On Sunday night, I realized that it had been a few years since a member of the Detroit Red Wings had won a major NHL award.
Previously, it was an annual occurrence, with Nicklas Lidstrom’s Norris trophies and Pavel Datsyuk’s various awards becoming commonplace. At the very least, someone from the Red Wings was nominated for an award every year over the past couple decades. But as of late, not so much.
See, I play beer league hockey with a bunch of my college teammates at the Washington Capitals’ practice rink. There, all of the locker rooms are named after NHL awards, rather than just numbered.
In each room, there are large pictures of award winners framed up on the walls, including Alex Ovechkin’s famous gap-toothed smile. In the “Vezina Room,” Terry Sawchuk is up on the wall. So is Roger Crozier, who played three games for and held a management role with the Capitals.
As a goalie myself, I’m superstitious like most netminders. Maybe not to former Red Wings goaltender Glenn Hall’s degree, but I have my own idiosyncrasies. As Michael Scott once put it, “I’m not superstitious, but I’m a little-stitious.”
Before each game, as part of my stitious practices, I set my equipment down and sit under whichever Red Wings player is featured in the particular room that we’re in. Maybe it’s Sawchuk. Maybe it’s Gordie Howe or Dominik Hasek.
But on Sunday, there were no Red Wings in this room. Ironically, it was the “Lindsay Room” – named after the Ted Lindsay Award. I remembered the last Red Wings player to win the award was Sergei Fedorov in 1994, but it got me thinking, when was the last time members of the Red Wings won the other awards?
For what it’s worth, we—the Booze Badgers—won a heated 4-3 affair against our AA league rival and I went home and started writing this, just in time for the 2019 NHL Awards.
Hart Trophy: Sergei Fedorov (1994)
The 1993-94 season was Fedorov’s coming-out party. After a few years of playing second fiddle to Steve Yzerman, Fedorov dominated the NHL, scoring 56 goals and adding another 64 assists. More impressively, the gifted center paired the Art Ross Trophy with a Selke Trophy as best defensive forward. Now that’s a dangerous combination.
Lady Byng Trophy: Pavel Datsyuk (2009)
Generally a good sport on the ice, Datsyuk took home four consecutive Lady Byng trophies following the 2004-05 NHL Lockout, with the last coming in 2009.
After missing out on a fifth-consecutive award the following summer, Datsyuk let his aggression loose in his very next game. “The Magic Man” dropped the mitts with—and beat—Anaheim’s Corey Perry in a fight and only received one first-place Lady Byng vote later that year.
Vezina Trophy: Terry Sawchuk (1955)
In what would be the last season of Detroit’s 1950s dynasty, Sawchuk put on a clinic. Sure, he had a fantastic defense in front of him, but 12 shutouts in 70 games is pretty impressive. Sawchuk’s 1.94 goals-against average (GAA) and .926 save percentage (SV%) were equally as fantastic.
After winning their fourth Stanley Cup in six seasons, the Red Wings dealt Sawchuk to Boston in one of Detroit’s worst trades in franchise history. Jack Adams broke up the band and Sawchuk never again reached similar numbers.
Calder Trophy: Roger Crozier (1965)
Having played 15 games the prior year behind a re-acquired Sawchuk, Crozier still qualified as a rookie during the 1964-65 season. The young netminder did not disappoint when he was given the keys to the Motor City crease.
Crozier recorded 40 wins and six shutouts in 70 games, starting every game and only giving way to backup Carl Wetzel twice – for 32 minutes total. He received 67 first-place votes for the Calder Trophy and easily topped second-place Ron Ellis.
Art Ross Trophy: Gordie Howe (1963)
No surprise here – Mr. Hockey won six scoring titles in his time for the Red Wings. The last of which came during the 1962-63 season when The Production Line’s right-winger assembled 38 goals and 48 assists for 86 points in 70 games.
Fun fact: Howe only topped 100 points once in his career (1968-69), but did not win the Art Ross Trophy that year.
Norris Trophy: Nicklas Lidstrom (2011)
From Mr. Hockey to Mr. Perfect, Nick “The Perfect Human” Lidstrom’s final Norris Trophy came as a result of his performance during the 2010-11 season. The Vasteras-native produced 62 points in his penultimate NHL season – pretty good for a 40-year-old.
This was Lidstrom’s seventh Norris Trophy – all of which coming after he turned 30.
Masterton Trophy: Steve Yzerman (2003)
It’s no secret that Yzerman was playing on one leg when the Red Wings won the Stanley Cup in 2002. That offseason, the captain underwent knee realignment surgery to fix his severely damaged knee. Jason La Canfora recounted Dr. Peter Fowler’s analysis of the injury:
“Yzerman is the first hockey player to attempt to return from such a surgery. Yzerman, who had undergone previous knee ligament surgeries, suffered from the wearing away of the surface on his knee joint and the loss of cartilage, which acts as padding. It was as if the tread on a tire went bald and began to tilt to one side, making even walking a painstaking event.”
After missing most of the 2002-03 season, Yzerman returned to the ice for the final 16 games, something few thought he could do following that kind of surgery. As a result, he was presented with the Masterton Trophy for his perseverance.
Ted Lindsay Award: Sergei Fedorov (1994)
Not only did Fedorov take home the Hart and Selke trophies for his 1993-94 performance, but the Ted Lindsay Award as well, though it was named the Lester B. Pearson Award back then. As voted on by the members of the NHL Players Association, it was renamed the Ted Lindsay Award in 2010 to pay homage to the man who led some of the first efforts to unionize NHL players and boost their benefits. “Terrible Ted” wasn’t so terrible after all.
Jack Adams Award: Scotty Bowman (1996)
If a team won 62 games this year, chances are that team’s coach would be neck-and-neck with Vegas’ Gerard Gallant for the Jack Adams Award. Fortunately for Scotty Bowman in 1996, expansion teams were absolutely horrendous back then.
Detroit’s unparalleled 62 wins garnered Bowman the award in what was a banner year for the Red Wings. The Russian Five took the NHL by storm, Yzerman recorded his 500th goal, and Chris Osgood even scored a goal. Under Bowman’s guidance, Detroit took another step toward greatness, but they would need to wait another year before capturing the Stanley Cup.
Related: Jack Adams, the Man and the Award
Selke Trophy: Pavel Datsyuk (2010)
As one of the best two-way players in the game, Datsyuk was awarded the Selke Trophy three times consecutively starting in 2008 and ending in 2010. His ability to separate players from the puck with quick stick skills and defensive zone coverage made Datsyuk a perennial contender for the award.
Jennings Trophy: Dominik Hasek & Chris Osgood (2008)
When the Red Wings won the Stanley Cup in 2008, remarkable goaltending by Osgood throughout the playoffs gave the Red Wings a chance to win every night. During the regular season, it was much of the same for him and Dominik Hasek.
The two combined to allow only 184 goals that season, with each sporting an individual GAA below 2.15. Osgood was even named to the NHL All-Star Game that year.
Related: Top 3 All-Time Red Wings Goalies
King Clancy Trophy: Henrik Zetterberg (2015)
As a result of Henrik and Emma Zetterberg’s humanitarian efforts in the Detroit area, Ethiopia, Guatemala, and Nepal, Zetterberg was awarded the King Clancy Trophy a few years back. Ever since the Zetterbergs have been together, the two have always put others first and have done their fair share to make lives better around the world. It was a fitting award for a captain who embodies the principle of leading by example without demanding the spotlight.
“Rocket” Richard Trophy: Never
“Who was the last Red Wings player to lead the NHL in goals?” would be a fantastic trivia question. Most would guess Howe, and maybe there would be a few votes for Yzerman or Fedorov.
It was actually Norm Ullman during the 1964-65 season, with 42 goals. While there was no “Rocket” Richard trophy back then, Detroit’s center would have taken home the award.
Mark Messier Leadership Award: Chris Chelios (2007)
He may not have produced high offensive numbers in Motown, but Chris Chelios was a consummate leader and warrior for the Red Wings. The defenseman was given the award in its inaugural year not only because of his leadership, but his humanitarian efforts as well.