With the halfway point of the season upon us, we here at SBNation.com decided that it was time to give out some midseason awards. We asked our bloggers to name their choices for the Hart, Vezina, Calder, Norris, Selke, and Adams Trophies, compiled those votes and amazingly have come to a consensus on most of these awards. So without further ado, here are our choices.
Hart Trophy (League MVP)
Contenders: With a handful of good players playing on good teams, picking the best for the league can be tough. Faces of the league like Alexander Ovechkin usually get consideration for these awards because they are always in the front of the voters minds. Other team leaders such as Ilya Kovalchuk, Marian Gaborik, Henrik Sedin, Dwayne Roloson, Ilya Bryzgalov, and Anze Kopitar were given votes here as well.
Winner: The main consensus from our writers was Buffalo Sabres goaltender Ryan Miller. Miller is the key reason that the Buffalo Sabres are leading the Northeast Division and second in the Eastern Conference. The Sabres do not have a potent offensive player, but they play a sound defense led by Miller's career best goaltending. Miller is second in the league in goals against average and save percentage. Miller will also be the number one goaltender for Team USA in the Olympics.
Vezina Trophy (League's Best Goaltender)
Contender: Ilya Bryzgalov was the only other goaltender considered for the Vezina Trophy. His 23-11-4 record has been one of the major reasons that the Phoenix Coyotes have turned into a playoff contending team. Bryzgalov is third in the league in goals against average and fourth in the league in save percentage. The Coyotes are fourth in the Western Conference and only seven points out of the Pacific Division lead.
Winner: Ryan Miller was the overwhelming consensus vote for the Vezina. With Miller being one of the few goaltenders being considered for the Hart Trophy, selecting him for the Vezina is somewhat of a no brainer.
Calder Trophy (League's Best Rookie)
Contenders: When this season started there were a few players being considered for the Calder based on what they did in the junior leagues. John Tavares of the New York Islanders and Matt Duchene were two of the top three players selected in the 2009 NHL Entry draft. They still garnered some selections by our panel as well as goaltenders Semyon Varlamov and Jimmy Howard. Varlamov impressed many with his work in the playoffs last season, helping lead the Capitals to the Conference Semifinals last season.
Winner: Buffalo's Tyler Myers gets the nod here with his outstanding defensive play. Myers was apart of the Memorial Cup winning Kelowna Rockets in 2009 and made his debut for the Sabres this past season. He currently leads all rookies in average time on ice, playing about 23 minutes per game and is fifth in rookie scoring with 23 points. Myers' defensive play has bolstered a defensive unit that has seemed to struggle in the past two seasons which caused the Sabres to miss the playoffs in those seasons.
Norris Trophy (League's Best Defensive Player)
Contenders: A handful of defensive players were considered for this award. The Capitals Mike Green leads all defensive players with 40 points and is tied for the lead with 10 goals. Drew Doughty, Chris Pronger, Dan Boyle, and Zbynek Michalek also received votes.
Winner: Chicago's Duncan Keith is third in the league among defensemen in scoring and is tied for seventh among defensemen in plus/minus. He is apart of the Blackhawks core group of young players that is directly leading to their success. His 37 points are second on the Blackhawks among players like Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane.
Selke Trophy (League's Best Defensive Forward)
Contenders: The Selke is the hardest trophy to find a front runner in due to its evasive nature. The only way to quantify a defensive forward is through their plus/minus statistic and that statistic is flawed as well. Our writers came up with a handful of names to consider including Jason Pominville, Daniel Alfredsson, Jordan Staal, Martin Hanzal, Jonathan Toews, Mikko Koivu, Jay McClement, Curtis Glencross, Mike Fisher, Frans Nielsen, Patrick Marleau, and Travis Zajac.
Winner: Detroit's Pavel Datsyuk has consistently been one of the better forwards for the Detroit Red Wings and has won the Selke in the past two seasons. He is currently tied for the plus/minus lead for the Red Wings with a +10. In terms of the league, that puts him tied for 27th among forwards. Datsyuk has 10 goals on the season and 33 points in 40 games. His six penalty minutes gives credence to the fact that Datsyuk rarely finds himself out of position and rarely puts himself in a bad spot that could cost his team.
Jack Adams Award (League's Best Coach)
Contenders: Colorado's Joe Sacco has brought the Avalanche back to being a respectable team after they missed the playoffs last season. They are currently fifth in the Western Conference and only one point out of the Northwest Division lead. Devils coach Jacques Lemaire also gets consideration here as the Devils are the best team in the Eastern Conference and third best team overall.
Winner: Dave Tippett of the Phoenix Coyotes gets the nod here as he has turned a perennially bad team in the Coyotes into a playoff contender. With all of the distractions that surrounded the Coyotes this season, Tippett has brought the team together and has created a winning attitude in Phoenix.