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2 Arizona Coyotes among top vote-getters for NHL midseason awards

Goaltender Darcy Kuemper #35 of the Arizona Coyotes in action during the third period of the NHL game against the Anaheim Ducks at Gila River Arena on November 27, 2019 in Glendale, Arizona. The Coyotes defeated the Ducks 4-3 in an overtime shootout. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

Two members of the Arizona Coyotes organization were among the top finishers in the midseason NHL awards, which were released on Thursday.

Goaltender Darcy Kuemper finished third in the voting for the Vezina Trophy, which is awarded to the league’s top goaltender, and general manager John Chayka finished second in the Jim Gregory GM of the Year voting.

Winnipeg’s Connor Hellebuyck (1st) and Dallas’ Ben Bishop (2nd) finished ahead of Kuemper. Colorado’s Joe Sakic finished ahead of Chayka, who beat out St. Louis’ Doug Armstrong (3rd).

The awards are voted on by the Pro Hockey Writers Association, which is comprised of about 300 journalists. They were asked last week to give their top three selections for each award, and the results were then tallied on a points-based system.

Kuemper and Chayka each seem like logical selections, given that Kuemper has been an anchor for a Coyotes team that has spent most of this season in a playoff position and Chayka is the one who constructed the roster. For the GM of the Year award, voters were asked to pick the general manager who has most contributed to the success of his team.

This year, Kuemper, who is currently out with a lower-body injury, has held a .929 save percentage and a 2.17 goals against average, both of which were better marks than first-place Hellebuyck.

Chayka built the Arizona roster, which has spent much of this season in first place. This year, he traded for both Phil Kessel and Taylor Hall, and didn’t give up any of the organization’s most prized prospects (depending on who you ask) in either trade. He traded defenseman Kevin Connauton, who has mostly been in the minors this year, for forward Carl Soderberg, who is tied for second on the Coyotes with 13 goals.

The Coyotes’ leading goal-scorer at the break is Conor Garland with 16 goals, even though Garland is on a deal paying him only $775,000. Similarly, Christian Dvorak has 13 goals and 30 points this season, often playing as the team’s top-line center, but eight Arizona players are making more money than Dvorak’s team-friendly deal ($4.45 million).

Here’s a look at the entire voting results for the PHWA’s midseason awards:

Hart Trophy: To the player adjudged to be most valuable to his team

1. Connor McDavid, Edmonton Oilers
2. Nathan MacKinnon, Colorado Avalanche
3. David Pastrnak, Boston Bruins

Norris Trophy: To the defenseman who demonstrates the greatest all-round ability in the position

1. John Carlson, Washington Capitals
2. Roman Josi, Nashville Predators
3. Dougie Hamilton, Carolina Hurricanes

Selke Trophy: To the forward who best excels in the defensive aspects of the game
1. Sean Couturier, Philadelphia Flyers
2. Patrice Bergeron, Boston Bruins
3. Ryan O’Reilly, St. Louis Blues

Calder Trophy: To the player selected as the most proficient in his first year of competition
1. Cale Makar, Colorado Avalanche
2. Quinn Hughes, Vancouver Canucks
3. Victor Olofsson, Buffalo Sabres

Lady Byng Trophy: To the player adjudged to have exhibited the best type of sportsmanship and gentlemanly conduct combined with a high standard of playing ability
1. Nathan MacKinnon, Colorado Avalanche
2. Auston Matthews, Toronto Maple Leafs
3. Ryan O’Reilly, St. Louis Blues

Vezina Trophy: To the goaltender adjudged to be the best at his position
1. Connor Hellebuyck, Winnipeg Jets
2. Ben Bishop, Dallas Stars
3. Darcy Kuemper, Arizona Coyotes

Jack Adams Award: To the coach adjudged to have contributed the most to his team’s success
1. Mike Sullivan, Pittsburgh Penguins
2. John Tortorella, Columbus Blue Jackets
3. Craig Berube, St. Louis Blues

Jim Gregory GM of the Year Award: To the General Manager adjudged to have contributed most to his team’s success
1. Joe Sakic, Colorado Avalanche
2. John Chayka, Arizona Coyotes
3. Doug Armstrong, St. Louis Blues

Rod Langway Award: To the defenseman who best excels in the defensive aspect of the game
1. Jaccob Slavin, Carolina Hurricanes
2. Victor Hedman, Tampa Bay Lightning
3. Roman Josi, Nashville Predators

Comeback Player of the Year Award: To the player who returned to a previous high level of performance that was interrupted by subpar play, long-term injury or major illness
1. William Nylander, Toronto Maple Leafs
2. Anthony Duclair, Ottawa Senators
3. Max Pacioretty, Vegas Golden Knights

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