Three strong candidates for the Vezina Trophy

by Andrew Sykes
on

 

Photo: While the New York Rangers excelled as a team in the 2011-12 season, goaltender Henrik Lundqvist played a major role in the team's success this season (courtesy of

Robin Alam/Icon SMI)
 

The 2011-12 NHL season saw some tremendous goaltending performances with numerous players being worthy of a Vezina Trophy candidacy. There can be only three candidates, however, and it will be hard to argue against any of the following three netminders.

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Chara has the look of a Norris winner

by John-Eric Iannicello
on

 

Photo: Boston Bruins captain Zdeno Chara turned in another strong season for his team, making him a leading candidate for the NHL's Norris Trophy (courtesy of

Vincent Muzik/Icon SMI)
 

The James Norris Memorial Trophy is an annual award given to the top NHL defenseman who demonstrates throughout the season the greatest all-round ability at the position.

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Selke Trophy may return to the East

by Ian Altenbaugh
on

 

Photo: Boston Bruins forward Patrice Bergeron is strong at both ends of the ice, but he is also the top face-off artist in the NHL (courtesy of

Will Schneekloth/Icon SMI)

To the new or casual hockey fan, the Frank J. Selke Trophy is an award given at the end of every NHL season to the forward who demonstrates the most skill in the defensive component of the game. The winner is selected by the Professional Hockey Writer's Association following the regular season. The 2011 winner of the trophy was Vancouver Canucks center, Ryan Kesler.

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Hitchcock leads candidates for Jack Adams Award

by Blake Benzel
on

 

Photo: St. Louis Blues head coach Ken Hitchcock landed the job in November and could end up on the short list of candidates for the Jack Adams Award as NHL Coach of the Year (courtesy of

Scott Kane/Icon SMI)

Candidates abound for the Jack Adams Award early in the season, but the field is always pared as the the season progresses. This season, for example, Minnesota Wild head coach Mike Yeo looked to be a lock for the award until a mid-season collapse by the Wild took him out of the running. On the other hand, one of our three finalists didn’t even start the season behind a team’s bench, to give you an idea of how fickle this game can be.

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Pacific: Franchise turmoil doesn’t faze Coyotes

by Andrew Knoll
on

 

Photo: Phoenix Coyotes forwards Radim Vrbata (17) and Ray Whitney (13) fueled the team's limited offense, which was good enough for a division crown (courtesy of

Chris Pondy/Icon SMI)

Four teams in the NHL's Pacific Division provided some high drama as the 2011-12 season went down to the wire. Ultimately, three of the five division teams slipped into the postseason while the remaining two were left to look to the 2012 NHL Draft and next season.

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