LAS VEGAS (The Sports Xchange) — Jim Rutherford, of the Pittsburgh Penguins, has been named the winner of the NHL General Manager of the Year Award.
Rutherford received 10 first-place votes and 90 voting points to top Brian MacLellan of Washington and Jim Nill of Dallas for the top general manager.
Rutherford’s retooled roster and mid-season coaching change spurred the Penguins to a strong regular-season finish that carried them to their fourth Stanley Cup in franchise history.
Also, on Wednesday night, Chicago Blackhawks winger Patrick Kane captured the Hart Memorial Trophy as the NHL’s most valuable player , beating out Penguins captain and Conn Smythe Trophy winner Sidney Crosby.
The announcements came at the season-ending NHL Awards gala in Las Vegas, site of the NHL’s newly announced expansion team.
Kane received 121 first-place votes and appeared on each of the 150 Hart ballots cast for 1,395 points. Crosby, named on 145 ballots, including 11 first-place tallies, finished second in with 800 points, followed by Dallas Stars left winger Jamie Benn (637).
Kane posted career highs in goals (46), assists (60) and points (106) to capture the Art Ross Trophy as the league’s top point-scorer and power the Blackhawks to their eighth consecutive playoff appearance. He notched at least one point in 64 of his 82 contests, highlighted by a franchise-record, 26-game point streak from Oct. 17 to Dec. 13.
The other awards handed out:
Los Angeles Kings defenseman Drew Doughty won the James Norris Memorial Trophy, awarded to the league’s top defenseman; Braden Holtby of the Washington Capitals won his first Vezina Trophy, awarded to the NHL’s best goaltender; Chicago Blackhawks left winger Artemi Panarin was named the winner of the Calder Memorial Trophy awarded to the league’s top rookie; Florida Panthers right winger Jaromir Jagr was the recipient of the Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy for perseverance, sportsmanship and dedication.
Vancouver Canucks center Henrik Sedin was named the winner of the King Clancy Memorial Trophy for leadership and humanitarian contributions; Kings center Anze Kopitar captured the Lady Byng Memorial Trophy, for sportsmanship; Calgary Flames defenseman Mark Giordano was named the recipient of the NHL Foundation Player Award for off-ice contributions; Nashville Predators captain Shea Weber was named the winner of the Mark Messier NHL Leadership Award; the Washington Capitals’ Barry Trotz won the Jack Adams Award, presented to the coach of the year.
Doughty beat out defending Norris Trophy winner Erik Karlsson of the Ottawa Senators and Brent Burns of the San Jose Sharks for his first Norris Trophy in his third appearance as a finalist. He appeared in all 82 games for the second consecutive season and was third in the league in average ice time (28:01), posting a career-best plus-24 rating.
Holtby garnered 26 first-place votes from the 30 cast by NHL general managers for the Vezina Trophy. His 140 voting points placed him ahead of Tampa Bay’s Ben Bishop and Los Angeles’ Jonathan Quick. Holtby equaled a single-season NHL record with 48 wins, tying the mark set by New Jersey’s Martin Brodeur in 2006-07, to backstop the Capitals to the 2015-16 Presidents’ Trophy as the league’s top regular-season club.
Panarin, 24, received votes on all 150 Calder ballots submitted by members of the Professional Hockey Writers Association, and he was the top choice on 88 for 1,258 voting points. Shayne Gostisbehere of the Philadelphia Flyers was second, and Connor McDavid of the Edmonton Oilers was third.
Panarin, who signed with the Blackhawks in May 2015, led all rookies in goals (30), assists (47), points (77), power-play goals (eight), power-play points (24) and game-winning goals (7) while skating in 80 games. He became the fourth rookie in Blackhawks history to reach the 30-goal milestone and the first to do so since 1995-96 (Eric Daze).
Jagr, 44, helped inspire the Panthers to franchise records for wins (47) and points (103) while capturing their second division title. Jagr led the Panthers in scoring with 27 goals, 39 assists and 66 points, becoming the oldest player in NHL history to surpass the 60-point plateau.
Kopitar led the Kings in scoring for the ninth consecutive season, the longest active such streak in the NHL.
Trotz, who led the Capitals to the best regular-season record in the NHL, was a top-three selection on 80 of the 89 ballots cast for the Jack Adams Award, including 58 first-place votes. He finished with 344 voting points, compared with 203 for Florida’s Gerard Gallant and 75 for Dallas’ Lindy Ruff.