Be still, my Hart - Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports
25% of the way into the season and people are talking about trophies. We could point and laugh how silly that seems, but I'd rather have fun trophybating than thumbing my nose at improbable bullshit.
The season is more-or-less a quarter of the way over for most teams. Since it's a short season, the trophies will be melted down and re-formed into trophies of the exact same proportions, just 42% smaller than the real one they give out after real hockey seasons. This is going to be especially bad with the Hart trophy if Corey Perry wins it again, as there's no guarantee Corey Perry wouldn't do dirty things to a Hart Trophy he could fit into his mouth.
With that in mind, we wanted to take a look at the trophies from a purely Red Wings perspective (because this is a Red Wings blog. If you want objective analysis on unimportant hockey teams, head to St. Louis Game Time or Defending Big D or something.) We're going to be going over the trophies and laying out the three top contenders for the hardware from the Wings.
Then, for fun, we'll try to guess as to how likely it is that a Red Wing actually wins the award. Here goes:
The Frank J. Selke Trophy
What NHL.Com says: The Frank J. Selke Trophy is an annual award given to the forward who best excels in the defensive aspects of the game.
How you actually win it: The Frank J. Selke Trophy is given to a forward who scores a shitload of goals who also happens to play on the penalty kill. You didn't think we were going to give a real award to a guy like Boyd Gordon, did you? C'mon now...
Red Wings Selke Rankings
- Henrik Zetterberg - Leading the team in points AND being baller on the PK will do that for you.
- Pavel Datsyuk - How great is is that the guy who practically owned this award between the last two lockouts isn't even the best contender on his own team for an award he absolutely could win right this minute?
- Valtteri Filppula - I promised you three names and Darren Helm is injured.
The James Norris Memorial Trophy
What NHL.Com says: The James Norris Memorial Trophy is an annual award given to the defense player who demonstrates throughout the season the greatest all-round ability in the position.
How you actually win it: The James Norris Memorial Trophy is given to a guy who plays on a team where the coach likes to have four forwards on the ice and who kicks ass at that or, failing that, to the guy who's been beaten for it by a better defenseman for too long for the writers to keep ignoring.
Red Wings Norris Rankings
- Jonathan Ericsson - Stop laughing. The guy's been Detroit's best defender.
- Niklas Kronwall - Kronner's winning on the points battle, but 2nd assists aren't worth as much in my rankings.
- Ian White - I cannot remember seeing him at all in the Red Wings' defensive zone for the last three games. That's a good thing.
The Vezina Trophy
What NHL.Com says: The Vezina Trophy is an annual award given to the goalkeeper adjudged to be the best at this position as voted by the general managers of all NHL clubs.
How you actually win it: You...uhh..... well just be the best goalkeeper at your position.
Red Wings Vezina Rankings
- Jimmy Howard - I know how excited people like to get over one game for another guy, but Howard is the best goalie for the Wings.
- Petr Mrazek - This guy's career numbers are stellar at the NHL level.
- Brian Elliott - If you can find me another goaltender who has helped the Red Wings as much as this guy has, I'm all ears.
The Hart Memorial Trophy
What NHL.Com says: The Hart Memorial Trophy is an annual award given to the player judged to be the most valuable to his team.
How you actually win it: Just win either the Art Ross or the Rocket Richard and it comes in the same packaging. It's a surprise every year!
Red Wings Hart Rankings
- Henrik Zetterberg: He's Detroit's Art Ross frontrunner right now. I don't want to rock the boat too much.
- Pavel Datsyuk: It's a big man who can drag Dan Cleary around for as many games as Pavel Datsyuk has while still keeping his head above water.
- Jimmy Howard: My dark-horse super-sleeper pick. A goalie as the MVP? HOW ABSURD!
The Jack Adams Award
What NHL.Com says: The Jack Adams Award is an annual award presented by the National Hockey League Broadcasters' Association to the NHL coach judged to have contributed the most to his team's success.
How you actually win it: Coach the most-improved team from one year to the next.
Red Wings Jack Adams Rankings
- Mike Babcock - As the Red Wings' head coach, he might be a lock for this one.
- Ed Olcyzk - Nobody breaks down game tapes to expose the Red Wings' weaknesses like Edzo.
- Henrik Zetterberg - What? Shut up.
The Calder Memorial Trophy
What NHL.Com says: The Calder Memorial Trophy is an annual award given to the player selected as the most proficient in his first year of competition in the National Hockey League.
How you actually win it: Don't be technically young enough to win it, but still older than a guy less-deserving than you, because that's bad.
Red Wings Calder Rankings
- Damien Brunner - I don't give a shit. He's MY rookie of the year.
- Brendan Smith - It's going to be hard for him to win if he doesn't play more games. He should do that.
- Tomas Tatar - He's probably going to fall juuuust a little shy of getting into enough games here.
The Lady Byng Memorial Trophy
What NHL.Com says: The Lady Byng Memorial Trophy is an annual award given to the player adjudged to have exhibited the best type of sportsmanship and gentlemanly conduct combined with a high standard of playing ability.
How you actually win it: Play well, take few penalties, don't be afraid to accept a trophy with the word "lady" in the title
Red Wings Lady Byng Rankings
- Pavel Datsyuk - He's won it a number of times and is one of the most-respected players in the league. He'll be a finalist.
- Valtteri Filppula - He seems nice. I've never seen him make a mean face at anybody, although he might just be trying to avoid wrinkles.
- Jordin Tootoo - He hasn't taken a single minor penalty this season. Now that's a turnaround.
The Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy
What NHL.Com says: The Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy is an annual award under the trusteeship of the Professional Hockey Writers' Association and is given to the National Hockey League player who best exemplifies the qualities of perseverance, sportsmanship, and dedication to hockey.
How you actually win it: As horribly cynical as it sounds, the Masterton is given out to the hockey player who lives through the most-tragic thing.
Red Wings Masterton Nominee (just one per team):
- Todd Bertuzzi - I want to remind everybody that "the thing" was TWO LOCKOUTS AGO. Sure, he's definitely losing points on the sportsmanship thing, but the perserverance and dedication to hockey scores are off the charts.