Blackhawks Division Rivals Fill NHL Award Finalist Spots

Wednesday morning, we learned the identities of the three finalists for the Lady Byng Memorial Trophy, the final award for players’ on-ice contributions that has three finalists named. All of the NHL’s individual awards presented annually to players have had the finalists now revealed, and two things have become painfully apparent if Blackhawks fans are paying attention.

1. The Blackhawks aren’t finalists for any awards.
2. The Blackhawks are in a division with finalists for almost every award.

Ugh… another not-so-subtle reminder that the Hawks are staring at a serious uphill climb in the Central. Of course, when the Blackhawks were on top of the game, they were receiving recognition and winning awards almost annually. But now that they’re down, the rest of the division has star players being touted by the writers and their fellow players.

Here’s where players from division rivals have been named as finalists.

Norris Trophy

Victor Hedman, Tampa
Roman Josi, Nashville*
Cale Makar, Colorado*

Yes, in the assessment of the PHWA, two of the top-three defensemen in the league right now happen to play in the Central. And one of Josi or Makar will probably win it this year.

Vezina Trophy

Igor Shesterkin, NY Rangers
Jacob Markstrom, Calgary
Juuse Saros, Nashville*

Saros being a finalist likely doesn’t surprise Blackhawks fans; some of his best work came at the expense of Chicago this season. It appears Shesterkin will run away with this one, but two of the three finalists are from the Western Conference, and one — like Josi — is in Nashville.

Calder Trophy

Michael Bunting, Toronto
Moritz Seider, Detroit
Trevor Zegras, Anaheim

There are no Central Division players in this one, but plenty of Hawks fans have cried over the team taking Kirby Dach over Zegras this season. I’m willing to give the two players a few more years before we make our ruling official, but Zegras is a highlight reel player. Of course, Zegras is a Rookie of the Year candidate after Dach is completing his third NHL season (with the huge asterisk that last year was limited because of his wrist), so maybe that speaks to Anaheim allowing Zegras to develop more than Bowman and Co. did with Dach?

Hart Trophy

Auston Matthews, Toronto
Connor McDavid, Edmonton
Igor Shesterkin, NY Rangers

There are no Central Division players here, but some have made the case that goaltenders (like pitchers with the Cy Young Award in baseball) have their own trophy (the Vezina), so why is Shesterkin an MVP candidate? Well, he was that good this season. Some have argued that Josi and/or Makar could have been a finalist here, and they’re both in the Central.

Ted Lindsay Award

Auston Matthews, Toronto
Connor McDavid, Edmonton
Roman Josi, Nashville*

The Lindsay is awarded to the MVP as voted on by the players — not the media. And the players view Josi as one of the three best players in the game this year (see my comments about the Hart).

Bill Masteron Trophy

Kevin Hayes, Flyers
Zdeno Chara
, Islanders
Carey Price, Canadiens

There isn’t a Central Division finalist here, but Kevin Hayes was the Hawks’ first-round pick back in 2010 and opted to sign elsewhere when his career at Boston College concluded. He’s been through hell this year, dealing with injuries and the awful, stunning death of his brother (and former Hawks forward) Jimmy before the season started.

Selke Trophy

Aleksander Barkov, Florida
Patrice Bergeron, Boston
Elias Lindholm, Calgary

There is just one finalist here from the Western Conference, and Lindholm isn’t in the Central Division (thankfully). Bergeron has held this award captive for nearly a decade, but the torch may be passed this year. However, there’s some question if this was Bergeron’s final season, so maybe the voters cap his career with one more Selke?

Lady Byng Trophy

Kyle Connor, Winnipeg*
Jaccob Slavin, Carolina
Jared Spurgeon, Minnesota*

The Lady Byng Trophy is awarded annually to “the player who best combines sportsmanship and gentlemanly conduct with a high standard of playing ability.” And two of the three finalists this year are from the Central Division. Slavin won the award last year; his brother, Josiah, appeared in 15 games for the Blackhawks this season and scored 18 goals in 49 games for the IceHogs.

The remaining awards awaiting the reveal of the finalists are the Jack Adams Award (coach of the year), which will happen on Wednesday, and the King Clancy Memorial Trophy, which will be announced on Friday. The King Clancy Memorial Trophy is given annually to “the player who best exemplifies leadership qualities on and off the ice and who has made a significant humanitarian contribution to his community.”

Only the winner of the Mark Messier Leadership Award is announced; there are no finalists.

The winners of the 2022 NHL Awards will be revealed during the Conference Finals and Stanley Cup Final, with exact dates, format, and times to be announced.

written by

Tab Bamford has been writing about the Chicago Blackhawks for almost two decades. He joined Bleacher Nation as the lead Blackhawks writer in May 2022. Tab is a member of the Professional Hockey Writers Association and is the author of two books about the Blackhawks: "100 Things Blackhawks Fans Should Know & Do Before They Die" (Triumph Books) and "Chicago Blackhawks: An Illustrated Timeline" (Reedy Press, 2021). Find him on Twitter/X/Instagram/Threads at @The1Tab

more blackhawks news

Del Mastro’s Debut, Misiak to Rockford, Frozen Four, More Coyotes Drama, and Other Blackhawks Bullets

When the month of April began, head coach Luke Richardson was asked about the final seven games being effectively a playoff series for his team; every team left on the calendar for the Blackhawks was fighting for a playoff spot....

Blackhawks 1, Predators 5 — Three Stars, Key Takeaways

After two terrible starts in a row, the Blackhawks wanted to come out better and perform well in their final two home games. Well... Andreas Athanasiou took a penalty at 5:25 into the game and Filip Forsberg scored for the...

Blackhawks vs Predators – Lineups, Broadcast Info, Game Thread

The penultimate home game of the 2023-24 Blackhawks regular season is upon us. And it's against a Central Division rival who has playoff aspirations. And we're going to be treated to another NHL debut this season. Defenseman Ethan Del Mastro,...

NHL Notes: Stanley Cup Playoffs Update, Sid’s Still Got It, Matthews 70 Watch, More

Not long now until the Stanley Cup Playoffs get going, but there are still a few spots to be decided. Last night's NHL action saw plenty of playoff positioning at stake. We'll break down what happened on Thursday and what...

Frozen Four, Donato’s 400, Del Mastro’s Debut, Murphy’s Back, Vlasic, and Other Blackhawks Bullets

The University of Michigan was shut out 4-0 by Boston College last night at the Frozen Four, which means Frank Nazar's season is over. Nazar put two shots on net and won 8 of 12 faceoffs against a very good...

What’s Next for Frank Nazar and the Blackhawks?

On Thursday night, Frank Nazar's sophomore season at the University of Michigan came to a close when the Wolverines were shut-out 4-0 by Boston College at the Frozen Four. For his night, Nazar put two shots on net and won...

Let’s Watch All Three of the Blackhawks’ First Career Goals From This Season

On Wednesday night, the Blackhawks put together one of their worst periods of the entire season in St. Louis to bury themselves in a four-goal deficit. However, late in the game Landon Slaggert was able to score his first career...

Blackhawks Prospect Aidan Thompson, Denver Advance To NCAA Championship Game

The first game of the Frozen Four was spectacular! It took 11:09 into overtime for the game to be decided, and it was Denver's Tristan Broz with the shot that ended it. Blackhawks prospect Aidan Thompson had a terrific...

Wow! The Blackhawks Have Called Up Ethan Del Mastro

So, this is a bit of a surprise. On Thursday morning, the Chicago Blackhawks called up defenseman Ethan Del Mastro from Rockford. What makes the move surprising is a number of factors. First, expectations are/were that Connor Murphy would be...

2024 NHL Mock Draft: Frozen Four Two-Round Edition

We're now in the final two weeks of the 2023-24 NHL regular season, but tonight there are two games on the ice outside the NHL that will have plenty of eyeballs from hockey fans. The Frozen Four semifinal games take...

Latest News

Cubs vs. Mariners Prediction: Expert Picks, Odds, Stats & Best Bets – Saturday, April 13, 2024

The Chicago Cubs (7-6), led by the red-hot Michael Busch and his two-game homer streak, are -143 favorites to pick up a win over the Seattle Mariners (6-8) Saturday at 9:40 PM ET, live from T-Mobile Park and broadcast on...

Hurricanes vs. Blackhawks Prediction: Odds, Picks, Best Bets – Sunday, April 14, 2024

The Carolina Hurricanes are predicted by bookmakers to defeat the Chicago Blackhawks when they play on Sunday at 6:00 PM ET, with the visiting Hurricanes at -355 on the moneyline, and the Blackhawks heavy underdogs at +280.Hurricanes vs. Blackhawks Favorite,...

Flames vs. Coyotes Prediction: Live Odds, Stats, History and Picks – Sunday, April 14, 2024

The bookmakers like the Calgary Flames at home (-148) over the Arizona Coyotes (+124) when they meet on Sunday, April 14 at 8:00 PM ET.Flames vs. Coyotes Favorite, Moneyline, TotalFavorite: Flames (-148)Underdog: Coyotes (+124)Total: 6.5Best Flames vs. Coyotes Promo Codes[lasso...

Mervis Crushes Two More, Taillon Makes Another Start, Wesneski Deals, PCA Struggles, Murray, Vazquez, More

I was going to drop all of my thoughts on Iowa's Friday night win over St. Paul in the Cubs bullets this morning, but there was just a little too much to get to. And most of this is pretty...

Timberwolves vs. Suns Prediction: Expert Picks, Odds, Stats and Best Bets – Sunday, April 14, 2024

The Phoenix Suns (48-33) are 4.5-point underdogs as they look to continue a three-game road winning streak when they square off against the Minnesota Timberwolves (56-25) on Sunday, April 14, 2024 at Target Center. The game airs at 3:30 PM...

Magic vs. Bucks Prediction: Expert Picks, Odds, Stats and Best Bets – Sunday, April 14, 2024

The Orlando Magic (46-35) are favored (-4.5) to end a three-game losing streak when they host the Milwaukee Bucks (49-32) at 1:00 PM ET on Sunday, April 14, 2024 at Amway Center. The contest airs on BSF. The over/under in...

Pacers vs. Hawks Prediction: Expert Picks, Odds, Stats and Best Bets – Sunday, April 14, 2024

The Atlanta Hawks (36-45) are heavy underdogs (-12.5) as they attempt to break a three-game road losing streak when they visit the Indiana Pacers (46-35) on Sunday, April 14, 2024 at Gainbridge Fieldhouse. The contest airs at 1:00 PM ET...

Pelicans vs. Lakers Prediction: Expert Picks, Odds, Stats and Best Bets – Sunday, April 14, 2024

The New Orleans Pelicans (49-32) are 3.5-point favorites as they look to stop a four-game home losing streak when they take on the Los Angeles Lakers (46-35) on Sunday, April 14, 2024 at Smoothie King Center. The contest airs at...

76ers vs. Nets Prediction: Expert Picks, Odds, Stats and Best Bets – Sunday, April 14, 2024

The Philadelphia 76ers (46-35) are heavily favored (by 14.5 points) to continue a three-game home win streak when they host the Brooklyn Nets (32-49) on Sunday, April 14, 2024 at 1:00 PM ET. The matchup has a point total of...

Knicks vs. Bulls Prediction: Expert Picks, Odds, Stats and Best Bets – Sunday, April 14, 2024

The New York Knicks (49-32) will look to build on a four-game winning streak when they host the Chicago Bulls (39-42) on Sunday, April 14, 2024 at Madison Square Garden as big, 15.5-point favorites. The matchup airs at 1:00 PM...

more blackhawks news