After Patrick Kane added three more awards to his overflowing trophy case, he took a moment to appreciate his new place in American hockey history.
The Chicago Blackhawks’ NHL scoring champion won the Hart Trophy on Wednesday night, becoming the first player born and trained in the U.S. to be named the league’s most valuable player.
Kane also claimed the Ted Lindsay Award after his fellow players recognized him as the game’s most outstanding player at the league’s annual postseason awards show in Las Vegas. He even accepted the Art Ross Trophy in recognition of leading the league with his 106-point season — another first for an American player.
“I definitely feel very fortunate,” Kane said. “It’s amazing to me that there’s no American that’s ever won the scoring title or the MVP award, because there’s been so many great American players. I don’t know if I was lucky or fortunate to be in that position, but it’s pretty amazing to see some American record you hold now. It’s pretty exciting.”
Kane was the runaway winner of the Hart, getting 121 of the 150 first-place votes. Sidney Crosby finished second with 11 first-place votes, while Dallas’ Jamie Benn was third.
At just 27 years old, Kane has already staked out a spot among the best American players in hockey history while winning three Stanley Cups with the Blackhawks, although they lost in the first round of the postseason this year.
1st-time winners dominate
After several years in which repeat winners dominated the annual awards show, every major trophy went to a first-time winner at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino.
Braden Holtby of Washington won the Vezina Trophy as the NHL’s top goalie. Holtby was rewarded for a remarkable season in which he tied Martin Brodeur’s league record with 48 victories.
His coach, Barry Trotz, won the Jack Adams Award for the first time in 17 seasons behind an NHL bench, recognizing the Capitals’ impressive Presidents’ Trophy season.
Los Angeles Kings captain Anze Kopitar took home the Selke Trophy as the NHL’s best defensive forward and the Lady Byng Trophy for his gentlemanly play.
Kane’s linemate in Chicago, Artemi Panarin, won the Calder Trophy as the NHL’s top rookie after scoring 77 points in 80 games. The 24-year-old Russian beat out No. 1 draft pick Connor McDavid of Edmonton, whose outstanding debut was shortened by a broken collarbone.
In perhaps the most intriguing race, Kings’ Drew Doughty beat out Ottawa’s Erik Karlsson and San Jose’s Brent Burns for the Norris Trophy, which went to Karlsson for the second time last year.
While Doughty didn’t match his competitors’ offensive production, voters recognized his two-way prowess. Doughty led all defencemen in Corsi percentage at 58.9, and he scored 51 points with a plus-24 rating while playing enormous minutes on the Kings’ depleted blue line.
Karlsson scored a whopping 82 points for the Senators, the most by an NHL defenceman in 20 years. Burns nearly matched Karlsson with 75 points, including 27 goals for the Western Conference champion Sharks.
“The two guys I was up against, having a point a game as a defenceman in the NHL and then putting up 27 goals as a defenceman in the NHL, that’s just ridiculous,” Doughty said. “I can almost guarantee I’ll never do that. … I kind of love that competition. I don’t know about [Karlsson], but I’d be OK if this went on for the rest of our careers.”
Jaromir Jagr, the Florida Panthers’ 44-year-old leading scorer, was awarded the Bill Masterton Trophy for perseverance, sportsmanship and dedication to hockey.
Crosby named to all-star team for 4th time
Pittsburgh Penguins centre Sidney Crosby was voted as an NHL first-team all star on Wednesday for the fourth time in his career.
Joining the Penguins captain as 2015-16 first-team all stars are Dallas left-winger Jamie Ben, Chicago right-winger Patrick Kane, defencemen Erik Karlsson of Ottawa and Los Angeles’ Drew Doughty and Washington goaltender Braden Holtby.
Washington left-winger Alex Ovechkin headlines the second-team all-star selections. San Jose centre Joe Thornton and St. Louis right-winger Vladimir Tarasenko join him up front. Pittsburgh’s Kris Letang and San Jose’s Brent Burns round out the blue line while Tampa Bay’s Ben Bishop earned second-team goalie honours.
The NHL also named its 2015-16 all-rookie team, with Calder Trophy winner Artemi Panarin of Chicago earning a spot.
Edmonton’s Connor McDavid and Buffalo’s Jack Eichel round out the forwards. On defence are Philadelphia’s Shayne Gostisbehere and St. Louis’ Colton Parayko. Anaheim’s John Gibson was named as goaltender.
The Associated Press via CBC.ca | Photo: cbssports.com
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