This week, the NHL has started to release the finalists for all the major regular season awards. After the Hart Trophy came out yesterday, the Ted Lindsay Award, given to “the most outstanding player in the NHL” as voted on by members of the NHLPA, is up.
The finalists this year are Roman Josi of the Nashville Predators, Auston Matthews of the Toronto Maple Leafs, and Connor McDavid of the Edmonton Oilers.
While the Lindsay very often mirrors the Hart, the notable difference is that the finalists are peer-selected. McDavid has already won the trophy three times, even taking it home in 2018 when he somehow finished fifth in Hart voting, despite leading the league in scoring. There’s no doubting his place among his fellow players, widely considered the best player in the world at the moment. After setting new career highs with 44 goals and 123 points, there’s certainly reason to believe they’ve put him on top of the mountain once again.
Matthews has more than a fighting chance though, after becoming just the third player in the salary cap era to score 60 goals in a single season. The Maple Leafs forward is the no-doubt best at putting the puck in the back of the net, and reached a new high with 106 points in just 73 games. Perhaps the front-runner for the Hart this season, it will be interesting to see if the players feel the same about the Toronto sniper.
Josi, meanwhile, is the only one of the three that didn’t end as a finalist for the Hart, as Igor Shesterkin took the third spot yesterday. It shows just how outstanding his season was and how much respect his peers have for the historic 96-point campaign he put together. That’s more than just a good year–it puts Josi among a list of the best offensive defensemen to ever play the game. Whether that was enough to draw the votes to pass the two big centers won’t be revealed until later on but it is still an impressive feat to get named a finalist in a year with so many incredible offensive performances.