Tuesday, we had reaction to a piece written by Stu Hackel for Sports Illustrated about his opinion that Chicago Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews should be the favorite for the NHL’s MVP Award. We have also featured articles on Brandon Saad’s candidacy for rookie of the year, as well as Joel Quenneville’s status in the Coach of the Year balloting.
In that vein, TSN’s Bob McKenzie did a poll of NHL coaches to see where their heads were at in the voting for these various awards. Granted, the coaches do not have voting authority in any of the elections we listed (NHL writers choose the Hart Trophy (MVP) and the Calder Trophy (Rookie of the Year), while NHL broadcasters choose the Jack Adams winner (Coach of the Year)), but it still is an interesting insight to where opinions throughout the league are leaning in terms of who will win what.
In this voting, coaches were only asked to vote for players and coaches in their own conference, so the results don’t include teams from the Eastern Conference in the voting for Western Conference awards. With that in mind, the results are in, and in a bit of a surprise, the Blackhawks won a slew of hardware in the minds of Western coaches.
Toews not only took down the Hart Trophy in this poll, but he also got the most votes for the Selke (league’s best defensive forward) as well. Saad narrowly won the polling for the Calder, and Quenneville received the most votes for the Adams.
Patrick Kane also got serious votes for the Hart, while Corey Crawford and Ray Emery both got consideration for the Vezina Trophy, which is given to the league’s best goalie. Finally, Duncan Keith received multiple votes for the Norris, which is given to the league’s best defenseman.
Whether or not Toews will be able to overcome the multitude of MVP candidates from the East, or if Quenneville can top Paul MacLean of the Ottawa Senators in the Adams race remains to be seen, but if this polling is any indication, league opinion of the Blackhawks is pretty high, so fans can be forgiven if they are a bit bullish on the Blackhawks’ chances to take home a bunch of trophies from the NHL Awards at season’s end.