By Shane Darrow on June 24, 2014
The 2014 NHL Awards will be aired on June 24 at 7 p.m. on NBC Sports Network. Here are the guys who I believe will be walking home with the hardware.
Sidney Crosby led the NHL in scoring, so it would be shocking to see him not be named the NHL's MVP of the 2013-14 season. Crosby was criticized for his production in the postseason, but his 104 points and plus-18 rating during the regular season make him a lock for this award.
Zdeno Chara is the scariest defenseman in the league and no other defenseman can log minutes like Shea Weber, but when it comes to all-around talent, there's no doubt that Duncan Keith was the best defenseman in the NHL this season. I wouldn't be shocked to see this award go to Chara, but it should go to Keith.
In my opinion, Patrice Bergeron is one of the most under-appreciated players in the NHL today. The Selke is awarded to the forward who excels most in the defensive aspects of the game, which perfectly suits the likes of Bergeron.
Nathan Mackinnon's 63 points during the 2013-14 NHL season led all rookies and were a big reason why the Colorado Avalanche had such a remarkable turnaround. Tyler Johnson and Ondrej Palat, who both play for the Tampa Bay Lightning, were deserving of the nomination, but it'd be shocking if Mackinnon isn't named the rookie of the year.
There hasn't been a team in recent memory that made a bigger turnaround in just one season than the 2013-14 Colorado Avalanche. In just his first season as head coach, Patrick Roy took an Avalanche team that had been in the cellar of the Western Conference and turned them into a legitimate Stanley Cup contender.
The Lady Byng Memorial Trophy is awarded "to the player adjudged to have exhibited the best type of sportsmanship and gentlemanly conduct combined with a high standard of playing ability." Martin St. Louis, who is also nominated, has won this award three out of the past four years, but after his fiasco with management in Tampa Bay, the award will go to Ryan O'Reilly, who had a career-high 64 points and only committed one minor penalty all season.
The thought behind this one is simple -- the Tampa Bay Lightning proved in the postseason that Ben Bishop is the sole reason why they made the playoffs. Bishop was hurt toward the end of the regular season and was inactive when the playoffs started. The Lightning were then promptly swept by the Montreal Canadiens in the first round.
Rich Peverley will be giving out this award, which is a speech that can't be missed, but no one is more deserving of this award than Dominic Moore. I don't want to spoil his story, but ESPN did an E:60 documentary on it. If you haven't viewed it yet, please do; it's something that will stay in your heart forever.
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