Wings’ mid-season awards

January 2, 2006

Halfway through the 2005-06 season and I thought it might be interesting to post my award winners, in a Wing-specific manner. 

Feel free to comment with your own thoughts on these and I’ll post readers’ results later this week.

Art Ross (Highest point total)—At the pole, it’s Datsyuk.   But, if you want a prediction as to who will lead the team at the end, I’m going with Zetterberg.  He’s four behind Datsyuk right now 43 to 39 points, respectively and 1 ahead of Shanny.  However, he’s averaging 1:30 more ice time than Dats and 2:30 more than Shanahan. 

Bill Masterson Sportsmanship Trophy, for sportsmanship and perserverence-I’m going to stress the perserverence part and go with Mikael Samuelsson.  His fifth team in five seasons (I’m still not used to replacing “years” with “seasons.”) and look what he’s done, seemingly out of nowhere.

Calder (Rookie of the Year)—This is a tough one.  Do you go with Brett Lebda or Johan Franzen.  Lebda has been a significant surprise.  Cool under pressure and a fantastic skater with a bright future.  But, Franzen…he is a force, and one that has earned a spot in late game situations.  If only for his performance on the PK, he gets the nod.

Conn Smythe—I thought about moving past this one along with the Jack Adams, Campbell and President’s trophy.  But, decided against it and will award this based on performances in games against teams in the league’s top 16.  In 13 games against the top half of the NHL, the Wings scorers looked like this:

  • Zetterberg 15 points
  • Datsyuk 13
  • Holmstrom 12
  • Williams 12
  • Lidstrom 10
  • Shanahan 8
  • Schneider 8
  • Samuelsson 8


Is that enough to prove one player’s excellence above the rest of the team? Probably not.  It doesn’t take into account +/, ice time, save percentage, PP goals, PK time, etc.  But, it does show which players have risen in big games—through one half of the season.  Zetterberg’s that guy.

Selke award (Best defensive forward)–  He’s not gonna score 24…maybe ever again.  But, Kris Draper is playing as tough and gritty as ever.  His PK performance is outstanding and he is as pesty as ever.

Norris-Two weeks ago, I would have said Chelios.  He’s so impressive, especially at his age.  Schneider is having a great season, as well.  But, right now, and for the last 9 games (14 points), Nicklas Lidstrom is playing as well as he ever has.  He gets the midway Wing Norris.

Clancy Memorial Trophy, for  leadership and humanitarian contribution-Jiri Fischer, a young man who has a decision on his hands. 

Lady Byng-Robert Lang.  In this case, that’s not a compliment. 

Lester B. Pearson award (MVP chosen by the players)-Clearly, I can’t predict who the Wings believe their first-half MVP is.  But, I’d bet the team would echo the coach and say Lidstrom is their MVP so far.

Lester Patrick Award, outstanding service to hockey-Sure, we’ll jump on the bandwagon.  Brendan Shanahan.  Maybe you don’t like the new rules, maybe you do.  But, instead of spending the lockout whining (see Manny Legace), Shanny was constructive and visible.  He’s a force within the NHL, politically.  And, considering the impact the sport has on the country of Canada, don’t be surprised if you see him take that influence into national politics when he retires.

Maurice Richard (leading goal scorer)– Right now, it’s Shanahan with 20.  He’s in a mini-slump (no goals his last three).  But, I predict he’ll stay on course, finish with 45 and lead the Wings.

Hart Trophy-I’ll stray from the Pearson pick on this one and go with Zetterberg.  I’ll use my Conn Smythe argument, along with what we see on the ice.  Every shift, Henrik Zetterberg seems to bring it.  IMO, he’s led the team and is a future Captain. 

Vezina (best goalie)-Man, I’m laughing as I write this because Wings fans are so frigging divided.  Over on the Mlive forum, I posted at the beginning of the year that I didn’t care who the number 1 was as long as it was established and stuck with.  Goalie controversy just plain sucks.  And, of course, here we are embroiled in one.  So, Manny starts out hot—but against competition that has proven to be inferior.  Osgood starts slow but has improved markedly.  I can’t tell you who I’d like to see starting in the playoffs because I just don’t know.  But, as for who the best has been for the Wings so far?   Manny.


5 Responses to “Wings’ mid-season awards”

  1. […] Earlier in the week, I posted my Wing-specific midway trophies and said Henrik Zetterberg would get the Hart.  […]

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