By Matt Calamia
Rangers forwards Martin St. Louis and Dominic Moore are hoping to hear their names tonight at the NHL Awards from Las Vegas, with St. Louis being a Lady Byng Trophy finalist and Moore up for the Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy.
The show will be aired live on NBCSN beginning at 7 pm.
St. Louis is no stranger to winning the Lady Byng award, which is awarded to the player who “adjudged to have exhibited the best type of sportsmanship and gentlemanly conduct combined with a high standard of playing ability.” St. Louis won the award last season and has taken home the hardware four out of the last five seasons, all with Tampa Bay. It is his eight nomination in the last 10 years.
After scoring one goal and seven assists in 19 games with the Rangers, St. Louis shined in the playoffs scoring eight goals and seven assists for 15 points in 25 playoff games.
The 39-year-old was on the ice for nearly 1,700 minutes last season — third among forwards — but finished with just 10 penalty minutes.
Colorado’s Ryan O’Reilly and San Jose’s Patrick Marleau are the other two finalists. O’Reilly became just the second player in NHL history to play more than 80 games and amass just one minor penalty, while Marleau had 18 penalty minutes while averaging more than 20 minutes of ice time per game.
The Masterton award is given annually to the player who “best exemplifies the qualities of perseverance, sportsmanship and dedication to hockey.” In addition to the trophy, the Professional Hockey Writers Association — who votes on the award — donates $2,500 to the Bill Masterton Scholarship Fund in the name of the winner.
The award is named after Bill Masterton, a player with the Minnesota North Stars who passed away in January 1968.
Moore, 33, returned to the NHL after not playing last season following the death of his wife, Katie, who succumbed to a rare form of liver cancer in January 2013 at the age of 32.
Moore founded the Katie Moore Foundation, which is dedicated to helping patients and their families in dealing with rare cancers through research, advocacy and community.
In his first season back, Moore finished with six goals and 18 points in 73 regular season games, and added three goals and eight points in 25 postseason games.
New Jersey’s Jaromir Jagr and Carolina’s Manny Malholtra are also up for the award. Jagr finished with 67 points at the age of 42, while Malholtra — who suffered a career-threatening eye injury several years ago — returned to the NHL after signing a professional tryout agreement with the Charlotte Checkers of the AHL. He appeared in 69 regular season games with the Hurricanes.
Pittsburgh Sidney Crosby, Philadelphia’s Claude Giroux and Anaheim’s Ryan Getzlaf are all up for the Hart Trophy, which is voted on by the PHWA for the player “most valuable to his team.” Those same three players are finalists for the Ted Lindsay Award, which is given to the “Most Outstanding Player” in the League as voted on by the NHLPA.
Boston’s Zdeno Chara, Chicago’s Duncan Keith and Nashville’s Shea Weber are the three finalists for the Norris Trophy for the League’s best defenseman. Chara won the award in 2009, and this marks his sixth nomination. Keith won the award in 2010, while Weber has been a finalist for the third time.
Tampa Bay’s Ben Bishop, Boston’s Tuukka Rask and Colorado’s Semyon Varlamov are finalists for the Vezina Trophy for top goaltender. All three netminders are up for the award for the first time.
Tampa Bay’s Tyler Johnson and Ondrej Palat join Colorado’s Nathan MacKinnon as finalists for the Calder Memorial Trophy as the top rookie in the NHL. Johnson finished with 24 goals, while Palat notched 59 points. MacKinnon also finished with 24 goals and led all rookies with 63 poitns, including five game-winners. MacKinnon was the No. 1 overall pick at the 2013 NHL Draft.
Chicago’s Jonathan Toews, Los Angeles’ Anze Kopitar and Boston’s Patrice Bergeron are the three finalists for the Frank J. Selke Trophy, which is awarded to the best defensive forward in the NHL. Toews has been a finalist for the award three times in four years, and won the award last year. Bergeron won the award in 2012 and has been a finalists three straight seasons; Kopitar is up for the award for the first time.
Los Angeles’ Dustin Brown, Anaheim’s Getzlaf and Chicago’s Toews are up for the Mark Messier Leadership Award presented by Bridgestone, which recognizes the individual who “exemplifies great leadership qualities to his team, on and off the ice.” Brown has been nominated for the award three times, Toewes for a second and Getzlaf for the first time.
The Jack Adams Award for the best head coach in the NHL will be decided between Detroit’s Mike Babcock, Tampa Bay’s Jon Cooper and Colorado’s Patrick Roy. Babcock used 38 different players — nine rookies — and went 39-28-15 to lead Detroit to the playoffs for the 23rd consecutive year, while first-year bench bosses Cooper and Roy both led their teams to the postseason after both squads were lottery teams last year.
Lastly, Boston’s Bergeron, Chicago’s Keith and San Jose’s Brent Burns are finalists for the NHL Foundation Player Award, given to the player who “enrich the lives of people in his community.