The 2006 NHL awards

I'm only handing out the six biggies.

The Selke Trophy
Rod Brind'Amour
Carolina Hurricanes

Runner-ups: Samuel Pahlsson, Brian Rolston.

Hulking 'Canes captain had a huge season on all fronts, but was especially dominating in the faceoff circle, where he took 44 per cent of Carolina's draws and was third in the NHL with a 59.2% win percentage.

The Jack Adams Trophy
Peter Laviolette
Carolina Hurricanes

Runner-ups: Mike Babcock, Lindy Ruff.

There are 10 fantastic coaches in the NHL, but Laviolette did more with less than any other bench boss this season, guiding a team many predicted out of the playoffs to the top of the Eastern Conference.

The Norris Trophy
Nicklas Lidstrom
Detroit Red Wings

Runner-ups: Scott Niedermayer, Zdeno Chara.

Lidstrom notched nine more points than the next best defenceman on the best team in the league, bouncing back from a rare off year in 2003-04. Barring an upset by Niedermayer, this will be Lidstrom's fourth Norris Trophy in the past five seasons.

The Calder Trophy
Alex Ovechkin
Washington Capitals

Runner-ups: Sidney Crosby, Dion Phaneuf.

Ovechkin's phenomenal season was made all the more amazing due to his complete lack of a supporting cast. Early on, Ovechkin began seeing opposing team's best defense pairings on every shift, yet he continued to produce unbelievable numbers.

The Vezina Trophy
Miikka Kiprusoff
Calgary Flames

Runner-ups: Tomas Vokoun, Martin Brodeur.

Another easy one, as Kiprusoff proved handily that his 2003-04 breakout season wasn't a fluke. The Flames netminder led NHL goaltenders in wins, goals-against average, shutouts and minutes played.

The Hart Trophy
Joe Thornton
San Jose Sharks

Runner-ups: Jaromir Jagr, Miikka Kiprusoff.

I made my case for Thornton a few days ago, and since then, he's zipped past Jagr for the league scoring lead. It's definitely going to be a close vote, but the momentum among the press definitely seems to be towards Thornton as the season winds down. As Eric Duhatschek said on Hockey Night in Canada on Saturday, voters put a lot of stock in how players finish the season, and no one's been as good as Thornton down the stretch.

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