The NHL blogs here at SBNation are throwing out what players on their teams would win various NHL trophies if they were isolated to just their own players (see the full list). The Red Wings have an interesting challenge: they're actual nominees for some of these trophies.
Without further ado:
Calder (Rookie): Johann Ericsson. Find a player on the Red Wings that meets the requirements for the Calder: under 26 years old, no more than 25 games in a previous season, no more than 6 games in any two previous seasons. According to my reading of the roster, that leaves exactly Johann Ericsson.
Sometimes, you win just by being the only one left.
Vezina (Goaltender): Ty Conklin. Yes, I know that Chris Osgood is the main goaltender for the playoffs. Still, I get a fear somehow that we're seeing the "old" Chris Osgood: the one that gives up the bad goals at the worst time.
For what it's worth, Conklin has put up plenty of quality starts. He's come in in relief on a couple of occasions and done a fine mop-up job. I think he's overperformed this year, and for that, I'd give him the nod over Osgood.
Norris (Defenseman): Nicklas Lidstrom. Because this is obvious, I want to throw out a thought-starter. What would have happened had there been no Steve Yzerman? What if Lidstrom had come to this team in 1991 without Yzerman having become a standard on the franchise in his eight years? Would we be looking now at this franchise about Lidstrom in the same way as we looked at it near the end of Yzerman's run?
I don't think we would. I think Lidstrom learned from the proverbial master with Yzerman in the locker room. Which is a darn shame. I'd like to see Lidstrom stick around for another 6 to 8 years, if only to have time to burnish his legend to the level Yzerman did around here.
Selke (Defensive Forward): Pavel Datsyuk. A three-horse race between Datsyuk, Marian Hossa, and Henrik Zetterberg, I give the edge to Datsyuk for two reasons: an impressive 56.8% faceoff percentage, a balanced performance both at home and away (Hossa, for instance, is +22 at home but only +3 on the road), and a stunning 88 takeaways (leading all forwards; second place is Zetterberg with 39).
He's grown into this role over the past 4 years. You can see him taking the leadership role after Lidstrom. Which leads me to...
Hart (MVP): Datsyuk. This kills me, because I've always felt that there's been a sense that Lidstrom never gets considered for an overall MVP because of his 6 Norris Trophies. This gets into a larger perspective of the V in MVP. Lidstrom shows leadership and value throughout this season. Hossa, who said he wanted a better shot at the Cup (despite being in the Cup finals last year), has bought into the system to a level that I don't think anyone thought he would.
This year, however, I've developed a confidence in Datsyuk that I didn't have in him before. This is not to say that I've lost confidence in anyone else in the winged wheel. This week's SI features an article on Datsyuk as a legit Hart candidate, and it goes into how much he's become a fixture in the locker room and in the heart and minds.
The final tiebreaker for me is this: do I think the Wings have a chance to repeat if this player is unable to perform in the playoffs? If Datsyuk disappered come one week from today, I think that chance disappears. He's my MVP.
Share your thoughts below.