The National Hockey League Players’ Association has named the three players up for their most prestigious honor. The Ted Lindsay Award is presented each year to the “most outstanding player in the NHL”. Unlike the Hart Trophy though, the Ted Lindsay is voted on by the candidates’ peers themselves, the NHLPA’s member players. This year, the three named as finalists are the Chicago Blackhawks’ Patrick Kane, the Tampa Bay Lightning’s Nikita Kucherov, and the Edmonton Oilers’ Connor McDavid.
McDavid is no stranger to the Ted Lindsay; the Oilers’ superstar has won the award in each of the past two seasons. Generally, the players put less stock into team success than do voters for the Hart, making McDavid an easy choice despite Edmonton’s struggles. The last player to win the award before McDavid was none other than Kane, who took home the honor in 2015-16. Not only has Kucherov never won the award, he is a first-time finalist.
Yet, Kucherov would seem to be the favorite to receive the title this year. Tampa’s top scorer led the league in scoring with 128 points, 12 more than McDavid and 18 more than Kane. He also finished first in assists and power play points by a wide margin, as well as among the league’s best in goals, plus/minus, and shots. Also, if team performance does come into play in voting, Kucherov’s Lightning had a record-setting regular season, winning the President’s Trophy with 128 points, 21 more than the next-best team. Kucherov seems to have on overwhelmingly strong case for the Ted Lindsay (and Hart), but the final result won’t be revealed until the NHL Awards on June 19th.