The Professional Hockey Writers Association (which RMNB is not a part of) has announced its midseason winners of NHL awards. The PHWA is the voting body behind most of the NHL’s trophies at season’s end.
John Carlson, who leads all NHL defensemen with 60 points (13g, 47a) in 49 games, is the Norris Trophy winner at midseason. The Norris Trophy is awarded to the “defense player who demonstrates throughout the season the greatest all-round ability in the position.”
1. John Carlson, Washington Capitals
2. Roman Josi, Nashville Predators
3. Dougie Hamilton, Carolina Hurricanes
The Predators’ Roman Josi and the Hurricanes’ Dougie Hamilton round out the top three. Hamilton is out for a significant amount of time after grotesquely breaking his fibula on January 16.
Earlier in the season, Alex Ovechkin created a hashtag to get his longtime teammate the national attention he believed he deserved . “I said this morning, #Johnny4Norris. That’s the hashtag right now. Let’s keep it going,” Ovechkin said.
The Capitals and their TV partner NBC Sports Washington have helped push the hashtag throughout the season.
— Alan May (@MayHockeyNBCS) December 5, 2019
— NBC Sports Capitals (@NBCSCapitals) December 21, 2019
— Washington Capitals (@Capitals) October 29, 2019
Carlson is making a bid to become the first Capitals defenseman to win the award since Rod Langway did two years in a row in 1983 and 1984.
The PHWA also voted on the best defensive defenseman for the “Rod Langway Award.” Carlson did not make the top three.
1. Jaccob Slavin, Carolina Hurricanes
2. Victor Hedman, Tampa Bay Lightning
3. Roman Josi, Nashville Predators
Meanwhile, the PHWA had two embarrassing flaps in their votes. William Nylander got the midseason Comeback Player of the Year Award despite the fact he doesn’t technically qualify. The award is supposed to go to the “player who returned to a previous high level of performance that was interrupted by subpar play, long-term injury or major illness.” Nylander missed a chunk of last season due to a contract holdout and had 27 points in 54 games last season.
1. William Nylander, Toronto Maple Leafs
2. Anthony Duclair, Ottawa Senators
3. Max Pacioretty, Vegas Golden Knights
Auston Matthews also finished second in Lady Byng voting. The trophy goes “to the player adjudged to have exhibited the best type of sportsmanship and gentlemanly conduct combined with a high standard of playing ability.”
1. Nathan MacKinnon, Colorado Avalanche
2. Auston Matthews, Toronto Maple Leafs
3. Ryan O’Reilly, St. Louis Blues
Hockey wise, Matthews has 34 goals and 57 points while also taking only three minor penalties on the season so far. Only Nathan MacKinnon has more points (72) and a comparative amount of PIMs (8) at that point level. But before the season started, Matthews got into legal trouble after trying to break into a female security guard’s vehicle while she was doing paperwork. As an intoxicated Matthews walked away, he dropped his pants, bent over, and grabbed his buttocks. Matthews addressed his disorderly conduct charge with a weak statement. Matthews’ act upset many hockey fans.
I guess the @ThePHWA thinks it was very gentlemanly when he harassed that security guard late at night and then pulled down his pants.
— Hemal Jhaveri (@hemjhaveri) January 23, 2020
“We’re proud of the work our PHWA members put in throughout the entire season, crunching numbers and speaking to sources to gather the best ballot possible,” PHWA president and TSN’s Frank Seravalli said in the release.
Headline photo: Elizabeth Kong
Russian Machine Never Breaks is not associated with the Washington Capitals; Monumental Sports, the NHL, or its properties. Not even a little bit.
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