It turns out that Alex Ovechkin may leave the Stanley Cup Finals with some hardware after all. Of course, it won’t be Lord Stanley’s mug, at least not this year, but the NHL confirmed Friday that its lineup of individual awards will be presented in two television specials leading up to Game 2 of the Stanley Cup Finals.
Ovechkin is nominated for the Hart Memorial Trophy (most valuable player to his team) and for the Ted Lindsay Award (most outstanding player as voted on by members of the NHLPA).
Ovechkin is one of three finalists for the Hart Trophy, along with Sidney Crosby of the Pittsburgh Penguins and John Tavares of the New York Islanders. Ovechkin and Crosby are also both finalists for the Ted Lindsay Award, along with Martin St. Louis of the Tampa Bay Lightning.
The winner of the Hart, Calder, Norris and Vezina trophies, as well as the winner of the Ted Lindsay Award will be revealed in an hour-long TV special at 7 p.m. ET on the night of Game 2 of the Stanley Cup.
One night earlier, in a special 5 p.m. ET, broadcast on the NHL Network, the League will reveal the winners of the Masterton, Selke, King Clancy and Lady Byng trophies, plus Jack Adams Award for Coach of the Year, the Mark Messier NHL Leadership Award and the NHL General Manager of the Year.
The NHL traditionally holds a made-for-TV awards-gala on a single night once the Stanley Cup Finals are complete. Since 2009 the event has been held in Las Vegas, but the NHL lockout and the scheduling changes that followed necessitated the smaller scale event for this year only. The NHL is expected to return to Las Vegas for the 2014 Awards Show.
CAPS ECHL AFFILIATE ON VERGE OF TITLE
The Capitals organization could add a feather in its cap as early as Friday with an ECHL Kelly Cup title.
The Reading Royals, the Capitals’ ECHL affiliate, lead the Stockton Thunder 3-0 in the championship series with Game 4 Friday in Northern California.
Reading’s playoff roster features eight players under Capitals control including prospects Brett Flemming (fifth-round, 145th overall, 2009 NHL Draft), Stanislav Galiev (third-round, 86th overall, 2010) and Dustin Stevenson (2010 free agent signing).
Flemming leads all defensemen in the ECHL playoffs with four goals and 11 points in 20 games, while Stevenson has chipped in with a goal and nine points in 20 games.
Galiev was averaging a point-per-game in the playoffs (three goals and nine points in nine games) before suffering an injury in Round 2.
Since 2006, the Capitals organization has won three Calder Cup titles in the American Hockey League (Hershey Bears in 2006, 2009 and 2010) and one Kelly Cup title in the ECHL (South Carolina Stingrays in 2009).