2012 NHL Awards Predictions Part 1

It is NHL Awards time! This Wednesday at 6 PM CT, the NBC Sports Network will be broadcasting live from Las Vegas, Nevada to our television screens. And in some instances, computer screens in Canada.

CBC has announced that they will be broadcasting live online from the Encore Theater at Wynn Las Vegas, but will not be televising the awards live. Instead, the recording from the live broadcast online will be on television at 8 PM MT.

I guess the CBC is afraid of having a few choice words slip up and so they have time to edit it out. So, with that being said, read my predictions after the jump.

Before I get to the nominees of each trophy and my selection, that won’t matter, here are the awards presenters from NHL.com.

Kevin Connolly (“Entourage”), Colin Hanks (“The Good Guys,” “Dexter”), Joshua Jackson (“Fringe”), Cory Monteith (“Glee”), Matthew Perry (“Go On,” “Friends”), Vince Vaughn (“The Watch,” “Wedding Crashers,” “The Break-Up”), Sports broadcaster Erin Andrews and Michael Vartan (“Hawthorne,” “Alias”) – all hockey fans – are scheduled to serve as presenters to honor the sport’s best. The broadcast also will feature special appearances by actors Will Arnett (“Up All Night,” “Arrested Development”) and Tracy Morgan (“30 Rock”) and director/writer/actor Kevin Smith (“Clerks,” “Red State”).

Also scheduled to present are NBC’s Pierre McGuire and Eddie Olczyk; “Hockey Night in Canada’s” Andi Petrillo and PJ Stock; and the NHL Network’s Barry Melrose and Kathryn Tappen. Hockey legends Ted Lindsay and Mark Messier also will take to the stage to announce the winner of their namesake awards — the Ted Lindsay Award honoring the most outstanding player in the regular season as judged by members of the NHL Players Association and the NHL Mark Messier Leadership Award presented by Bridgestone which recognizes a player who leads by positive example through on-ice performance, motivation of team members and a dedication to community activities and charitable causes.

The NHL is not going with a host as you can see. Instead, they will be doing a “group hosting” where all of the actors have a bit that will be performed. Also, your favorite band, Nickelback will be performing.

Four players and people out of the Nashville Predators’ organization are nominated for five awards. Pekka Rinne is up for the Vezina Trophy and the NHL 13 Cover. Shea Weber is a candidate for the James Norris Memorial Trophy. Mike Fisher is in the running for the NHL Foundation Award. And last, but not least, General Manager, David Poile is up for GM of the Year.

NHL 13 Cover

Let’s start with the EA Sports’ NHL 13 Cover. Fans across the world were all voting for their favorite player and/or voting against a hated player. As the weeks were progressing, the voting came down to two players. Those two players were Claude Giroux of the Philadelphia Flyers and Pekka Rinne of the Predators.

Not too many people know who has won the cover vote, but we will find out Wednesday. On the last day for voting, it was almost a tie. At one point, I remember @EASPORTSNHL tweeting out that it was almost 50/50. Hopefully, the world will see Pekka Rinne on the cover.

Prediction: Claude Giroux (Philadelphia Flyers)

General Manager of the Year

Nominees:

1. Doug Armstrong (St. Louis Blues)
2. David Poile (Nashville Predators)
3. Dale Tallon (Florida Panthers)

Prediction: Dale Tallon (Florida Panthers)

I think Dale Tallon did a terrific job in the 2011 off-season acquiring players left and right. Tallon put a good product on the ice and made the playoffs for the first time in eleven years. I have to hand it to him, he did a great job.

NHL Foundation Award

This award is given to a player ”who applies the core values of (ice) hockey—commitment, perseverance and teamwork—to enrich the lives of people in his community”.

Nominees:

1. Mike Fisher (Nashville Predators)
2. John-Michael Liles (Toronto Maple Leafs)
3. Matt Moulson (New York Islanders)

Prediction: Mike Fisher (Nashville Predators)

To be honest, this award is something that I don’t care about, but should be duly noted for the contributions these players have had in the community.

I go with Mike Fisher because he runs a not-for-profit hockey camp for players in the greater Ottawa area. The money goes to the “Make a Wish Foundation”, “Roger’s House” and “Mike Fisher Foundation”. A good camp for a great cause.

Bridgestone Messier Leadership Award

The Leadership Award is presented by Mark Messier and is awarded ”to the player who exemplifies great leadership qualities to his team, on and off the ice during the regular season.”

Nominees:

1. Dustin Brown (Los Angeles Kings)
2. Ryan Callahan (New York Rangers)
3. Shane Doan (Phoenix Coyotes)

Prediction: Shane Doan (Phoenix Coyotes)

Shane Doan was a great captain and leader to the Phoenix Coyotes during the regular season and into the playoffs. Even through all the talk that the Coyotes were moving, Doan was able to get his team to play great hockey. Doan and the Coyotes were able to finish the season winning their division. They ended the season on a great run to the Western Conference Finals in five games.

Ted Lindsay Award

This award is given to the “most outstanding player” in the NHL as voted by fellow members of the National Hockey League Players’ Association.

Nominees:

1. Henrik Lundqvist (New York Rangers)
2. Evgeni Malkin (Pittsburgh Penguins)
3. Steven Stamkos (Tampa Bay Lightning)

Prediction: Steven Stamkos (Tampa Bay Lightning)

Steven Stamkos has best season ever, this year. Stamkos lit the lamp very often and reached the 60 goal milestone that only some of the best players in the game have done. He was the most outstanding player in the NHL, by far.

Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy

This trophy is given to the National Hockey League player who best exemplifies the qualities of perseverance, sportsmanship, and dedication to hockey.

Nominees:

1. Daniel Alfredsson (Ottawa Senators)
2. Joffrey Lupul (Toronto Maple Leafs)
3. Max Pacioretty (Montreal Canadiens)

Prediction: Max Pacioretty (Montreal Canadiens)

Max Pacioretty had a great season putting up 65 points. This was his comeback year after Zdeno Chara put him in a stretcher after a very hard hit into the turnbuckle. The video is underneath.

Pacioretty came back from the injury a whole new, and better, player. 

Jack Adams Award

This award is given to the NHL coach judged to have contributed the most to his team’s success.

Nominees:

1. Ken Hitchcock (St. Louis Blues)
2. Paul MacLean (Ottawa Senators)
3. John Tortorella (New York Rangers)

Prediction: Ken Hitchcock (St. Louis Blues)

On November 7, Ken Hitchcock was hired as the new head coach of the Blues after Davis Payne was fired. Hitchcock turned the team around, completely. He made them Central Division winners and hit 109 points. Hitchcock led them to the Western Conference Semi-Finals where they were swept by the Kings. A great run all produced by Ken Hitchcock, a well respected head coach.

Up next on Part 2…

I give you my selections on the Frank J. Selke Trophy, Lady Byng Memorial Trophy, Calder Memorial Trophy, James Norris Memorial Trophy, Vezina Trophy and the Hart Memorial Trophy. Part 2 will be up at around 6 PM CT.

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