Published June 17, 2011
The League's top stars will be under the same roof Wednesday for the 2011 NHL Awards Show (7 p.m. ET; Versus, CBC). The event, held at the Pearl Concert Theater inside the Palms Hotel in Las Vegas, will be hosted for the second-straight year by actor/comedian Jay Mohr.
There will be a full lineup of celebrity guests, presenters and entertainment -- including live performances from multi-platinum country music star Dierks Bentley and hip hop/electro pop group Far East Movement.
And of course, awards will be handed out to the elite performers of the 2010-11 season. Here's a recap of who's nominated for some of the top honors:
The most prestigious of the awards handed out each year, the Hart Trophy goes to the player deemed most valuable to his team throughout the season. The three finalists are Anaheim's Corey Perry, Vancouver's Daniel Sedin and Tampa Bay's Martin St. Louis.
Perry was the NHL's top-goal scorer and the only player to register a 50-goal season. Will his breakout season culminate with an MVP trophy?
Sedin has already won the Art Ross Trophy by leading the League in scoring with 104 points. He also had the most power-play goals (18) and was fourth in total goals (41), en route to leading the Canucks to the franchise's first Presidents' Trophy. His twin brother, Henrik, won the Hart last year.
St. Louis led a resurgent Tampa Bay Lightning team to the Eastern Conference Finals. St. Louis, who was second in the League with 99 points, won the Hart Trophy in 2004. Can he take home the hardware one more time?
The spotlight figures to be on Thomas, who looks to cap off one of the most impressive seasons for a goaltender in recent history. He's fresh off a Stanley Cup victory in which he was the Conn Smythe Trophy winner as playoff MVP. In the regular season, Thomas set a League single-season record with a .938 save percentage and was tops with a 2.00 goals-against average. Does Thomas’ season for the ages finish with the Vezina?
Rinne was second to Thomas with a .930 save percentage. But more important, he shined down the stretch as the Predators fought for (and earned) a playoff spot. The young goaltender had a breakout season, posting career highs in wins (58), goals-against average (2.12) and save percentage.
Then there's Luongo. He may have been on the losing end of the Stanley Cup, but that shouldn't overshadow the fantastic season he had. Luongo's 2.11 goals-against average was the best of his career, and he was tied for League lead with 38 wins.
The Norris Trophy is given to the defense player who demonstrates throughout the season the greatest all-round ability in the position. The finalists this year are Boston's Zdeno Chara, Detroit's Nicklas Lidstrom and Nashville's Shea Weber.
For the third time in the last four seasons -- and the fourth time overall -- Chara is a finalist for the Norris. The 6-foot-9 Boston captain led the NHL with a plus-33 rating, matching his career high set in 2003-04. Can he add a second Norris Trophy to the Stanley Cup he just won?
Lidstrom is a finalist for the 11th time in the past 13 seasons. The six-time Norris winner ranked second among NHL defensemen in scoring with 62 points (16 goals, 46 assists) in 82 games, highlighted by a career-best 11-game point streak and his first NHL hat trick. With retirement a distinct possibility, will Lidstrom's career end with one more accolade?
Weber is the lone first-time finalist in the group. He was second in average ice time per game (25:19), and set career highs in games played (82), assists (32) and shots (254).
Calder Memorial Trophy
The finalists for the award given to the NHL’s top rookie are Carolina's Jeff Skinner, San Jose's Logan Couture and the New York Islanders' Michael Grabner.
Skinner, the seventh pick of the 2010 Entry Draft and the youngest full-time NHL player this past season (he turned 19 last month), led all rookies with 63 points and was the only rookie who played in the All-Star Game. Winning the Calder would cap a fairy-tale season.
Couture was a sensation in San Jose this season -- his 32 goals set a franchise rookie record, and he broke the NHL record for most game-winning goals scored on the road by a rookie.
Grabner, who won the fastest skater competition at the All-Star Game skills contest, scored a rookie-best 34 goals in 76 games after being claimed by the Isles on waivers from Florida at the start of the season.
Jack Adams Award
The Jack Adams Award goes to the NHL’s coach of the year. The three finalists are Pittsburgh's Dan Bylsma, Nashville's Barry Trotz and Vancouver's Alain Vigneault.
Trotz is nominated for the second-straight year. The Predators earned the fifth seed in the difficult Western Conference, and for the first time in franchise history won a playoff series.
Vigneault guided a deep team with high expectations to the franchise's first Presidents' Trophy.