There are a lot of NHL awards, but not all of them are important.
It’s NHL awards season, so what better time to look at the awards and how important they are than right now? There are quite a few trophies given out, but not all of them are great at rewarding what they’re supposed to reward. Some things probably shouldn’t be rewarded.
I’m here to give you my objective ranking of each major award from most important and useful, to awards that probably shouldn’t exist, to outright pointless. Before I begin, let me set some ground rules.
First of all, these are just my opinions. Feel free to share yours in the comments below. Secondly, I’m viewing each of these awards from several standpoints. How important is each award? Does it actually reward something that’s worth rewarding? Would anyone really care if the award was never given out again? Also, I’m a big fan of tiers, so I’m separating the awards into tiers.
Let’s get started.
The Most Important NHL Awards
1. Ted Lindsay Award
2. Hart Trophy
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You probably expected to see the Hart Trophy at the number one spot, didn’t you? What’s a more important award than one which rewards the most valuable player in the NHL? How about one which rewards the best player in the league? If I had to choose between the Hart and the Ted Lindsay, I’d rather win the latter. Here’s why.
First of all, “valuable” is a very vague term. Being the best player, though, is more definitive. Most importantly, the Hart Trophy is voted on by a bunch of people in the PHWA. With all due respect to all the reporters and beat writers out there, the Ted Lindsay Award is voted on by the players. Being respected by your peers as the most outstanding player in the NHL is better than having a bunch of reporters and beat writers say you’re the most valuable player.
No other league has an award like the Ted Lindsay. That’s what makes it so special. More leagues should allow the players to honor their peers. It would end the endless debates on the definition of “valuable” and would allow the best player in each league to be honored.
The Hart Trophy is still a very important award. But the Ted Lindsay Award should carry more weight than it.
3. Conn Smythe Trophy
Each season, the Conn Smythe Trophy goes to the best player of the postseason. It almost always goes to a player on the team that wins the Stanley Cup, but not always. Obviously, being the best player on a championship team is pretty darn important and cool.
4. Rocket Richard Trophy
5. Art Ross Trophy
These are the two simplest NHL awards because there’s no voting involved. Scoring goals important. So is picking up points. Pretty straightforward and I like it. More awards should be this simple. I like goals more than points, but you could flip the two and I’d have no meaningful objections.