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NHL Lifetime Achievement Award

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Title: NHL Lifetime Achievement Award  
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Subject: Gordie Howe, 2007–08 NHL season, 2008–09 NHL season
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NHL Lifetime Achievement Award

The National Hockey League presents numerous annual awards and trophies to recognize its teams and players. The oldest, and most recognizable, is the Stanley Cup. First awarded in 1893, the Stanley Cup is awarded to the NHL's playoff champion. The Stanley Cup is the third trophy to be used as the league's championship, as for the first nine years of the NHL's existence, it remained a multi-league challenge cup.[1]


The NHL's first championship trophy was the O'Brien Cup, which was created by the National Hockey Association in 1910 and transferred to the NHL in 1918, after which it was awarded to the playoff champion until 1927. Prince of Wales Trophy in was introduced 1925, which became the league's championship until the demise of the Western Hockey League following the 1926 season, leaving the Stanley Cup exclusively in the hands of the National Hockey League.

The Prince of Wales Trophy remains an active award. It is awarded to the playoff champion of the Eastern Conference, while the Clarence S. Campbell Bowl, created in 1967, is currently awarded to the Western Conference champion. The youngest team trophy is the Presidents' Trophy, which has been awarded to the NHL's regular season champion since 1986. The O'Brien Cup was retired in 1950.

The first individual trophy was the Hart Trophy, first awarded in 1924 to the league's most valuable player. This trophy was replaced by the Hart Memorial Trophy in 1960 when the original Hart trophy became too unwieldy.[2] The Lady Byng Trophy followed in 1925, a year later, awarded to the most gentlemanly player in the league. Two years later, the Vezina Trophy was created for the NHL's top goaltender. The Conn Smythe Trophy was first awarded to the NHL's playoff most valuable player in 1965. Presently, the NHL has 18 annual individual trophies and awards, the most recently created being the Mark Messier Leadership Award, first awarded in 2007, and the NHL General Manager of the Year Award which was inaugurated in 2010.

Out of the original individual NHL trophies that were awarded prior to expansion (which would be followed by the creation of more individual awards), several players are tied with three awards in the same season. Stan Mikita won the Hart, Art Ross, and Lady Byng trophies, doing so consecutively in the 1966–67 and 1967–68 seasons.[3] Guy LaFleur and Wayne Gretzky have each won the Art Ross, Hart, and Conn Smythe trophies, as well as the Cup, in 1976-77 and 1984-85, respectively. Bobby Orr won the Hart, Norris, and Conn Smythe trophies, along with the Stanley Cup, in 1969–70 and 1971-72. In 1970, Orr also won the Art Ross which makes him the only player to capture four original NHL awards in a single season (Orr also earned a NHL First Team selection, and the only honor which he was eligible for but did not win was the Lady Byng due to his physical style of play).[4][5]

In addition, the First and Second All-Star Teams have been named since the 1930–31 NHL season to honor the best performers over the season at each position, as well as the NHL All-Rookie Team from 1983 onwards.

Most of the individual trophies and all-star selections are presented at an annual awards ceremony held in late June after the conclusion of the playoffs. Some of these trophies are automatically awarded to players based on their statistics during the regular season. Other individual trophies are voted on by the Professional Hockey Writers' Association or the team general managers.

Team trophies

Image Award  Created Description Current holder
Stanley Cup 1893 Awarded to the NHL playoff champion. Previously it was a challenge cup (1893–1914) and then an interleague championship trophy (1915–1926)[6] Chicago Blackhawks (2012–2013)
Prince of Wales Trophy 1925 Awarded to the Eastern Conference playoff champion. Previously awarded as the NHL playoff championship (1924–1927), the American Division Champion (1928–1938), the regular season championship (1939–1967), East Division championship (1968–1974) and Wales Conference championship (1975–1993)[7] It was first awarded to the winner of the first game in Madison Square Garden in 1925.[8] Boston Bruins (2012-13)
Clarence S. Campbell Bowl 1968 Awarded to the Western Conference playoff champion Previously awarded as the West Division title (1968–1974) and Campbell Conference championship (1975–1993)[9] Chicago Blackhawks (2012–2013)
Presidents' Trophy 1986 Awarded to the club finishing the regular season with the best overall record (based on points)[10] Chicago Blackhawks (2012–2013)
O'Brien Trophy 1910 Awarded by the National Hockey Association (1910–1917) and NHL (1918–1927) to the league playoff champion, Canadian Division regular season champion (1928–1938), and Stanley Cup runner-up (1939–1950)[11] Retired in 1950

Last winner: New York Rangers

Individual trophies and awards

Image Award  Created Description Current holder
Hart Memorial Trophy 1924 Awarded to the league's most valuable player[12] Alex Ovechkin
Washington Capitals
Lady Byng Memorial Trophy 1925 Awarded to the player who exhibited outstanding sportsmanship and gentlemanly conduct combined with a high standard of playing ability[13] Martin St. Louis
Tampa Bay Lightning
Vezina Trophy 1927 Awarded to the league's top goaltender[14] Sergei Bobrovsky
Columbus Blue Jackets
Calder Memorial Trophy 1937 Awarded to the league's most outstanding rookie player[15] Jonathan Huberdeau
Florida Panthers
Art Ross Trophy 1948 Awarded to the player who leads the league in total points at the end of the regular season[16] Martin St. Louis
Tampa Bay Lightning
James Norris Memorial Trophy 1954 Awarded to the defenseman who demonstrates throughout the season the greatest all-round ability in the position[17] P.K. Subban
Montreal Canadiens
Conn Smythe Trophy 1965 Awarded to the most valuable player for his team in the playoffs[18] Patrick Kane
Chicago Blackhawks
Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy 1968 Awarded to the player who best exemplifies the qualities of perseverance, sportsmanship, and dedication to hockey[19] Josh Harding
Minnesota Wild
Ted Lindsay Award 1971 Awarded to the NHL's outstanding player as selected by the members of the NHL Players Association[20] Sidney Crosby
Pittsburgh Penguins
Jack Adams Award 1974 Awarded to the NHL coach adjudged to have contributed the most to his team's success[21] Paul MacLean
Ottawa Senators
Frank J. Selke Trophy 1978 Awarded to the forward who best excels in the defensive aspects of the game[22] Jonathan Toews
Chicago Blackhawks
William M. Jennings Trophy 1982 Awarded to the goalkeeper(s) having played a minimum of 25 games for the team with the fewest goals scored against it in the regular season[23] Corey Crawford and Ray Emery
Chicago Blackhawks
NHL Plus-Minus Award 1983 Awarded to the player with the highest plus/minus statistic in the regular season[24] Pascal Dupuis
Pittsburgh Penguins
King Clancy Memorial Trophy 1988 Awarded to the player who best exemplifies leadership qualities on and off the ice and has made a noteworthy humanitarian contribution in his community[25] Patrice Bergeron
Boston Bruins
NHL Foundation Player Award 1998 Awarded to the player who applies the core values of hockey to enrich the lives of people in his community[26] Henrik Zetterberg
Detroit Red Wings
Maurice 'Rocket' Richard Trophy 1999 Awarded to the top goal scorer in the regular season[26] Alexander Ovechkin
Washington Capitals
Roger Crozier Saving Grace Award 2000 Awarded to the goaltender who has played a minimum of 25 games in the regular season and has the highest save percentage[27][28] Brian Elliott
St. Louis Blues
Mark Messier Leadership Award 2007 Awarded to the player who exemplifies great leadership qualities to his team, on and off the ice, during the regular season (Awarded by Mark Messier, himself)[29] Daniel Alfredsson
Ottawa Senators
NHL General Manager of the Year Award 2010 Awarded to the top National Hockey League General Manager[30] Ray Shero
Pittsburgh Penguins

The league has also given some ephemeral awards over the years, including the NHL/Sheraton Road Performer Award Winner, to be awarded to the player who accrued the most road points during the regular season. It was awarded to Joe Sakic of the Colorado Avalanche in 2004 and not subsequently.

See also


External links

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