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.