Last year, SB Nation's sportjacket king emeritus James Mirtle ran a story about the NHL awards that would hypothetically go to each team. The SBN hockey writers submitted their lists and Mirtle ran with it. This year is a little different. We're all submitting our list, but this time it's to Hockey Editor Travis Hughes and he's going to run it on SBNation.com's NHL hub.
We've submitted our list to Travis, but we're interested in your take. Who are your nominees for the Calder, Selke, Hart, Norris, and Vezina Trophies? Each of the writers here at the Copper & Blue submitted their list, and though there isn't much controversy here, it was an interesting exercise. Below the jump is our discussion about the awards. Feel free to throw your nominees in a post in the comments.
Hart Memorial Trophy
Ben: Dustin Penner is a choice so obvious it does not need defense. Leading scorer. Closest thing to an ironman on the roster. Didn't give his full effort every night but who did? Without Dustin Penner, the Oilers would be even more in last than they actually are.
: Dustin Penner was the Oilers' best player even when Ales Hemsky and Nikolai Khabibulin were healthy. Since they went down for the count in November, Penner has been by far the best of a sorry Oilers team.
Derek: Dustin Penner. He dragged replacement level players around the ice for the first twelve games and the last fifty-five. He was effective on the penalty kill and the power play. He was the only offensive threat on the team for most of the season and still managed to take over a game or five.
: Dustin Penner - The Oilers only consistent offensive threat, Penner has been the team's best forward by a huge margin.
Scott: Dustin Penner has been Edmonton's best player this season. If Hemsky were healthy there might be some debate, but he's not and there isn't.
Frank J. Selke Trophy
Ben: Gilbert Brule. His QUALCOMP is better than you think, his QUALTEAM is worse. Even before his scoring came alive with Penner, he was doing better against superior players than he ought to have. Penner outscored more than Brule, but there's far more to that than defensive play. Strictly own-zone, Brule was the superior player.
: Dustin Penner was Oilers' strongest two-way forward, with a plus rating and the only positive Corsi number on the team.
Derek: It's either Penner or Shawn Horcoff and the third place candidate hasn't made the far turn yet. Penner lugged around replacement players and kept his Corsi positive and his chances differential positive. Horcoff lugged around a non-replacement level player in J.F. Jacques and couldn't hack tough competition. But when Horcoff was away from Jacques, he was outshooting. But Horcoff was getting drilled out there and Penner wasn't. So I'll go with Penner in a photo finish.
: Dustin Penner - The Oilers best forward has played different roles on the team, and is one of the very few guys not drowning in the goals against column.
Scott: Shawn Horcoff has had a poor season by his standards but I think he ought to be recognized for the work he's done defensively. Any time the coach has matched lines it's been Horcoff against the toughs carrying around schleps like Moreau and Pisani or O'Sullivan and Jacques. His results on the PK are actually really good both in terms of limiting shots and goals relative to the rest of the team. He's clearly the go-to guy on this club in defensive situations which is what the award is for.
James Norris Memorial Trophy
Ben: Lubomir Visnovsky isn't an Oiler anymore, so it's a difficult choice. But when he was here, he was our best defenseman by such a margin he can't be ignored. Sorry, Tom Gilbert. You weren't awful, but that doesn't mean you were any good.
: Tom Gilbert continues to blossom into a solid all-round blueliner. With the rest of the starting six either traded or on LTIR, Gilbert is the Oilers nominee by default.
Derek: Tom Gilbert, and not just by process of elimination. He's actually been good this year. He's played the tough minutes (though it might be coincidence what with the complete lack of line matching by the coaching staff this year) and he's within shouting distance of even in Corsi and scoring chances. He's a gem and I'm glad he's going to be around for awhile.
: Tom Gilbert - With the injury to Sheldon Souray and the trade of Lubomir Visnovsky and Denis Grebeshkov, Gilbert wins this basically by default. His offence is down but he's been a decent two-way man.
Scott: Tom Gilbert is one of two defenders to dress for sixty games as an Oiler this season. The other one is Jason Strudwick. In that Elizabeth Gilbert contributed more to the Oilers winning games than Strudwick (zero is still higher than a negative number!), Tom Gilbert wins this one in a landslide.
Calder Memorial Trophy
Ben: Devan Dubnyk. Gets the edge over Alex Plante at the line: Plante looked pretty good in about an hour of NHL ice time, and Dubnyk started awful but is getting better. I'm unilaterally not counting Jeff Deslauriers because he was on an NHL roster all last season and NHL rookie rules are stupid.
: Jeff Deslauriers played by far the most significant role of any Oiler rookie. Forced into the #1 role behind an inexperienced defence and injury-riddled club, he responded to the challenge by winning 15 games.
Derek: It's Ryan Stone, and I don't think it's close. He was limited by injuries - the Oilers are still mum on that front - but was effective in a limited role for the team. He played like a real NHL player and proved he belonged on the roster next year. His positive Corsi, positive EV +/- per sixty and his positive scoring chances differential are something to build on for next year.
: Jeff Deslauriers - No rookie has had the impact of Deslauriers, who has likely established himself as an NHL backup.
Scott: This season the Oilers proved it doesn't take a lot of rookies to suck and suck hard. The guys eligible for this award are Deslauriers, Chorney, Stone and Peckham. The only guy among them who's been above replacement level on the season is Stone so despite only playing 27 games it's Stone - and his positive EV goal differential - for the win.
Ben: This is the time for Jeff Deslauriers. He wasn't bad, guys! Really! Voting for a single team's best goaltender is absurd, but Deslauriers isn't even the worst tender in the division (high praise there).
: Jeff Deslauriers entered the season trying to establish himself as a reliable backup. With the early season injury to Khabibulin, "JDD" stepped into the #1 role and delivered many fine games in a rollercoaster season.
Derek: Even though he gave games away with his brain freezes and random power walks around the rink, and even though he missed the majority of the season with an entry that read "Decision, Bad - Tambellini" on the injured reserve list, and even though he was nicknamed "The Maginot Line", Nikolai Khabibulin was the only goaltender on the team that was an actual NHL goalie.
: Jeff Deslauriers has shown enough to stick at the NHL level and is the only Oilers goalie to get in enough games to deserve mention.
Scott: Nathan Deobald and/or Torrie Jung and/or Bryan Pitton. True, these guys haven't had game action but they're the only guys who have worn the mask that haven't been worse than I'd hoped for.