NHL Season in Review

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The Stanley Cup has been handed out and the Los Angeles Kings are planning their days with the Cup it is time to look back at the season that was. The 2011-12 season was an interesting on as there were plenty of stories to follow throughout the year. Of course none was bigger than the concussion issue this year. Concussions dominated the season’s stories and the main reason was that Sidney Crosby was taken out of the Pittsburgh lineup for months thanks to his concussion. Crosby suffered the concussion near the end of the 2010-11 season but complications in his offseason recovery forced him to miss opening night in the NHL. In fact it kept him out for more than half the season and despite a brief comeback Crosby would not play in Pittsburgh until the last month of the season. His injury brought the concussion issue to a new light in the NHL as the top star in the league was out for the majority of the season. Concussions took on a new meaning as superstars began falling and the NHL was supposed to change this on the fly. They did what they could as they established concussion protocol to test for concussions and not let players back if they were truly hurt. They also attempted to create a focus on head hits with suspensions and fines to help curb the issue. This leads to yet another big story in the NHL this year and that is the first year of Brendan Shannahan as the Head of Discipline at the NHL. Shannahan’s first year was a tumultuous one as he was in charge of the suspensions and fines handed out for in-game issues. His suspensions were not very common as there seemed to be no pattern to suspensions. Some players would get lengthy suspensions while others would get short suspensions for essentially the same thing. It is one of the hardest jobs to have in the NHL but Shannahan did what he could and it was not enough, or too much, for many in the league. The NHL will go into the offseason with both these suspensions and concussions at the top of their minds. During the offseason this will be a major point of discussion especially with a new CBA to negotiate. The season also saw a number of great performances both by players like Erik Karlsson and Henrik Lundqvist and by teams like the St. Louis Blues and of course the Los Angeles Kings. With the season over though it is now time for the offseason as the NHL goes in to the offseason there is a lot of uncertainty. The CBA will be the talk of the offseason as the NHL fans see flashes of 2005 in their minds and hope that another season is not lost. Besides the CBA there is also team management to think of as the GMs go to work immediately looking to rebuild their teams or add to their teams. It all starts with the NHL Draft later this week as they look to add young talent that can hopefully have an impact on their team. There are plenty of ways to add other talent of course and it will likely start on draft day when teams begin to trade their players more and more. Trades will likely be the story of the offseason as the Free Agent market that will open on July 1st is pretty weak this year. Of course a lot of this will depend on the CBA and the state of negotiations as the NHL and NHLPA begin their negotiations. For now though the Kings are on top of the world as they get to celebrate an offseason as the Stanley Cup Champions and hope that they can get a chance to repeat in 2012-13.

 

NHL Awards:

Stanley Cup:

Los Angeles Kings

 

Conn Smythe Trophy:

(Playoff MVP)

Jonathan Quick, G (Los Angeles Kings)

 

Clarence S. Campbell Bowl:

(Western Conference Champions)

Los Angeles Kings

 

Prince of Wales Trophy:

(Eastern Conference Champions)

New Jersey Devils

 

President’s Trophy:

(Top Regular Season Team)

Vancouver Canucks

 

Maurice Richard Trophy:

(Most Goals)

Steven Stamkos, C (Tampa Bay Lightning)

 

Art Ross Trophy:

(Most Points)

Evgeni Malkin, C (Pittsburgh Penguins)

 

William M. Jennings Trophy:

(Top Goalie Tandem)

Brian Elloitt, G (St. Louis Blues)

Jaroslav Halak, G (St. Louis Blues)

 

Award Nominees:

 

Hart Memorial Trophy:

(League MVP)

Henrik Lundvqist, G (New York Rangers)

Evgeni Malkin, C (Pittsburgh Penguins)

Steven Stamkos, C (Tampa Bay Lightning)

 

Vezina Trophy:

(Top Goalie)

Henrik Lundqvist, G (New York Rangers)

Pekka Rinne, G (Nashville Predators)

Jonathan Quick, G (Los Angeles Kings)

 

James Norris Memorial Trophy:

(Top Defenceman)

Zdeno Chara, D (Boston Bruins)

Erik Karlsson, D (Ottawa Senators)

Shea Webber, D (Nashville Predators)

 

Calder Memorial Trophy:

(Top Rookie)

Adam Henrique, C (New Jersey Devils)

Gabriel Landeskog, LW (Colorado Avalanche)

Ryan Nugent Hopkins, C (Edmonton Oilers)

 

Lady Byng Memorial Trophy:

(Most Sportsmanlike)

Brian Campbell, D (Florida Panthers)

Jordan Eberle, RW (Edmonton Oilers)

Matt Moulson, LW (New York Islanders)

 

Frank J. Selke Trophy:

(Top Defensive Forward)

David Backes, C (St. Louis Blues)

Patrice Bergeron, C (Boston Bruins)

Pavel Datsyuk, C (Detroit Red Wings)

 

Jack Adams Trophy:

(Top Coach)

Ken Hitchcock (St. Louis Blues)

Paul MacLean (Ottawa Senators)

John Tortorella (New York Rangers)

 

Bill Masterson Memorial Trophy

(PHWA Award)

Daniel Alfredsson, RW (Ottawa Senators)

Joffrey Lupul, LW (Toronto Maple Leafs)

Max Pacioretty, LW (Montreal Canadiens)

 

Ted Lindsay Award:

(NHLPA MVP)

Henrik Lundqvist, G (New York Rangers)

Evgeni Malkin, C (Pittsburgh Penguins)

Steven Stamkos, C (Tampa Bay Lightning)

 

Bridgestone Messier Leadership Award:

(Top Leader)

Dustin Brown, RW (Los Angeles Kings)

Ryan Callahan, RW (New York Rangers)

Shane Doan, RW (Phoenix Coyotes)

 

NHL Foundation Award:

(Community Involvement)

Mike Fisher, C (Nashville Predators)

John-Michael Liles, D (Toronto Maple Leafs)

Matt Moulson, LW (New York Islanders)

 

GM of the Year:

(Top GM)

Doug Armstrong (St. Louis Blues)

David Poile (Nashville Predators)

Dale Tallon (Florida Panthers)

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