Like most everything else in the 2019-20 NHL season, the league’s annual award presentations have gotten a makeover.
This year, there was no glitzy gala in Las Vegas in June. Instead, an abbreviated 30-minute TV show will air on Monday. Showtime is 6:30 p.m. ET, ahead of Game 2 of the Stanley Cup Final between the Dallas Stars and the Tampa Bay Lightning.
The five remaining NHL awards (Lindsey, Calder, Norris, Vezina, Hart) will be announced in a special show before Game 2 of the Stanley Cup Final on Monday, Sept. 21.https://t.co/GuBOVnNFdr
— NHL.com (@NHLdotcom) September 18, 2020
The show will be hosted from inside the bubble at Rogers Place in Edmonton, by NBC’s Kenny Albert and Sportsnet’s Scott Oake.
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Five awards are still up for grabs and will be presented by four Edmonton Oilers’ legends: Wayne Gretzky (Calder/Hart), Mark Messier(Lindsay), Grant Fuhr(Vezina), and Paul Coffey(Norris).
During the conference finals, the NHL handed out its other awards before a selection of games. Here’s how the nominated Flyers fared:
Frank J. Selke Trophy: Sean Couturier wins
As expected, Philadelphia’s 27-year-old center was awarded his first Selke. The award is presented “to the forward who best excels in the defensive aspects of the game.”
"It's a great honor. Without my teammates, this wouldn't be possible."
Sean Couturier: An ultimate Team Guy and a Selke Trophy Winner. pic.twitter.com/tsnXRWZMLG
— Philadelphia Flyers (@NHLFlyers) September 11, 2020
Couturier was a runaway winner, with 117 first-place votes and 1,424 total points. That was over 500 points more than second-place Patrice Bergeron of the Boston Bruins. A four-time winner, Bergeron finished with 884 points and 21 first-place votes. Ryan O’Reilly of the St. Louis Blues, the 2019 winner, rounded out the top three with 816 points, including 11 first-place votes.
Couturier’s previous best showing in Selke balloting was second place, in 2018. He finished behind Anze Kopitar of the Los Angeles Kings.
Here are the complete results of the voting by the members of the Professional Hockey Writers’ Association:
Congratulations to Sean Couturier of the Philadelphia Flyers on winning the Frank J. Selke Trophy for the 2019-20 season.
Here are the ballots from members of the Professional Hockey Writers Association: https://t.co/86HI0woyJL
And voting totals: pic.twitter.com/viKB3cYUvi
— PHWA (@ThePHWA) September 11, 2020
Jack Adams Award: Alain Vigneault is runner up
On September 9, Bruce Cassidy of the Boston Bruins was named the winner of the 2020 Jack Adams Award. The coach of the year award is voted on by the NHL Broadcasters’ Association. It is presented to “the NHL coach adjudged to have contributed the most to his team’s success.”
This year marked the first win for Cassidy, who became the Bruins’ head coach on February 7, 2017. Boston reached the Stanley Cup Final in 2019, then had the NHL’s best record in 2019-20 when the regular season was paused in mid-March.
The Broadcasters’ Association does not reveal its full voting details. In a press release, the NHL announced that Cassidy had received 288 total points, with 37 first-place votes. Philadelphia’s first-year coach, Alain Vigneault, finished second with 252 points, including 32 first-place votes. John Tortorella of the Columbus Blue Jackets came in third with 28 first-place votes and 198 total points.
This season marked Vigneault’s fifth time as a Jack Adams finalist (Montreal Canadiens, 2000, Vancouver Canucks, 2007 and 2011, New York Rangers, 2015 and Flyers, 2020). His lone win came in his first season with the Canucks, in 2006-07.
Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy: Oskar Lindblom is a finalist
The Masterton is a trophy that no player sets out to win. It’s awarded to the player who “best exemplifies the qualities of perseverance, sportsmanship, and dedication to hockey.” Honorees have typically endured a difficult hardship before returning to a high level of NHL play.
Local chapters of the Professional Hockey Writers’ Association nominate a player from each NHL team for the Masterton. The top three vote-getters are named as finalists.
The Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy was presented by @ThePHWA to honor the late Bill Masterton, a player for the Minnesota North Stars who exhibited those qualities. Masterton died on Jan. 15, 1968, as a result of an on-ice injury. #NHLAwards pic.twitter.com/Yw8VRVq8QH
— NHL Public Relations (@PR_NHL) September 7, 2020
Ryan missed 43 games this season while undergoing treatment. When he returned to the Senators before the season was paused, he scored four goals in eight games. Most memorably, Ryan scored a hat trick in his first home game back in Ottawa.
This year’s two other Masterton finalists were defenseman Stephen Johns of the Dallas Stars and Flyers forward Oskar Lindblom.
Johns returned to the Stars lineup in January, after missing 22 months of hockey due to post-traumatic headaches. He averaged 17:40 of ice time in 17 games before the regular season was paused.
Johns also appeared in four postseason games for the Stars before suffering an undisclosed injury. He has been declared ‘unfit to play’ since August 13, while the Stars have progressed through to the Stanley Cup Final.
As for Lindblom, the 24-year-old winger appeared in the Flyers’ final two playoff games against the New York islanders after successfully completing treatment for Ewing’s sarcoma.
Lindblom started his third NHL season with an impressive 11 goals in 30 games. He was then diagnosed with the rare form of bone cancer in December, then began treatment at the Abramson Cancer Center at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania.
As Lindblom’s recovery progressed, he served as an inspiration for his Flyers teammates. A few days before the Flyers headed into the Toronto bubble in late July, general manager Chuck Fletcher announced that he had signed Lindblom to a three-year contract extension. The deal will take effect in the 2020-21 season. and carries a cap hit of $3 million per season.
When the Flyers flew to Toronto, they included Lindblom in their 52-person return-to-play travelling party. He was spotted on video practicing and taking warmups with his teammates as the playoffs progressed. Then, after the Flyers fell behind the Islanders 3-1 in their second-round playoff series, Vigneault inserted Lindblom into the playing lineup for Games 6 and 7.
— Philadelphia Flyers (@NHLFlyers) September 3, 2020
The Flyers’ prominence across award categories this season is another strong indication that the future is bright for hockey in Philadelphia going forward.