Matthews or McDavid for MVP?

The NHL Awards Show is back this season, the first time in three years that the show will be live.

Taking place in Tampa between Games 3 and 4 of the Stanley Cup Final, Keenan Thompson returns as host, with five awards to hand.

Here’s what you need to know about the event:

WHEN AND WHERE?

This year’s show takes place in Tampa at Armature Works and kicks off Tuesday at 7 pm ET/4 pm PT on Sportsnet and Sportsnet NOW.

WHAT?

It’s not a full range of awards this season, and some have already been decided. On Tuesday we will meet the winners of the Hart Trophy, Norris Trophy, Calder Trophy, Vezina Trophy and Ted Lindsay Award.

While the Hart, Norris and Calder trophies are decided by the Professional Hockey Writers Association, the Vezina is voted on by all 32 NHL GMs and the Ted Lindsay is voted on by the players. It is important to remember that all votes were cast before the start of the playoffs.

The three finalists for the Jim Gregory Award for best NHL general manager will also be announced Tuesday, with the winner to be announced midway through the first round of the NHL Draft on July 7.

The following award winners were previously announced in the playoffs:

Lady Byng Award: Kyle Connor

King Clancy Trophy: PK Subban

Bill Masterton Trophy: Carey Price

Selke Trophy: Patrice Bergeron

Jack Adams Award: Darryl Sutter

WHO?

NHL superstars and celebrities are expected to attend, and there will also be special guests to hand out the awards, including Seattle Kraken fan Nadia Popovici, who behind glass discovered a cancerous mole on the neck of the assistant team manager of the Vancouver Canucks, Red. Hamilton; and Calgary Flames assistant general manager and ALS survivor Chris Snow.

“To be able to highlight some of the most moving stories and inspirational figures from the past year in hockey on this year’s show is incredible,” said Steve Mayer, chief content officer and senior executive vice president of the NHL. “With all eyes on the best players in the game, we look forward to also recognizing these great people whose presence in Tampa is sure to be an emotional highlight of the night.”

Five prizes will be awarded on Tuesday. Here’s a rundown of the finalists, the case to be made for each, and a prediction on a winner.

HART TROPHY FINALISTS

Austin Matthews, Toronto Maple Leafs

The case for: The first NHL player with 60 goals since 2011-12, Matthews averaged 0.82 goals per game in 73 appearances this season, the highest rate of the salary-cap era and the best of any player since Mario Lemieux in 1995- 96 (69 goals in 70 games).

Connor McDavid, Edmonton Oilers

The case for: Art Ross winner McDavid finished with 123 points, tied for third in salary-cap-era history. McDavid won this award averaging an outstanding 1.88 points per game last season, and while this year’s 1.54 isn’t all that surprising, he’s still among the best of the last 16 years. Truly “the most valuable asset to his team,” when McDavid was on the ice this season, Edmonton outscored opponents 151-71; when he was out, the Oilers were outscored 180-134.

Igor Shesterkin, New York Rangers

The case for: Prior to playoff heroics, Shesterkin led all goaltenders in the regular season for save percentage (.935), GAA (2.07), and above-average goals saved (44.85). Rangers as a team were ranked 20th for shot difference and 15th for expected goal difference and yet 8th for actual goal difference thanks in large part to Shesterkin’s play.

Prediction: Austin Matthews

In a season of offensive explosions in the league, the force of Matthews’ goals is hard not to reward. Of course, so is McDavid’s performance. This may be the most interesting vote of the night and is sure to spark debate regardless of the outcome.

NORRIS TROPHY FINALISTS

Victor Hedman, Tampa Bay Lightning

The case for: Third in scoring at the position with 20 goals and a career-best 85 points, Norris’s 2018 winner averaged more than 25 minutes per game and was a rock for back-to-back champions again. With Hedman on the ice, Tampa scored more than 61 percent of all goals.

Roman Josi, Nashville Predators

The case for: Leading scorer among all defensemen with 96 points, a single season total in the top 10 at the position over the past 40 years, and the most since Phil Housley posted 97 points in 1992-93. Even more impressive: Josi’s 59 uniform strength points were the most of any blueliner since Paul Coffey scored 90 in 1985-86. Josi’s was the 11th-best uniform strength scoring point in the total season of any defense in NHL history.

Cala Makar, Colorado Avalanche

The case for: Although Makar finished 10 points behind Josi in the scoring race, he led the way with 28 goals, the third-most in the salary-cap era. Makar’s 1.12 points per game mark is also the No. 2 challenger to Josi’s 1.20 in the salary-cap era. Makar averaged the most minutes (25:40) and had the best goals per percentage, all situations (68.49) among all finalists.

Prediction: Roman Josi

The recency bias will make it seem crazy that Josi could be rewarded over Makar here, but his regular season was truly special. This could be a close vote, and the fact that his performance came on a bubble team might help Josi a bit.

VEZINA TROPHY FINALISTS

Jacob Markstrom, Calgary Flames

The case for: The NHL leader in shutouts (9), Markstrom was third by GAA (2.22) and above-average goals saved (26.12), and he carried a heavy load for the Flames with 63 appearances en route to a division title. .

Juuse Saros, Nashville Predators

The case for: No goalkeeper had a heavier drive than Saros this season. He played more games (67) than any goalkeeper and was second in shots against (2,107) and saves (1,934).

Igor Shesterkin, New York Rangers

The case for: For the same reasons Shesterkin is a Hart Trophy finalist, he excels at his position here. Shesterkin’s performance in 2021-22 is the closest salary-cap era challenger to Tim Thomas’ breakout 2010-11 season in which he won the Vezina with 17 of 30 NHL GM votes.

Prediction: Igor Shesterkin

He should be a runaway for the Rangers goalkeeper, who is now set to challenge and push Andrei Vasilevskiy for the World’s Best Goalkeeper title.

CALDER TROPHY FINALISTS

Michael Bunting, Toronto Maple Leafs

The case for: The rookie scoring leader with 63 points in 79 games, Bunting was also second in goals (23) and led both categories with even force.

Moritz Seider, Detroit Red Wings

The case for: Averaging more time on the ice (23:02) than any other rookie, Seider was a positive presence on both ends and became the fifth rookie defenseman of the salary-cap era to finish with 50 points, joining Cale Makar and Quinn. Hughes.

Trevor Zegras, Anaheim Ducks

The case for: The face of offensive creativity this season, Zegras was more than a graceful standout machine, finishing with 23 goals and 61 points, and second behind Matt Boldy (47 games played) at 0.81 points per game.

Prediction: Moritz Seider

He came into the NHL a polished blue liner, with positive shooting metrics on one of the NHL’s worst teams and elite offensive production for his age. This is the springboard to what is projected to be a solid, long NHL career, which should really take off once the Wings turn the corner.

TED LINDSAY AWARD

Roman Josi, Nashville Predators

The case for: Elite offensive production and regular deployment against top competition.

Connor McDavid, Edmonton Oilers

The case for: A unique talent who takes over games at will, averages over 22 minutes per game and has claimed the title of Best Player in the World.

Austin Matthews, Toronto Maple Leafs

The case for: Matthews, one of the best natural scorers in the game, has improved defensively and added more physical elements to his game this season.

Prediction: Connor McDavid

In this season’s player poll, the NHLers voted McDavid the player they would most want on their team if they needed to win a game, and they were second (to Brad Marchand) in voting for the player they would least like to play against. Reputation could influence a player’s vote, so these results seem to bode well for McDavid here.

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