McDavid wins 3rd NHL MVP, one vote shy of unanimous vote
Published 1:44 am Tuesday, June 27, 2023
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Connor McDavid won his third Hart Trophy as NHL MVP on Monday night, falling one vote short of unanimous selection after the highest-scoring season by a player in more than a quarter-century.
McDavid also won the Ted Lindsay Award as the NHL’s most outstanding player as voted by his peers. The Edmonton Oilers’ captain led the league with 64 goals, 89 assists and 153 points. That’s the most points since Mario Lemieux in 1995-96.
McDavid previously won the Hart in 2017 and 2021 and the Lindsay in 2017, 2018 and 2021. Universally recognized as the best hockey player in the world, McDavid is still searching for his first Stanley Cup title after Edmonton lost in the second round of the playoffs to eventual champion Vegas.
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“Certainly it’s not lost on me what these trophies mean in the grand scheme of our game,” McDavid said. “To do it a number of times, it means a lot to me. Obviously, it’s not the motivating factor, but it’s special still.”
One voter out of 196 picked Boston’s David Pastrnak as MVP. The Bruins had a big night at the league’s awards ceremony after setting the record for the most wins and points in a regular season, records made possible in part by rule changes.
This year was a rare instance in which most of the major award winners were obvious since before the end of the regular season.
San Jose’s Erik Karlsson also became a three-time award winner, receiving the Norris Trophy as top defenseman — his first such honor since 2015. Karlsson at age 32 was the first defenseman to surpass 100 points in a season since Brian Leetch in 1992.
“I still feel like I had a fantastic year and I felt good the whole way, but I feel like there’s more,” said Karlsson, who has expressed interest in being moved to a team that has a chance to win the Stanley Cup. “That’s what makes me excited moving forward.”
The Bruins had three award winners: captain Patrice Bergeron, goaltender Linus Ullmark and coach Jim Montgomery.
The Vezina Trophy as top goalie and Jack Adams Award as coach of the year were each a first for Ullmark and Montgomery. Ullmark led the league with a 1.89 goals-against average and .938 save percentage and was tied for the most wins with 40 — getting them in just 48 starts.
“You want to be the best at your position or even the best player, which is very tough when you have guys like Connor McDavid and Sidney Crosby playing against you, that’s a tough one,” Ullmark said. “Still, you have that goal.”
Montgomery coached Boston to 65 wins in his first season with the team, and he thanked those who supported him through a low point in his career.
“Three and a half years ago, the Dallas Stars terminated my contract because of my struggles with alcohol, and I had to change my actions and behaviors,” Montgomery said. “For those who struggle out there, you can change, you can affect change within yourself, and it doesn’t happen alone. You need a team.”
Bergeron won the Selke Trophy as the best defensive forward for a sixth time, building on the NHL record he broke last year. At age 37, he led the league in faceoff wins and percentage and was only on the ice for 27 goals against at even strength in 78 games.
Seattle’s Matty Beniers won the Calder Trophy as rookie of the year. Beniers led all rookies with 57 points and was tied for the lead among them in goals with 24, helping the Kraken make the playoffs in their second year of existence.
“I think I was pretty fortunate this year production-wise,” Beniers said. “Every year is not going to be like that, I know that, but it was definitely a good start. I was obviously really happy and thankful for the year.”
Anze Kopitar of the Los Angeles Kings won the Lady Byng Award for gentlemanly conduct, Steven Stamkos of the Tampa Bay Lightning won the Mark Messier Leadership Award, and Kris Letang of the Pittsburgh Penguins — who had a stroke on Nov. 28 but returned to play 12 days later — won the Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy for perseverance and dedication.
Members of the Professional Hockey Writers’ Association vote on the Hart, Norris, Selke, Calder, Masterson and Lady Byng. General managers determine the Vezina, while members of the NHL Broadcasters’ Association pick the Jack Adams.