It’s now officially time for you to print this sign out and hang it up in your wall as celebration.

During the fall, the NHL lockout was excruciating for fans. It wiped out 34 games and made both the NHL and NHLPA look petty, as both sides were unwilling to make actual compromise until a drop dead date for the entire season was announced in January. The sport rebounded well when it started up again. Attendance surged in the 48-game shortened season and the NHL is currently enjoying its greatest ratings ever in a Stanley Cup Final since 1997.

But the NHL awards so far have been a disaster. Because of the compressed schedule, the league was forced to cancel its postseason award show in Las Vegas. Instead, the NHL is announcing its winners on TV and letting the players know days beforehand so that they could either fly out to Chicago or do video acceptance speeches. On Friday, the first batch of award winners were announced on the NHL Network during rush-hour traffic. Tonight, the second batch of awards, which includes the Calder, Hart, Norris, Lindsay, and Vezina, will be announced at 7pm on NBC an hour before game two of the Stanley Cup Finals. The Washington Capitals’ Alex Ovechkin is up for both the Hart and Lindsay awards.

Naturally, because of the advanced notice, there have been leaks. Several days ago, it was reported PK Subban won the Norris. Bob McKenzie is reporting that Jonathan Huberdeau has won the Calder. And now TSN’s Darren Dreger is reporting that Ovechkin has won the Hart trophy as the NHL’s MVP.

Dreger elaborated on TSN’s Insider Trading segment, which also featured analysts Bob McKenzie, James Duthie, and Pierre LeBrun.

Attendance isn’t mandatory, even for winners. We’re pretty decent travel detectives. You make a call; you dig a little bit. Sidney Crosby is not coming to Chicago [to accept an award]. John Tavares’ not making his way to Chicago. Alexander Ovechkin’s believed to be the winner of the Hart, but he’s not going to be in Chicago either. His acceptance speech will be via video tape. It’s trying times for the National Hockey League.

Further evidence that Ovechkin has won the Hart trophy comes from the NHL who emailed a press release earlier in the day. They announced that winners of the Lindsay, Calder, Norris, and Vezina trophies will be available via a conference call at 7:45pm tonight, which would be 3:45am Moscow time.

The winner of the Hart trophy is instead scheduled to speak to the media Sunday at 10am eastern time, which in Moscow would be 6pm. If we use common sense, it appears Ovechkin has not won the Lindsay award, the MVP as voted by players. We take back every bad thing we said about the PHWA yesterday.

Ovi’s victory appears to be a certainty, with informed people like Steve Simmons also tweeting that Ovechkin has won the award.


The Hart will be the third of Ovi’s career. He’s also won the Lindsay three times, the Richard three times, the Art Ross once, and the Calder — as rookie of the year — in 2006.

Congrats, Ovi. Bailamos! Since you’re not in Vegas to enjoy Nickelback, I’ll let them take us out with their amaaaaaazing performance of Burn It To The Ground from last year’s show.

NHL, you’re so hip.

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  • Livia

    Congratulations to Ovi! He really was the player most valuable to his team.

    I love RMNB, so I hate to quibble, but I think this sentence was spectacularly unfair to the NHLPA: “[the lockout] wiped out 34 games and made both the NHL and NHLPA look petty, as both sides were unwilling to make actual compromise until a drop dead date for the entire season was announced in January.” The owners were 100% responsible for the fact of the lockout and 90% responsible for its duration. The NHLPA can be held responsible only for preventing the league from completely breaking the PA’s back. By mentioning them together in this sentence, you seem to suggest that they are equally responsible, and that just isn’t so.

  • Kevin

    If he does win, will you make the logo at the top of the post a t-shirt?

  • OlietheGoalie

    He deserves it. Is the team still a disaster? Yes, but with Ovie goes the Caps. He got hot, he starts scoring at a pace that no one could keep up with… and the Caps win. He’s the most valuable. Sorry, Penguin fans. Your robot captain isn’t.

  • Livia, I love you too!

    On the lockout stuff, I agree with the nuance of what you’re saying, but the relationship both sides have is inexcusable and embarrassing. Neither side tried to seriously negotiate before the original start of last season. Neither side really understood the economics of the other. You don’t just negotiate the CBA a week before it expires. Both sides should have been working on this for years. It just can’t happen. Especially after what happened years before when they lost an entire season. Anyways, luckily that is behind us and we don’t have to deal with this BS for another 9 years. Thank goodness!

  • DRF

    Tavares should have gotten it…

  • JenniferH

    Yay! So happy for Ovi. By definition of the trophy, it absolutely should have gone to him (especially over Crosby). This is awesome. 🙂

  • gwenkaylor

    I would totally buy that shirt…

  • schumatrix

    That’s Don Fehr for you…

  • eremiah

    if crosby was a robot, he would need less maintenance time off. just a call to whatever the geek squad for robots are

  • Bo

    It was more than a red-hot half season, Simmons; save the smarm. The guy changed positions, went under a new system with a rookie coach without the usual training camp/offseason prep, and had every opposing coach keying on him while these changes took place. Tell me who would’ve prospered in the first month of such a scenario, genius.