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Bagopucks hands out Mid season NHLSL Awards



Over the half way through the season, GM Bagopucks provides his takes on who he believes has done an exceptional job to earn an award in the league.

Hart Memorial Trophy
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The Hart Memorial Trophy, originally known as the Hart Trophy, is awarded annually to the "player judged most valuable to his team" in NHLSL.

Historically, this has been awarded to a forward who has scored a lot of points. Looking around the league Johnathan Tavares, Evgeni Malkin and Alexander Wennberg have generated a lot of offense for their teams. I like to also look to see who else on their respective teams is producing. Malkin has Duchene, Palmieri and few others. Johnatan Tavares has O'Reilly and Steen. To me the guy who is most deserving is Alexander Wennberg as he has managed to produce at league leading levels with almost no help around him. 

Winner: Alexander Wennberg (NYI)

James Norris Memorial Trophy 
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The James Norris Memorial Trophy, or simply the Norris Trophy, is awarded annually to NHLSL's top "defense player who demonstrates throughout the season the greatest all-round ability in the position".

This has been a trophy that has been awarded to the top point getting defensive player in the league. Looking around the league, Brent Burns, Erik Karlsson and Drew Doughty are all in contention to win it. Brent Burns and Erik Karlsson playing for the same team might open the door for Doughty to swoop in and win the trophy this year. Doughty has been on a charge recently and might surpass Burns. At this stage of the game, I believe this trophy is Burns's to lose as he has the most points so far this season. 

Winner: Brent Burns (TBL)

Vezina Trophy 
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The Vezina Trophy is awarded annually to NHLSL's goaltender who is "adjudged to be the best at this position".

This is a tough award to predict in a sim league as GMs have found goaltenders to be enigmas. A lot of things like the team defence and strategy has an effect on goalie performance in my opinion. Carey Price is the only goalie to have won this award twice. There are a lot of worthy candidates. Goalies like Martin Jones, Brian Elliot, Tuukka Rask, Marc Andre Fluery and Mike Smith need to be in conversation for this award. After looking at the defensemen in front of these masked men, I think Brian Elliot has the weakest supporting cast, lowest rating and been leaned on heavily. Dont be surprised if Tuukka Rask comes charging in at the end of the season as he has been playing incredible hockey with the Flyers.

Winner: Brian Elliot (WIN)

Calder Memorial Trophy 
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The Calder Memorial Trophy is an annual award given "to the player selected as the most proficient in his first year of competition in NHLSL."

Players coming into the league and playing in their first Pro season in NHLSL can be hard to fit into a winning roster due to chemistry and sim performance. However, some GMs have found a way to develop and surround some of these talented young individuals and get great production from them. Some of the candidates are Matthew Barzal, Pierre Luc- Dubois, Alex Debrincat and Clayton Keller. Its a close race for this award between Barzal and Dubious.

Winner: Matthew Barzal (CAR)

Tiger Williams Trophy 
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Tiger Williams Trohpy is awarded annually to the NHLSL's player who plays the role of enforcer and demonstrates the willingness and ability to drop the gloves, throw some bombs and lose a few chiclets.

With just under 30 games to go in the season, there have been over 18,000 PIMs handed out this season. Some of the candidates who we definitely tell our star players to watch for when we are facing these teams are guys like Matt Martin, Tom Wilson, Ryan Reaves, Zack Kassian to name a few. Matt Martin has been the fiercest fighter dropping his gloves over 12 times and winning 7, tieing 2 and losing only 3 bouts.

Winner: Matt Martin (NSH)

Jack Adams Trophy 
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The Jack Adams Award is awarded annually to NHLSL coach "adjudged to have contributed the most to his team's success."

With the implementation of coaches in NHLSL and the GMs playing the role of a coach it will be interesting to see how the league decides to handle this award. For me it is a combination of coaches under contract and the GM working together to create the best outcome for the team. I think the top teams in Boston, Colorado, Tampa Bay and Winnipeg have all done a fantastic job of coaching their teams. It is hard to top the type of success Don Cherry and Boston have been experiencing lately. 

Winner: Don Cherry/ BJ (BOS)

Bill Torrey Trophy
The Bill Torrey Trophy is awarded annually to NHLSL GM to have had a strong season in contributing to the league on and off the ice. 

This is a tough award to be handed out by me because we have so many strong GMs who are smart, witty, entertaining and flat out smart hockey and financial guys. To me, there is one guy who has turned the biggest page with myself and also has been with helping the league. He has been very involved with the league with recruit, entertaining and building a good team. He has had a busy life outside of the league but still has found a way to be a great member of the league.

Winner: Gera (DAL)

Eric Duhatchshek Trophy 
The Eric Duhatchshek Trophy is awarded annually to NHLSL GM to have had a strong season in writing articles and promoting the written form of entertainment in the league.

2019 has been a great year for articles. There has been more activity in the forums and it has been lively around here with a lot of conversation. I want to award this to a new GM who has come in bought into the writing article culture. He has taken a lot of time to write detailed write ups about his roster movements and trades. There are a few GMs who fit this criteria and there are also a bunch of veteran GMs who have done a great job. Koop has done a great job in starting and keeping a group of writers going.

Winner: Andre the Giant (CAR)

Great Job Kirk Trophy 
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The Great Job Kirk is awarded annually to NHLSL GM to have had a rough season and have a lot of room for improvement.

"Winner": Hesla (WSH)