Detroit’s Nicklas Lidstrom returned to the awards platform by winning his seventh Norris Trophy as the league’s best defenseman, beating out Nashville’s Shea Weber and Boston’s Zdeno Chara.
Lidstrom tied Doug Harvey as a seven-time winner, one behind record-holder Bobby Orr.
Lidstrom won the award for the first time since 2008, the last of his second three-peat. His win came at the start of a glammed-up show in Sin City, where the league honored its brightest stars from the 2010-11 season.
Tim Thomas added his second Vezina Trophy to go with his recent Stanley Cup title. The Boston Bruins goalie earned top NHL honors after a stellar season that culminated in his first championship.
Thomas said that while his team pushed for the title, he was more focused on that than winning an individual award.
“I don’t think that my style’s the perfect style _ that’s for sure,” Thomas said. “But it works for me.
“I’m kind of like the redneck of goaltending that duct-tapes everything together to fix it.”
Thomas set an NHL record for save percentage when he finished at .938, surpassing Dominik Hasek’s .937 set in the 1998-89 season. He also had a league-low 2.00 goals-against average and nine shutouts.
Those imposing figures lifted him over fellow Vezina finalists Roberto Luongo of the Western Conference champion Vancouver Canucks and Nashville’s Pekka Rinne in voting by the league’s 40 general managers.
Rinne had 25 wins in 42 starts, ranking second in save percentage.
Dan Bylsma of the Pittsburgh Penguins picked up the Jack Adams Award as coach of the year, and Ryan Kesler of the Vancouver Canucks ended Pavel Datsyuk’s three-year run as Selke Trophy winner, honoring the best defensive forward.
Jeff Skinner, the 19-year-old sensation of the Carolina Hurricanes, won the Calder Trophy as rookie of the year.
Bylsma was recognized for the job he did in leading the Penguins to the playoffs, despite being without star forwards Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin for much of the season.
Mike Gillis was chosen as general manager of the year after the Canucks finished with the NHL’s best regular-season record for the first time and fell one win short of their first Stanley Cup championship.