Thomas, Chara take home hardware at NHL Awards
by Anthony Travalgia http://www.thehubofhockey.net
You can say it’s been a pretty good season for Tim Thomas and Zdeno Chara. Chara the Captain of the Stanley Cup Champions, Thomas the MVP of the playoffs and Stanley Cup Champion, added to what has already been a memorable season.
For the second time in three years Thomas was awarded the Vezina Trophy for being the league’s best goalie. Thomas joins former Flyers goalie Bernie Parent as the only other goalie to win the Stanley Cup, Conn Smythe, and Vezina Trophy in the same season, Parent did it in 1974, and 1975.
Thomas broke the single-season save percentage record with a mark of .938, barely beating Dominik Hasek’s .937 save percentage set in the 1998-99 NHL season. Thomas also led the NHL with a 2.00 goals-against-average.
This season was Thomas’ best of his career, but it’s even more special for the Flint Michigan native as prior to the season he had hip surgery.
“The first time is pretty special; because of how far I’d come, it looked like an unattainable award, but this is just as special, just special in a different way. “Because of all I’ve been through, I could win this six times and it would be just as special.’’
Despite losing out to Red Wings defensemen Nicklas Lidstrom for the Norris Trophy, Chara still was awarded the Mark Messier Leadership Award, an award given to a player who is superior on the ice, and in his community. Messier himself chose the Bruins Captain as the recipient of his award.
“Well, to be selected by somebody like Mark is an honor, you have to be a true leader and it doesn’t happen overnight and for myself coming to Boston was great and I’m lucky to be surrounded by other players and I learned from veterans from previous years, and early in my career, but it just takes time. I’m at the point where I’m really myself and I know that to be a leader you need to have followers, and that’s what I had in Boston and I’m thankful to my teammates, obviously the coaching staff and the organization, they believed in me. They know that we as a group we can get a job done and it’s a privilege, and I take it to heart to do a good job on and off the ice and be fair and be a hard worker.”
Here is a complete list of award winners from last night’s award ceremony.
Norris (Outstanding Defenseman): Nicklas Lidstrom Red Wings
Art Ross (Regular-Season Scoring Leader): Daniel Sedin, Canucks
Mark Messier Leadership Award: Zdeno Chara, Bruins
Selke (Outstanding Defensive Forward): Ryan Kesler, Canucks
Jack Adams (Coach of the Year): Dan Bylsma, Penguins
Calder (Top Rookie): Jeff Skinner, Hurricanes
Jennings (Fewest Goals Allowed): Roberto Luongo and Cory Schneider, Canucks
General Manager: Mike Gillis, Canucks
Rocket Richard (Most Regular-Season Goals): Corey Perry, Ducks
Ted Lindsay (MVP as Voted by Players): Daniel Sedin, Canucks
Masterton (Perseverance and Dedication to Hockey): Ian Laperriere Flyers
King Clancy (Leadership and Humanitarian Contributions): Doug Weight, Islanders
Lady Byng (Skillful and Gentlemanly Play): Martin St. Louis, Lightning
Vezina (Top Goaltender): Tim Thomas, Bruins
Hart (MVP): Corey Perry, Ducks