NHL goes to Las Vegas for awards show tonight
The NHL will hand out its major individual awards Wednesday night at The Palms in Las Vegas, honoring players, the coach of the year and the general manager of the year. Versus will televise the festivities starting at 4 p.m. PDT and will have a post-event show too.
Among those scheduled to present awards are big-time producer Jerry Bruckheimer, “Mad Men” star Jon Hamm, illusionist Criss Angel, actresses Jennifer Beals and Cobie Smulders and directors Jason Reitman and Kevin Smith, as well as — quoting the NHL’s press release here -- “the legendary Donny Osmond.”
Here’s a recap of who’s nominated for what and who's favored. Remember: Voting was conducted before the playoffs, so postseason achievements aren't taken into account.
Adams (coach of the year): Dan Bylsma of Pittsburgh, Barry Trotz of Nashville, Alain Vigneault of Vancouver. Favored: Vigneault guided the Canucks to the NHL's top record and, later, to the Stanley Cup finals.
Hart (most valuable player): Corey Perry of the Ducks, Daniel Sedin of Vancouver, Martin St. Louis of Tampa Bay. Favored: Sedin, who also won the scoring title. But Perry's remarkable second-half surge got him a lot of votes.
Masterton (perseverance and dedication): Ray Emery of the Ducks, Daymond Langkow of Calgary, Ian Laperriere of Philadelphia. Favored: Scrappy Laperriere, who has had debilitating post-concussion problems.
Norris (best defenseman): Zdeno Chara of Boston, Nicklas Lidstrom of Detroit, Shea Weber of Nashville. Favored: Lidstrom would be a worthy winner any year but this could be Weber's time. He had an outstanding season with the Predators as a shutdown defenseman.
Vezina (top goalie): Roberto Luongo of Vancouver, Pekka Rinne of Nashville, Tim Thomas of Boston. Favored: Thomas, which would be his second straight win over Luongo, including their Stanley Cup finals battle.
Calder (rookie of the year): Logan Couture of San Jose, Michael Grabner of the New York islanders, Jeff Skinner of Carolina. Favored: Tough call. Couture had 32 goals on a good team. Grabner scored a rookie-leading 34 goals for a bad team. Skinner led rookies wtih 63 points. Probably Skinner.
Lady Byng (sportsmanship): Loui Eriksson of Dallas, Nicklas Lidstrom of Detroit, Martin St. Louis of Tampa Bay. Favored: Another close call. St. Louis has won before. Lidstrom (20 penalty minutes) would be a worthy winner. So would Eriksson (73 points, eight penalty minutes).
General manager of the year: Mike Gillis of Vancouver, David Poile of Nashville, Steve Yzerman of Tampa Bay. Favored: Probably Yzerman, though Poile has a lot of backers and is deserving because he works with a small budget every year.
NHL Foundation award: Dustin Brown of the Kings, Mike Green of Washington, Daniel and Henrik Sedin of Vancouver. Favored: Brown. A three-time nominee, he's very active in charities in the L.A. area.
NHL Players’ Assn. Ted Lindsay award (most outstanding player): Corey Perry of the Ducks, Daniel Sedin of Vancouver, Steven Stamkos of Tampa Bay. Favored: Tough call. Perry could win this one.
Mark Messier leadership award: Zdeno Chara of Boston, Shane Doan of Phoenix, Nicklas Lidstrom of Detroit. Favored: Any of the three would be worthy, but Doan led his team through a turbulent season that included rumors of a move.
Check back later at www.latimes.com/sports for the winners.
-- Helene Elliott
Top photo: The marquee at The Palms in Las Vegas showcases Wednesday's NHL Awards show. Bruce Bennett / Getty Images. Right photo: Boston Bruins defenseman and Norris trophy candidate Zdeno Chara celebrates his team's Stanley Cup victory. Credit: Harry How / Getty Images