During the Stanley Cup Playoffs, the Aerys NHL writers have been revealing their picks for the NHL award categories. You can find the previous prognostics over on the side bar.
The Ted Lindsay Award, formerly known as the Lester B. Pearson Award, is the only one that the players get to decide. The award, meant to be a companion to the Hart Trophy, is given to the NHL’s most outstanding regular-season player as decided by the NHLPA.
Last season, Evgeni Malkin was the recipient of this award, another prognostication that was correct in our book, cha-ching! (Who says females don’t know what they’re talking about!?)
Past winners have included Wayne Gretzky (of course), Mario Lemieux (again, obvious), Eric Lindros, Joe Sakic, Jaromir Jagr, and both Sidney Crosby, Alex Ovechkin and Daniel Sedin.
This season, there are a number of players that could take home this award, given their significant strengths with the shortened season. It seems the shortened time frame was quite beneficial to some players. Here are this season’s nominations from the Aerys network:
Martin St. Louis (Tampa Bay Lightning)
Martin St. Louis is nothing short of greatness and he has been showing his offensive prowess and depth for a few years now. He continually proves how great he is since joining the NHL undrafted and becoming the oldest recipient of the Art Ross Trophy, given to the player who finishes a season with the most points overall in the league, besting players like Sidney Crosby, Alex Ovechkin and teammate Steven Stamkos.
Along with being among the top elite forwards in the league, St. Louis is ranked first in assists this season as well with 43, two more than Sidney Crosby who has been sidelined since March 30. Honestly, is there really an individual (aside from Crosby) that can be classified as better than St. Louis this season?
Alex Ovechkin (Washington Capitals)
Alex Ovechkin started off this season with a rough patch, trying to find his way under the leadership of new coach Adam Oates. However, the Russian superstar found his game in the nick of time, exploding through the second half of this season.
Ovechkin has soared to third overall in the league and solely stands alone for goals scored this season with 32. His presence on the Capitals power play has been the driving force in getting his team to the postseason, and what helped rank them at #1 for their man-advantage skills.
Steven Stamkos (Tampa Bay Lightning)
Steven Stamkos tends to fly under the radar a lot. He isn’t as ‘showy’ as Alex Ovechkin and doesn’t have as much of a history as veteran teammate Martin St. Louis, but he’s just as great if not better.
Last season Stamkos became the sixth player in NHL history to record more than one 50-goal season before the age of 23. Over the past few seasons he has developed rapidly, registering 45 goals in his rookie season and 50+ in the following two. This season, he was able to post 29 goals and a total of 57 points overall, ranking him second in both categories. Oddly enough the forward hasn’t won this award yet, but should be in the running for contention this season.
Choosing from the following list, the assumption would be that Alex Ovechkin became the most outstanding player, earning him his second Ted Lindsay Award of his career. Ovechkin has always been a powerhouse on the ice and his presence helped push his team into the playoffs, a feat that the two Lightning players couldn’t accomplish.