trotz
Vegas Projection – 2018

The Jack Adams award can go two ways; to a first place coach, or a coach of a surprise team. Bob Hartley won the Jack Adams last year because no one expected the Calgary Flames to make the playoffs. Trotz will win it this year because the Capitals were historically good in the regular season. If Vegas makes or sniffs the playoffs in their first season, the going away winner of the Jack Adams award will be the coach of Las Vegas.

Ted Lindsay Award (Fake MVP – Awarded By NHLPA)
2016 – Braden Holtby
Vegas Projection – 2022

Essentially the same situation as the Hart award. Las Vegas players will have a hard time winning the Ted Lindsay trophy at first. Lindsay award winners are the best players in the league, Jagr, Ovechkin and Crosby all have three. It’ll be a while before there’s a Lindsay trophy winner in Las Vegas

Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy (Perseverance, Dedication, and Sportsmanship)
2016 – Jaromir Jagr
Vegas Projection – 2019

We all know The Creator wants to compete right away. So playing off those expectations it’s very possible for a player in Vegas to win the Bill Masterson trophy. If a guy like Dustin Brown revives his career and scores 25 goals, he’ll be the favorite to win the Masterson award.

Conn Smythe Trophy (Playoff MVP)
2016 – Sidney Crosby
Vegas Projection – 2023

First we have to make it to the playoffs. That’ll probably happen starting in 2019 or so. Then we need a few years to start getting used to being there. Then, dominance. 2023 is going to be fun.

James Norris Memorial Trophy (Best Defenseman)
2016 – Drew Doughty
Vegas Projection – 2027

Las Vegas will have to build a strong blue line, but players like Doughty and Erik Karlsson won’t be available. Leading me to believe the Norris trophy will be locked up fora long time. Maybe at that point Vegas will have traded or developed a Doughty/Karlsson/Burns type defenseman. Fingers crossed.

Calder Memorial Trophy (Rookie Of The Year)
2016 – Connor McDavid
Vegas Projection – 2018

Artemi Panarin may win but as mentioned earlier, I think McDavid will win a lot of hardware over the next decade. Making it tough for on of ours to win the Hart Trophy. Rookie of the year however, no need to wait around for this one. Mostly players from teams in transition pick up the Calder award, excluding the Blackhawks of course. Las Vegas should be in transition for a couple of seasons so maybe Nolan Patrick or Gabriel Valardi will hoist the Calder trophy for the Black Knights.

Vezina Trophy (Best Goalie)
2016 – Braden Holtby
Vegas Projection – 2021

Next season Carey Price is expected to be healthy, so I’m awarding the next four Vezina awards to the Habs net-minder. We’re expecting Las Vegas to take a very good goaltender in the expansion draft, maybe even two. However, neither will be as good as Price. Remember, Price won the Hart & Vezina trophies last year. After Price’s reign of terror though, it’s ours for the taking.

Lady Byng Memorial Trophy (Best Player That’s Not A Jackass)
2016 – Anze Kopitar
Vegas Projection – 2022

Kopitar is a world class player, so it’s not surprising he may win two awards. He played 20+ minutes a game this season and only took 16 minutes in penalties. How bleeping disciplined is that? 2014 winner Ryan O’Reilly only sat in the Sin Bin for two minutes that season. That’s completely numb. I find it hard to believe that any Vegas player will be disciplined enough for Lady Byng in the first few seasons. I’m not saying the Las Vegas Sin Bin will be constantly occupied, but new NHL teams like to establish themselves. Let’s worry about the Lady Byng trophy in few years.

Hart Memorial Trophy (MVP)
2016 – Patrick Kane
Vegas Projection – 2028

Kane will win the award, but I personally would’ve voted for Sidney Crosby. Not to mention Jamie Benn, who had another fine season. Do you see the names here? Hall of Fame type players win the Hart Trophy. Las Vegas will have a hard time finding a Hart winner for awhile. Since 2000 there have been three Hart Trophy winners that played for expansion teams: Martin St. Louis, Joe Thornton, and Corey Perry. It took each franchise over 10 seasons before one of their player was awarded the league MVP. Give Vegas some time on the Hart Trophy. Plus, there’s that kid up in Edmonton that will win a few.

Presidents’ Trophy (Top Team In Regular Season)
2016 – Capitals
Vegas Projection – 2031

No need to win the Presidents’, we’re going for the real prize.

Prince of Wales Trophy (Eastern Conference Champion)
2016 – Penguins
Vegas Projection – N/A

Unless there’s some really really stupid realignment. Bettman sucks.

Clarence S. Campbell Bowl (Western Conference Champion)
2016 – Sharks
Vegas Projection – 2023

Gotta win this first, but I still recommend no one touches it. Not everyone has the magical powers Crosby possesses, no need to tempt fate.

Stanley Cup
2016 – Penguins
Vegas Projection – 2023

Reserve your spot on Las Vegas Boulevard now for the parade. It’s going to be awesome.

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1 Comment

  1. Daoloth

    It would help if listed the people nominated for the awards instead of just predicting the winners… If Burns don’t win the Norris, they should just get rid of the award. If anybody thinks he shouldn’t they should stop watching hockey immediately :). I’m a Kings fan though Drew plays lots of minutes he isn’t great at any single thing… He is not the dynamic player a Burns is where teams have to scheme to stop him. Drew don’t have a blasting shot on the PP, he under achieve when it comes to point production… He takes bad penalties, the team plays a defensive system which helps pad his stats. He had his best year since his second season in the NHL… Burns should have scored 30 goals, he played with no talent bums like Martin or others on his left side… Who was on the Penguins teams that twice blew 3-1 series leads for a reason. Nobody else nominated could play forward like Burns can either… Its the Best D-man, the other two guys are not in league with Burns last season to deserve to win over him. Only his +/- is used to knock him while Drew as some padded inflated number to make him look better than he is. Vlasic was a big reason why he had a good time for Team Canada covering for him getting caught up ice or out of position. Burns blocked over a 100 shots besides all the offensive output… He was on the ice less time than the other guys as well. He set Post Season numbers in league with Ray Bourque for a reason.

    I don’t think Vegas will ever win the President’s Trophy which is given to the team that has the most points… Kings have 2 Cups only winning the Division Title once :). Only shot I can see them winning the Norris is maybe 10 years from a right shooting D-man they pick in draft. That will be the hardest position to get a quality #1… There is a reason many of the Norris Nominees are right shooting D-men over any leftist :).

    I think Vegas can win the Pacific within 5 years… Should be a window in about 2-3 years the Sharks suck losing Joe/Marleau etc. Kings will likely decline or Quick can get injured or Blake needing time to fix Dean’s mistakes when he gets fired. The Ducks are in decline while those other teams from Canada chances are about as good as their dollar to USD :). Loony to think ahead or really project winning awards anyways :).

    Just for Fun GM of year in first season… Messiah award 2024… Foundation 2020, Selke 2025, Adams 2023, Lindsay 2030, Masterdumb 2050, Conn Smythe 2020, Norris 2040, Calder 2020 or 24, Vezina 2020, Byng 2033, Hart 2042, President’s Never Ever 2083, Western Conference 2020, Stanley Cup 2020 why not us :).

    I do think Kopitar being the over rated over paid player will get handed the Selke. Holtby or Bishop for the Vezina… I’d really like to see Burns get the award he deserved… Crooked rigged NHL will probably give it to King Karl or Drew who would be my 2nd choice. I think they should have an award for the most points by a D-man to stop issues related to Best D-man. Most those other awards are useless trash other than maybe the Calder which is confusing with the AHL Championship :). DeBoer should win the Coach of the year to get losers like San Jose to Stanley Cup Finals ;). I see why they are using the Vegas announcement to get attention for the woeful awards show :).

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