The last game of the regular season should have been this week.
Since we are all stuck at home, and not watching playoff hockey (although the temptation to watch the Winter Classic over and over again is high), let’s award some end of season awards.
The NHL awards are for the best players in the National Hockey League.
Still, since we’re awarding some fantasy NHL awards in a dream scenario where the regular season ended this week, we can assign them solely to players on our team.
The Hart Memorial Trophy
This season the Stars have been a team without any truly stand out players. There isn’t a McDavid or a Panarin on the Stars who you can point to as providing the spark to push the team into the playoffs. Even still, they were still in a strong position in the final weeks of the season, heading towards playoff contention before the suspension.
One could argue that Denis Gurianov, as a breakout rookie, or either of the goaltending tandem of Khudobin or Bishop has been the most valuable player on the Stars this year. Jamie Benn, however, has been the backbone of this team through the roller-coaster that was the coaching situation and the rough start and, at times, truly put the team on his shoulders and carried it.
As such, we award the Hart Memorial Trophy for the most valuable player to his squad to Jamie Benn.
The Calder Memorial Trophy
The Calder Memorial Trophy is awarded to the player judged to be most proficient in his first year of competition.
Do we even need to discuss this? It’s Denis Gurianov. The young Russian had the true definition of a breakout season.
Of all the awards, this is a callous decision. Ben Bishop has played the majority of the games, and against arguably tougher competition, but Anton Khudobin has had the better stats and has had a truly special year.
Sentimentality shouldn’t come into it, but if we have truly played the last game of the 19-20 season, then it’s not impossible we’ve seen Anton Khudobin’s last game as a Dallas Star (we know, we know, we don’t want to think about it either).
So for that reason alone, we are awarding the Vezina to our beloved house-elf Dobby.
The Norris Trophy
The Norris Trophy is given to the best all-around defenseman in the NHL. While the Stars have been excellent defensively this season (although perhaps not as excellent as the Stars themselves would tell you) and Miro Heiskanen would be a very worthy winner, it’s hard to argue that there has been a better defenseman than Esa Lindell on the Stars.
Esa has been a stalwart in this Stars defense in all situations and is a deserving winner of the Stars’ Norris trophy.
The Selke Trophy
The Selke Trophy is awarded to the best defensive forward. Under Rick Bowness, Blake Comeau (and the FCC line as a whole) has been deployed in many situations where the Stars required defensive stalwarts, and you could make excellent arguments for both Comeau and Radek Faksa to be the Stars’ Selke winner.
We’re going to go slightly left field for this one though, much of what creates both offense and defense is possession, and when it comes to winning possession from faceoffs, there isn’t a better player on the Stars than Tyler Seguin.
Seguin isn’t generating the offense he did two or three years ago, but it’s hard to argue that there is a better 200 ft player on the Stars than Seggy.
The Masterton Memorial Trophy
The Masterton Memorial Trophy is awarded to the player who best exemplifies the qualities of perseverance, sportsmanship, and dedication to hockey, and no one would argue that there is a player on the Stars this year that exemplifies this more than Stephen Johns, returning from career-threatening concussion symptoms.
Of all the Stars players that are deserving of at least discussion for awards, if the NHL season is ultimately canceled the one that would be truly cheated is Stephen Johns because it’s hard to make an argument that anyone in the NHL this season exemplifies the spirit of the Masterton more than him.
What do we think Stars fans? Who would your nominees for the NHL awards be?
Featured Image: NHL.com