NHL Awards: Most egregious, bizarre votes

With the 2022 NHL Awards officially in the books, fans have now gotten to see exactly how reporters throughout the league chose to cast their votes.

Auston Matthews was voted by the media as the Hart Trophy winner, while Igor Shesterkin took the Vezina Trophy, and Moritz Seider was named the winner of the Calder. Some were a bit surprised to see that Colorado Avalanche defenceman Cale Makar was awarded the Norris Trophy over Roman Josi of the Nashville Predators, though both had very strong cases.

While there are controversial votes every year, one particular ballot for the Hart Trophy sparked plenty of debate. That reporter chose to leave both Matthews and Connor McDavid out of his top five for the award, which is given annually to the player judged to be the most valuable to his team. Instead, he chose to select Kirill Kaprizov, Josi, Shesterkin, Jonathan Huberdeau and J.T. Miller.

One thing that is important to note is each reporter is entitled to his or her own opinion. That said, not including either Matthews or McDavid on a ballot is simply unacceptable given the seasons they had. Matthews, who rightfully won the award, registered a career-high and league-best 60 goals in just 73 games, while McDavid’s 123 points earned him his fourth Art Ross Trophy.

Auston Matthews was a big winner at the NHL Awards. (Photo by Kevin Sousa/NHLI via Getty Images)
Auston Matthews was a big winner at the NHL Awards. (Photo by Kevin Sousa/NHLI via Getty Images) (Editorial Image Credit line info)

That decision wasn’t the only one that had some scratching their heads. Another lone reporter failed to put Josi, whose 96 points led all defencemen in scoring this season, in his top five. In a funnier but more bizarre move, another reporter chose to give Tuukka Rask – who appeared in just four games in 2021-22 before retiring – a third-team All-Star vote.

These reporters, while taking their thrashings each year from certain fans, generally do a respectable job in deciding on these awards. For whatever reason, however, there always seem to be a few who either overthink their decisions, or are simply trying to draw a reaction. Whatever the reasoning, it didn’t seem to affect the outcome, as the players winning each and every award were deserving.

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