Hastily announcing the winners of each of the NHL's several annual individual awards is apparently all just part of a quickly thrown together lockout shortened season. Rather than holding the usual formal post-season awards banquet, the league announced each award at a much smaller event during the Stanley Cup Final on Saturday.
The biggest winner of the day was Alex Ovechkin, who is helping silence critics who believe that he's been a star on the decline for the past few years. The Washington Capitals' star came away with not only the Maurice Richard Trophy as the league's top goal-scorer, but also the Hart Memorial Trophy, as the league's most valuable player.
Other notables include the Blue Jackets' Sergei Bobrovsky, who becomes the first Russian goaltender to win the Vezina Trophy, and PK Subban, who is the first Canadiens defenseman to win the Norris trophy since Chris Chelios in 1989... the year Subban was born.
Ottawa's Paul MacLean won the Jack Adams trophy, as the league's top coach, while Ray Shero of the Pittsburgh Penguins was named the best general manager in hockey. I wonder if he thanked Joe Nieuwendyk in his acceptance speech.
The rest of the award winners can be found over at the NHL's official site. [NHL.com]
The Awards ceremony didn't do much to take the spotlight away from the on-ice action between the Chicago Blackhawks and the Boston Bruins. Having ample time to recover from their six periods of playoff hockey on Wednesday night, the two sides once again faced off at the United Center in Chicago.
The Bruins were very slow out of the gate, as the Chicago Blackhawks dominated play en route to a 1-0 lead early. It wouldn't be enough to put the Bruins away, however, as Chris Kelly would provide enough offense to keep Boston in the game long enough to mount a come back. The score would remain 1-1 until the end of regulation, and the teams would once again prepare for overtime hockey.
This game would only require the one extra period, as Daniel Paille would put the puck past Corey Crawford to level the series at one game apiece, as the battle shifts to Boston on Monday night. [TSN]
It turns out Original Six heritage alone doesn't make citizenry of a metropolis into diehards after all... Chicago is bleeding Blackhawk red these playoffs, but this article claims that that wasn't the case a few months ago. If this were any non-traditional market, you better believe we'd never hear the end of it. [AP]
Alain Vigneault is the new head coach of the New York Rangers, shortly after removing himself from contention for the Dallas Stars coaching job. [New York Daily News]
So where does that leave Mark Messier, who so desperately wanted that Rangers coaching job? The New York Post says he should coach the Hartford Wolfpack, rather than move on from the organization. [New York Post]
What about former Rangers bench boss John Tortorella? Latest reports say he's the front runner in Vancouver for the Canucks vacancy, in an East Coast/West Coast coaching swap. The Dallas Stars seem to be slowly running out of candidates. [The Province]
The Pacific Northwest might be getting a little more crowded for the Canucks, according to Hockey Night in Canada and the Sporting News. Apparently the new Vancouver Canucks affiliate wanted to call Seattle home, but the NHL told them that the Key Arena was already spoken for, leading to further speculation than the Coyotes aren't long for the desert. [Sporting News]
On this Fathers Day, the New York Times is running a pretty great story about a father and son's bonding over the greatest sport on earth. [New York Times]
And in case we need more reasons to love Jaromir Jagr...