Here at Spike’s Trophies, we know there’s nothing like a powerplay late in the third period when the score is tied. There’s nothing like the slap of the stick as the puck barrels towards the goal in mid-air. Whether that puck meets net or glove, when the game is on the line, especially during playoff season, we all hold our breath. In the NHL, it’s Stanley Cup Playoffs time.
The Stanley Cup is a big deal in the world of professional sports; it’s the highest honor that a North American hockey team can receive. There are a few other special awards in the National Hockey League that fans look forward to as well; the individual awards.
The Hart Memorial Trophy
Named after Dr. David Hart, The Hart Memorial Trophy is awarded to the player judged most valuable to his team. Each year since 1924 (with the exception of 2005), The Professional Hockey Writers Association votes on the most valuable player following the conclusion of the regular season. Hockey Legend Wayne Gretzky won the award an unprecedented 9 times (8 consecutively). Gretzky is the only player in North American sports to have received an MVP award that many times.
The Lady Byng Memorial Trophy
Named in honor of Marie “Lady Byng” Evelyn Moreton, the trophy is awarded to the “player adjudged to have exhibited the best type of sportsmanship and gentlemanly conduct combined with a high standard of playing ability.” Frank Boucher won the award 7 times in 8 years and still holds the record for most times awarded. Wayne Gretzky also won it five times. The trophy has been awarded to a player every season since 1925.
The Vezina Trophy
Awarded to the top goaltender during the regular season, The Vezina Trophy is named for Georges Vezina of the Montreal Canadiens. Jacques Plante holds the record for most times awarded the trophy with 7. Thankfully, Wayne Gretzky couldn’t get this one
The King Clancy Award
Francis “King” Clancy was one of hockey’s greatest humanitarians. Each year, the award that shares his name is awarded to the NHL player who “best exemplifies leadership qualities on and off the ice and who has made a significant humanitarian contribution to his community.” No player has ever received the award more than once since its inception in 1988. The recipient of the trophy is decided by a panel of representatives from the Professional Hockey Writers Association and the NHL Broadcasters Association.
At Spike’s we commend commendation, we think it’s important to recognize an individual that stands out, whether it’s an office plaque in Philadelphia or a trophy on the national ice.