As we close in on the halfway point of the season, it's time to kick off the debates on who are the front-runners for all the NHL individual awards.
Here are my picks for the mid-season hardware:
Hart Trophy: Eric Staal, Carolina Hurricanes: He has been outstanding for the Canes this season. He is 4th in NHL Points, 1st in plus/minus and has captained Carolina to 1st in the Southeast and 8th overall in the league.
Runners up- Sidney Crosby, Steven Stamkos.
Vezina Trophy- Craig Anderson, Ottawa Senators- Although he has been sidelined the last few games, no goaltender was as hot as Anderson this season. A sparkling 1.49 GAA, .952 Save % and 2 shutouts on a team that is without its two top offensive weapons.
Runners up- Corey Crawford, Tuukka Rask.
Norris Trophy: Oliver Ekman-Larsson, Phoenix Coyotes. The 21 year old Swede has been the Coyotes best player this season. He sits 5th in points for defensemen along with a +11 rating while logging close to 26 minutes a game on the blueline.
Runners up- Niklas Kronwall, Duncan Keith.
Calder Trophy: Jonathan Huberdeau, Florida Panthers. He seems to be getting on the highlight reel almost every game now, leads all rookies in goals and was the Rookie of the Month for February.
Runners up- Cory Conacher, Brendan Gallagher.
Lady Byng Trophy: Patrick Kane, Chicago Blackhawks. The speedy and slick Hawk has taken just one minor penalty this season while totaling 27 points.
Runners up: Martin St.Louis, Matt Moulson.
Selke Trophy: Pavel Datsyuk, Detroit Red Wings. Datsyuk reclaims the Selke so far this season. What's scary is that for all the highlight reel material he gives us, he is equally as skilled defensively.
Runners up: Patrice Bergeron, Jordan Staal.
Messier Leadership Award: Jonathan Toews, Chicago Blackhawks. He is the captain of a very good team, but there is no question he is the leader of the pack.
Runners up: Eric Staal, Sidney Crosby.
Jack Adams Award: Bruce Boudreau, Anaheim Ducks. Boudreau has taken the Ducks from 13th place in the West last year to 2nd overall in the NHL thus far.
Runners up: Joel Quenneville, Kirk Muller.
General Manager of the Year: Marc Bergevin, Montreal Canadiens. He made a great signing in Brandon Prust, won the stand-off with PK Subban, made a great trade in reacquiring Michael Ryder and his team sits 1st in the Conference, pretty good for a rookie GM.
Runners-up: Jim Rutherford, Stan Bowman.
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