Originally posted on The Rangers Tribune  |  Last updated 6/20/12
Lundqvist

As you all know, the National Hockey League will be holding their annual awards ceremony tonight in Las Vegas, Nevada to officially wrap up the 2011-12 season, which obviously concluded last week with the Los Angeles Kings winning the Stanley Cup. Among the long list of nominees for awards tonight are Rangers goaltender Henrik Lundqvist, head coach John Tortorella and captain Ryan Callahan. 

The Ranger nominations, as well as the competition for that category, are listed below:

JACK ADAMS (Coach of the Year)

  • John Tortorella, NYR: 51-24-7, 109 points, 1st in Division, 1st in Conference
  • Paul MacLean, OTT: 41-31-10, 92 points, 2nd in Division, 8th in Conference
  • Ken Hitchcock, STL (hired in Nov.): 49-22-11, 109 points, 1st in Division, 2nd in Conference

HART TROPHY (League MVP)

  • Henrik Lundqvist, NYR: 62 starts, 39-18-5, 1.97 GAA, .930 save percentage, 8 shutouts
  • Evgeni Malkin, PIT: 75 GP, 50 goals, 59 assists, 109 points
  • Steven Stamkos, TBL: 82 GP, 60 goals, 37 assists, 97 points

Here's my question when looking at the three candidates: Do the Penguins or Lightning need Evgeni Malkin or Steven Stamkos to succeed as much as the Rangers need Henrik Lundqvist? Because that's my real definition of MVP. At the same time, however, I'd be surprised if Evgeni Malkin didn't win this. 

VEZINA TROPHY (Best Goaltender)

  • Henrik Lundqvist, NYR: 62 starts, 39-18-5, 1.97 GAA, .930 save percentage, 8 shutouts
  • Pekka Rinne, NSH: 72 starts, 43-18-8, 2.39 GAA, .923 save percentage, 5 shutouts
  • Jonathan Quick, LAK: 69 starts, 35-21-13, 1.95 GAA, .929 save percentage, 10 shutouts

Out of the three finalists, it's going to come down to Lundqvist and Quick for sure. Both were outstanding this season and are the main reason their clubs are in the playoffs at the moment. Lundqvist, being a goaltender in the Eastern Conference, gets more attention and publicity than Quick does, so that could certainly favor the Swedish netminder. So can the fact that Hank led his team to the regular season Conference and Division titles as well. 

My gut tells me Lundqvist wins it. He's long overdue. 

MARK MESSIER LEADERSHIP AWARD

  • Ryan Callahan, NYR
  • Dustin Brown, LAK
  • Shane Doan, PHX

Mark Messier ultimately selects the winner of this award, so I think it's a safe bet to make when saying Cally will win this. Then again, I'm under the age of 21 therefore I'm not much of a betting man. 

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