The Professional Hockey Writers’ Association brought back its midseason awards this year and as most of the hockey world descends on Tampa for the NHL All-Star Game this weekend, Lightning players dominated some of the top honors.
Nikita Kucherov, Victor Hedman, Steven Stamkos and Andrei Vasilevskiy were all voted as winners in four of the 10 award categories. The PHWA invited 2,000 fans and more than 150 of its members to vote.
Along with the usual awards, the PHWA introduced the Rod Langway Award for best defensive defenseman and the Comeback Player of the Year.
Here are the final results:
Jack Adams Award
1. Gerard Gallant, Vegas Golden Knights
2. Jon Cooper, Tampa Bay Lightning
3. Paul Maurice, Winnipeg Jets
GM of the Year Award
1. George McPhee, Vegas Golden Knights
2. Steve Yzerman, Tampa Bay Lightning
3. Ray Shero, New Jersey Devils
Rod Langway Award (To the defenseman who best excels in the defensive aspect of the game.)
1. Drew Doughty, Los Angeles Kings
2. Zdeno Chara, Boston Bruins
3. Victor Hedman, Tampa Bay Lightning
Comeback Player of the Year Award (To the player who returned to a previous high level of performance that was interrupted by subpar play, long-term injury or major illness.)
1. Steven Stamkos, Tampa Bay Lightning
2. Brian Boyle, New Jersey Devils
3. Claude Giroux, Philadelphia Flyers
Sure, there can be some nit-picking in places, but not too many surprises here through the season’s first half. It will be fun to look back at this vote (and our own staff picks) come mid-April when the regular season ends. How much change will we see?