It’s unclear if and when the 2019-20 NHL season will resume — potential dates for the start of training camp range from early July through August — but the league is at least putting a bow on this regular season by releasing ballots for awards voting.
Voting for the 2019-20 NHL Awards has officially begun. Ballots are being distributed by the league today and must be submitted by 5 p.m. ET next Monday.— Chris Johnston (@reporterchris) June 8, 2020
Presumably, the NHL won’t be able to have an awards show like in years past, but as Kings fans, there wouldn’t have been much to look forward to anyway. Instead, let’s reminisce on some of the team’s award honorees from recent years.
Anze Kopitar won the Frank J. Selke Trophy as the league’s best defensive forward in both 2015-16 and 2017-18. It was an especially satisfying win in 2016 when he beat out Ryan Kesler to win his first trophy after three straight nominations, and Kopitar made it a double with the Lady Byng trophy. Luc Robitaille’s speech on Kopitar’s behalf that year was delightful, but thankfully, Kopitar showed up to accept his own hardware in 2018.
Drew Doughty won the Norris Trophy in 2016, his first honor also coming after three nominations like Kopitar. As an aside, it still hurts thinking about that 2016 team. That loss to the Sharks still stings, and I get irrationally angry thinking about that San Jose power play unit with Pavelski and Thornton. It may have been comeuppance for what the Kings inflicted on them in 2014, and I wouldn’t change a thing about the 2014 Stanley Cup run, but that 2016 Kings team was damn good.
With any luck, the Kings will be back in the awards conversation shortly. The 2020-21 season can’t get here soon enough.
On to the links...
- The Athletic did an in-depth profile on Tim Stutzle, a forward who has been falling to the Kings in several mock drafts. (A reminder that the 2020 draft order hasn’t been set yet.)
- Helene Elliott of the L.A. Times looked into the ongoing conversation about racism in hockey with a special focus on Bokondji Imama, who has spent the last two seasons with the Ontario Reign.
- The Arizona Coyotes have made Xavier A. Gutierrez the first Latino team president, CEO, and alternate governor in NHL history.
- The Hall of Fame is still on track to select a class of 2020.
- A tiered ranking of Stanley Cup champions historically.
- And finally, on JFTC: Mark found the best Kings player from each country, and Robyn discussed the protests against police brutality following George Floyd’s death on Crown Conversations.