Connor McDavid’s award-winning season came with one regret. In earning his second career MVP honor Tuesday, the Edmonton Oilers captain wished his team was still playing.
“We had a special group this year, and obviously we didn’t do what we wanted to do,” McDavid said, referring to the Oilers being swept in the first round of the playoffs by the Winnipeg Jets.
“But it was still so fun to be a part of, and get the fans of Edmonton excited again for what’s to come,” he added. “We had so many guys take the next step, and I’m just part of that. If we’re all continuing to do that, we’re going to go and do some special things in this league.”
McDavid became just the second unanimous Hart Trophy selection – joining Wayne Gretzky in 1982 – in receiving all 100 first-place votes from members of the Professional Hockey Writers’ Association. The 24-year-old doubled up on honors by also winning his third Ted Lindsay Award as the league’s most outstanding player, which is voted on by NHL players.
The NHL presented its awards remotely for a second consecutive season because of the coronavirus pandemic, and a day after Tampa Bay opened the Stanley Cup Final series with a 5-1 win over Montreal. In previous years, the awards ceremony was held in Las Vegas after the playoffs, and with an audience and players present.
McDavid, who also won MVP honors in 2017, led the way, much like he did during a regular season in which he had already won his third Art Ross Trophy in six years for leading the NHL with 105 points (33 goals, 72 assists) in 56 games. The next closest player in the points standings was teammate Leon Draisaitl with 84, with Boston’s Brad Marchand a distant third with 69.
Toronto’s Auston Matthews finished second in the MVP voting, followed by Colorado’s Nathan MacKinnon.
Vegas’ Marc-Andre Fleury beat out Tampa Bay’s Andrei Vasilevskiy and Colorado’s Philipp Grubauer to win his first Vezina Trophy as the NHL’s goalie of the year. The Golden Knights tandem of Fleury and Robin Lehner already won the William M. Jennings Trophy, for combining to allow an NHL-low 124 goals this season.
The 36-year-old Fleury finished third in the NHL with 26 wins, a 1.98 goals-against, .928 save percentage and six shutouts in 36 games. He also closed the season with a nine-game winning streak, while moving into third place on the NHL career list with 492 wins.
New York Rangers’ Adam Fox won the Jack Norris Trophy as the NHL’s top defenseman, beating out Tampa Bay’s Victor Hedman and Colorado’s Cale Makar.
The 23-year-old Fox led NHL defensemen with 42 assists and second with 47 points. He also ranked seventh among skaters in ice-time. Fox became the second player to win the Norris in his second season, joining Bobby Orr winning in 1968.
Minnesota’s Kirill Kaprizov won the Calder Memorial Trophy as rookie of the year in becoming just the fourth rookie since 1993-94 to lead his team in scoring. The 24-year-old from Russia led NHL rookies with 27 goals and 51 points, and became the first Wild player to win the Calder.
Carolina goalie Alex Nedeljkovic and Dallas forward Jason Robertson were the other two Calder finalists.
Oilers players have now won the Hart in three of the past five years, with Draisaitl winning it last year.
McDavid was informed of winning both awards by Draisailt.
“To have your fellow peers recognize you, it means a lot. Just feel so humbled and grateful to have won this award a few times,” McDavid said of winning the Ted Lindsay honor, before personally thanking Draisaitl for personally helping contribute to his point production.
Joining Kaprizov, Nedeljkovic and Robertson on the NHL’s All-Rookie team were Ottawa Senators forward Josh Norris, Rangers defenseman K’Andre Miller and New Jersey defenseman Ty Smith.
The First All-Star team features McDavid at center, Marchand at left wing and Toronto’s Mitchell Marner at right wing, Fox and Makar on defense, with Vasilevskiy in goal.
The Second All-Star team had Matthews at center, Florida’s Jonathan Huberdeau at left wing and Colorado’s Mikko Rantanen at right wing, Hedman and Carolina’s Dougie Hamilton on defense and Fleury in net.
The NHL previously announced other winners, with Carolina’s Rod Brind’Amour winning the Jack Adams Award as coach of the year, and the New York Islanders’ Lou Lamoriello winning the Jim Gregory general manager of the year award.
Florida’s Aleksander Barkov won the Frank J. Selke Trophy as the NHL’s top defensive forward, and Carolina defenseman Jaccob Slavin won the Lady Byng Memorial Trophy for sportsmanship and gentlemanly conduct.
Philadelphia’s Oskar Lindblom, a cancer survivor, was this year’s recipient of the Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy, presented to a player who exemplifies perseverance and dedication to hockey.
The Mark Messier NHL Leadership Award was presented to Boston’s Patrice Bergeron. Matthews won the Maurice “Rocket” Richard Trophy for leading the NHL with 41 goals.