LAS VEGAS (AP) – The Latest on the NHL Awards and Vegas expansion draft (all times local):
Columbus’ Sergei Bobrovsky has won his second Vezina Trophy as the NHL’s top goalie.
Bobrovsky led the NHL in goals-against average and save percentage while backstopping the Blue Jackets’ revival.
He wasn’t the only goalie in the Vegas spotlight, however. Marc-Andre Fleury appeared on the stage at T-Mobile Arena in a Golden Knights jersey after the expansion franchise picked him from Pittsburgh.
The awards show got emotional when the league honored veteran Bryan Bickell, who retired this year after being diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. Bickell and his wife, Amanda, got a standing ovation when they appeared on the stage.
St. Louis forward David Perron, Tampa Bay defenseman Jason Garrison, Ottawa defenseman Marc Methot and Montreal defenseman Alexei Emelin are among the next wave of choices by the Vegas Golden Knights in the expansion draft.
The expansion franchise welcomed its first veteran players during the NHL’s annual awards show, and they chose from a fairly deep pool of talent. While some of their choices are unrestricted free agents, they’ve got the potential to build a tough, young lineup.
The Golden Knights’ blue line is looking particularly healthy. Emelin has been with Montreal for the past five seasons, while Methot has spent the last five years with the Senators as the longtime defensive partner of Norris Trophy finalist Erik Karlsson.
“I feel like we have created a great team initially, and we can grow from here,” Golden Knights owner Bill Foley said.
Nashville general manager David Poile has been named the NHL’s top executive, and Columbus coach John Tortorella has won the Jack Adams Award as the top coach.
Poile was recognized after the Predators’ first Western Conference title and Stanley Cup Final appearance. Poile is the only GM in Predators history, patiently building the Sun Belt franchise into a powerhouse with a solid foundation in the community.
In his first full season in Columbus, Tortorella led the Blue Jackets’ revival for their best record ever and their first playoff appearance since 2014, even leading the overall NHL standings earlier in the season. The American coach also won the Adams award in 2004.
Toronto forward Auston Matthews is the runaway winner of the Calder Trophy as the NHL’s top rookie.
Matthews claimed the honor during the NHL’s annual awards show, easily outdistancing Winnipeg’s Patrik Laine and Columbus’ Zach Werenski.
Matthews had 40 goals and 29 assists in his rookie season after going to the Maple Leafs as the No. 1 pick in the 2016 draft. The Arizona-raised center didn’t miss a game while propelling Toronto back into the Stanley Cup playoffs for just the second time since 2004.
Jonathan Marchessault, Cody Eakin and Brayden McNabb are among the first players joining the Vegas Golden Knights in the expansion draft.
The NHL revealed the first several picks during the first hour of the league’s annual awards show, and the Golden Knights appear to be making good on owner Bill Foley’s vow to impress their new fans.
Vegas claimed Marchessault after he racked up 30 goals and 21 assists for Florida last year. Eakin is a solid two-way center, and McNabb is a rising defenseman who broke through last season for the Los Angeles Kings.
Vegas also took Colorado goalie Calvin Pickard, Vancouver defenseman Luca Sbisa and New Jersey defenseman Jon Merrill.
The rest of the expansion draft picks will be sprinkled in during the telecast of the awards show.
Boston forward Patrice Bergeron has won the Selke Trophy as the NHL’s best defensive forward for the fourth time, and San Jose’s Brent Burns has won the Norris Trophy as the NHL’s top defenseman.
Bergeron joins Bob Gainey as the only players to win the Selke four times. Bergeron also claimed the trophy in 2012, 2014 and 2015.
He has been nominated for the Selke six straight times, joining Detroit’s Pavel Datsyuk for the longest streak in the award’s history.
Burns is a first-time winner of the Norris. The heavily bearded big man with an aggressive offensive game scored 76 points to lead all defensemen.
Burns beat out Ottawa’s Erik Karlsson, who scored 71 points.
The first trophy of the NHL awards show has been handed out to Connor McDavid.
The Edmonton captain won the Ted Lindsay Award, given to the most outstanding player chosen in a vote by NHL players association members. The 20-year-old NHL scoring champion also is a finalist for the Hart Trophy as the league’s MVP.
The 91-year-old Lindsay was in attendance for the presentation, flanked by Mario Lemieux and Mark Messier.
The results of the expansion draft also will be revealed throughout the two-hour awards show. The Vegas Golden Knights begin play in the fall as the NHL’s 31st franchise.
The annual awards show got underway with a performance by a Canadian rock band and a few jokes from emcee Joe Manganiello, who got laughs from a comedy bit in which he stepped into the crowd to move Sidney Crosby up to an improved seat – by asking a grinning NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman to switch seats.
Vegas Golden Knights owner Bill Foley is eager to reveal the roster that his franchise is building through the expansion draft.
When asked to give a sneak peek at that roster before the NHL awards show, Foley grinned and replied: “Can you keep a secret? Well, so can I.”
The hockey world will know the results of general manager George McPhee’s machinations over the next few days, although numerous reports already have leaked out through the teams giving up players to the Golden Knights.
Even after the expansion draft results are revealed Wednesday night, that’s only part of the story, because McPhee’s additional trades can’t be announced until Thursday morning and beyond. Many teams have swung deals with McPhee to dissuade him from choosing players that they want to keep.
“What surprised me was the quality of some of our forwards that we were able to get out of this situation,” Foley said. “The people of Las Vegas are going to be happy with what we did. They’re going to be pleasantly surprised.”
Commissioner Gary Bettman says the NHL will look to enforce slashing penalties more next season and is not interested in more expansion at this time.
Following the league’s board of governors meeting, Bettman said pointless slashes to players’ hands will be called more. Ottawa’s Marc Methot and Calgary’s Johnny Gaudreau were among the players to miss time last season with hand injuries from slashes.
In response to questions about Seattle and Quebec City, Bettman says owners weren’t interested in considering another expansion process. Vegas, which will announce its expansion draft selections tonight during the awards show, begins play as the 31st team next season.
Bettman also says he doesn’t believe anything is “amiss” with the Chicago Blackhawks and Marian Hossa, who won’t play next season because of side effects to medication for a progressive skin disorder. Hossa can be placed on long-term injured reserve, giving the Blackhawks much-needed salary relief.
Wayne Gretzky will present the Hart Trophy as MVP to Connor McDavid, Sidney Crosby or Sergei Bobrovsky to cap the NHL’s awards show.
If McDavid wins, it would be a memorable moment as nine-time winner Gretzky presents the 20-year-old Oilers star with the trophy.
McDavid, Crosby and San Jose’s Brent Burns also are up for the Ted Lindsay Award as most outstanding player as voted by peers. Lindsay and fellow Hall of Famers Mario Lemieux and Mark Messier will present.
Burns, Ottawa’s Erik Karlsson and Tampa Bay’s Victor Hedman are finalists for the Norris Trophy as best defenseman. Columbus’ Bobrovsky, Washington’s Braden Holtby and Montreal’s Carey Price are finalists for the Vezina Trophy as best goaltender.
The Vegas Golden Knights’ expansion draft also is part of the show.
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