Once again, the venerable Elliotte Friedman has released his weekly 30 Thoughts column. This week’s edition features Friedman’s in-depth discussion of his NHL awards ballot, which he gets as a member of the PHWA.
As always: not voting for your favourite player or organization absolutely means I hate them…and you.
Elliotte is fantastic. He didn’t disclose the order of most of his picks, but mostly noted which players he had present on his ballot.
Friedman lists Johnny Gaudreau as on his ballot for the Calder Trophy for the NHL’s top rookie.
Some mocked Gaudreau’s NHL chances, as sources say he’s not the biggest
guy in the world. But he’s very competitive and a critical part of
Calgary’s best line. In a Hockey Night in Canada interview last weekend,
Flames coach Bob Hartley referred to their 4-3 win in Los Angeles on
Dec. 22 as the biggest victory of the season. They had lost seven in a
row entering that one.
He also placed Jiri Hudler on his ballot for the Lady Byng, given to the NHL’s most gentlemanly player, but declared that he voted Sean Monahan as that award’s top contender.
One of the reasons Calgary signed Matt Stajan to a contract extension
was the organization didn’t want to throw Monahan to the Western
Conference wolves without protection. Injuries allowed only four Flames
forwards to play 70 games — Gaudreau, Hudler, Monahan and Lance Bouma.
That threw more responsibility on the 20-year-old, and he delivered.
While he didn’t vote for them, he noted that he considered both Mark Giordano and T.J. Brodie for the Norris Trophy for the league’s top defenseman, and Sean Monahan for the Selke Trophy for the league’s top defensive forward.
The PHWA doesn’t vote for the Vezina for top goaltender or Jack Adams for top coach, so he didn’t vote for either of those awards.