McDavid joins Gretzky as second player in NHL history with unanimous Hart Trophy win

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After making history with 105 points in just 56 games, Oilers superstar Connor McDavid won the 2021 Hart Trophy. McDavid also took home the Ted Lindsay Award on Tuesday. (McDavid also won the Art Ross Trophy as the points leader in 2020-21.)

Last season, McDavid’s Oilers teammate Leon Draisaitl also won the Hart Trophy and Ted Lindsay Award. Draisaitl ended up presenting both awards to McDavid this time around.

Speaking of making history, McDavid joined Wayne Gretzky as just the second unanimous Hart Trophy winner in the 97-year history of the award. More on that, from the NHL:

“He is just the second unanimous Hart Trophy winner in the 97-year history of the award, which was first presented in 1923-24. McDavid joins another Oilers center, Wayne Gretzky, who was the top choice of all 63 voters following his 92-goal, 212-point season in 1981-82.”

Scroll down to the bottom of this post for First and Second All-Star Team results, too.

Connor McDavid wins 2021 Hart Trophy and Ted Lindsay Award

McDavid won the Hart Trophy, while Auston Matthews and Nathan MacKinnon were the other two finalists. In the case of the Ted Lindsay Award, Matthews and Sidney Crosby joined McDavid as finalists.

The Professional Hockey Writers vote on the Hart Trophy, awarded to the “the player adjudged to be the most valuable to his team.” Meanwhile, the NHLPA votes on the Ted Lindsay Award, given “to the most outstanding player in the NHL.”

As the 2020-21 season went along, McDavid progressed from having an outside chance at scoring 100 points in 56 games, to looking like he could actually do it, and then blowing past that milestone. He made it to 100 in 53 games, ending up with 105 in 56.

Beyond scoring at that historic rate, McDavid also improved defensively.

In 2019-20, one of the knocks on both McDavid and Draisaitl was that they gave up on defense almost as much as they generated on offense. You could see the good and bad of McDavid in resources like his RAPM chart at Evolving Hockey:

Connor McDavid wins 2021 Hart Trophy, Ted Lindsay Award RAPM 201920
via Evolving Hockey

Maybe McDavid spent the summer reading about these criticisms, and possibly hearing a lot about how Nathan MacKinnon might instead be the best player in the world. Whatever the case may be, McDavid was off the charts offensively (literally, you need to adjust the y-axis to reflect his scoring supremacy), while being a positive influence on defense.

Connor McDavid wins 2021 Hart Trophy, Ted Lindsay Award RAPM 202021
via Evolving Hockey

Extremely impressive.


Many years, there’s some room for Hart Trophy debate. In 2020-21, the only questions were:

  • Will Connor McDavid win the Hart Trophy unanimously?
  • And, how does McDavid’s season compare to the peak years of superstars such as Wayne Gretzky and Mario Lemieux?

Here’s how the 2021 Hart Trophy voting panned out. Again, McDavid joined Gretzky as the only NHL players to earn unanimous Hart Trophy wins:

Connor McDavid unanimous Hart Trophy win votes
via NHL

For McDavid, the next frontier is going on deep playoff runs. While he’s part of the Oilers lineage like Gretzky, his path may instead parallel Lemieux: a superstar who had to endure some turmoil and hardship on poorly managed teams before breaking through at a championship level.

McDavid winning the Hart Trophy and Ted Lindsay Award completes a big day for the Oilers, who also signed Ryan Nugent-Hopkins to a fascinating eight-year contract. It’s also an anniversary of a not-so-great day for the Oilers, as Edmonton traded Taylor Hall in the ill-fated deal for Adam Larsson five years ago.

McDavid, Vasilevskiy headline 2021 NHL First All-Star Team

Interestingly, Marc-Andre Fleury won the 2021 Vezina Trophy, but Andrei Vasilevskiy finished as the goalie on the 2021 NHL First All-Star Team:

(Adam Fox also won the 2021 Norris Trophy.)

The Second All-Star Team presented some intriguing results:

Click here for more on the results.

The following award NHL winners were announced earlier in the playoffs:

King Clancy: Pekka Rinne
Jack Adams Award: Rod Brind’Amour
Selke Trophy: Aleksander Barkov
Masterton Trophy: Oskar Lindblom
Jim Gregory GM of the Year Award: Lou Lamoriello
Lady Byng Trophy: Jaccob Slavin
Mark Messier Leadership Award: Patrice Bergeron
Willie O’Ree Community Hero Award: Kevin Hodgson

James O’Brien is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at or follow him on Twitter @cyclelikesedins.

Bruins set NHL record with 12 straight home wins to start season

Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports

BOSTON — The Boston Bruins set the NHL record for most home victories to start a season with their 12th straight, topping the Carolina Hurricanes 3-2 in overtime with a power-play goal from David Pastrnak.

The Bruins broke the mark of 11 that was set by the 1963-64 Chicago Blackhawks and equaled by the Florida Panthers last season.

“That felt awesome,” Bruins first-year coach Jim Montgomery said. “We talked about it after the second (period) going into the third. There’s been a lot of great teams in this league and you’re able to set a precedent, break a record. It’s pretty special and it doesn’t happen if those guys don’t believe in themselves like they do.”

Boston, which trailed 2-0 late in the second period, tied it with 9:33 left in regulation when David Krejci scored his second of the game on a shot from the right point.

“It’s never fun being down going into the third, you’re sitting in here (in the locker room) trying to figure it out,” Krejci said. “You want to come out and do the job, something special on the line. It’s hard to win in this league. To get 12 in a row at home is pretty special.”

In overtime, Carolina was playing shorthanded after being called for too many men on the ice when Pastrnak one-timed a pass from Brad Marchand inside the far post from above the left circle.

“It was a big win for us, obviously, coming from behind,” Pastrnak said.

Jesperi Kotkaniemi and Stefan Noesen each scored a power-play goal for Carolina, and Pyotr Kochetkov made 38 saves. The Hurricanes lost their fifth straight.

In a rematch of last spring’s opening-round playoff series that the Hurricanes won in seven games, Carolina shutout the NHL’s highest scoring team for nearly two periods and jumped ahead a pair of power-play goals in the opening period.

“We took too many penalties. That’s hurting us right now,” Kotaniemi said. “I think 5-on-5 we’re doing a really good job. We started good tonight and couldn’t keep that up.”

Boston’s tying goal was originally disallowed because of goaltender interference on Nick Foligno but overturned on a coach’s challenge after it was ruled that he was nudged into the crease by Carolina defenseman Brett Pesce.

Boston starting goaltender Linus Ullmark made 28 saves but had to leave with 13:03 left in the third period with an undisclosed upper-body injury. Teammate Connor Clifton had jumped on him to block a shot during a scramble. Jeremy Swayman made six stops in relief.

Carolina’s Noesen scored at 6:34 in to make it 1-0. And with five minutes left in the period, Kotkaniemi collected the puck near the side of the net after Seth Jarvis‘ shot bounced off the back glass and slipped it inside the post at 15:05.

Krejci scored for Boston with 31 seconds left in the second.

Boston came in with a league-high 82 goals in 20 games (4.10 per game), but it was held to relatively few chances despite getting a 5-on-3 power-play advantage early on.


The Bruins honored captain Patrice Bergeron, who recorded his 1,000th career point when the team was on the road against Tampa Bay, with a message on the Jumbotron. The crowd gave him a standing ovation.

Bergeron became just the fourth Bruin to reach the mark, joining Hall of Famers Ray Bourque (1,506), Johnny Bucyk (1,339) and Phil Esposito (1,012).


Hurricanes: Host the Calgary Flames.

Bruins: Host the Tampa Bay Lightning.

Predators postpone 2 games due to Nashville water main break

Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

NASHVILLE, Tenn. —  The Nashville Predators postponed two home games because of a water main break that soaked their downtown arena.

Hours after the Predators decided they couldn’t play against the Colorado Avalanche, the team announced it also postponed the game against the Columbus Blue Jackets. Makeup dates for the two games will be announced later.

The NHL said the water main break that occurred “significantly impacted the event level” of Bridgestone Arena. Team locker rooms and the ice surface are on the event level.

Predators President and CEO Sean Henry told reporters that the water in the event level ranged from 3 inches to 3 feet.

“We’re assessing it right now. We’re remediating it,” Henry said. “The good thing is, the water got shut off, the city responded in a pretty fast manner. I don’t think anyone is ready for things like this the Friday after Thanksgiving.”

Video posted by a WTVF-TV reporter shows the water puddled up on the main floor’s concourse area and the team store. The team was forced to close the store until further notice, pointing shoppers online for Black Friday specials.

The Predators’ next home game is now scheduled for Tuesday against the Anaheim Ducks.

The water issue also resulted in a switch to a different venue for a college hockey game between Northeastern and Western Michigan. They also had been scheduled to play at Bridgestone Arena, a game that was moved to Ford Ice Center Bellevue.

Rangers trade Ryan Reaves to Wild for 5th-round pick in 2025

Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

ST. PAUL, Minn. — The New York Rangers traded enforcer Ryan Reaves to the Minnesota Wild for a 2025 fifth-round pick.

Reaves had been a healthy scratch for eight of the past 12 games for the Rangers. He gives struggling Minnesota some extra muscle and a veteran presence.

The 35-year-old is signed through only the rest of this season at a $1.75 million salary cap hit. He has no points and 12 penalty minutes in 12 games of his second season with New York.

Reaves has played in 869 NHL regular-season and playoff games for the St. Louis Blues, Pittsburgh Penguins, Vegas Golden Knights and Rangers. He was with the Golden Knights during their inaugural season in 2017-18 when the reached the Stanley Cup Final.

Toronto’s Morgan Rielly placed on long-term injured reserve

Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports

TORONTO — The Toronto Maple Leafs placed defenseman Morgan Rielly on long-term injured reserve with a knee injury.

Rielly was hurt in a collision with with New York forward Kyle Palmieri early in the third period of Toronto’s 3-2 overtime loss to the Islanders at home.

Rielly has no goals and 16 assists in 20 games this season and is averaging 23 minutes of ice time.

Leafs coach Sheldon Keefe said following practice that the 28-year-old Rielly doesn’t need surgery, adding there’s no firm timeline for his return beyond the minimum 24 days and 10 games required for going on long-term injured reserve.

Toronto’s defense is also missing Jake Muzzin with a neck injury and T.J. Brodie with an injured oblique.