Laviolette named Jack Adams Finalist

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Call it coincidence, but on this date one year ago, the Nashville Predators officially announced that former Philadelphia Flyers coach, Peter Laviolette would be Nashville’s second head coach in franchise history. And now, Mr. Laviolette has been named a finalist for the Jack Adams Award, an accolade given to the coach that helped push his team to success during the regular season.

Fellow finalists are Bob Hartley of the Calgary Flames and Alain Vigneault of the New York Rangers. The winner will be announced June 24th at the NHL Awards, which will probably be aired on NBC Sports.

Rinne named Vezina Finalist

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Earlier this afternoon, the NHL announced its nominees for the Vezina Trophy, an award given to the league’s best goaltender. Here’s an excerpt from the official news release:

Nashville Predators goaltender Pekka Rinne has been named a finalist for the Vezina Trophy, as voted on by general managers of all NHL clubs. This is Rinne’s third career nomination for the award, given annually to the NHL goaltender judged to be the best at his position. Rinne was nominated in 2011 and 2012, but is yet to win the award.

After missing significant time due to a hip infection in 2013-14, Rinne returned to form in the 2014-15 campaign, finishing the season with 41 wins (tied for second in the NHL) and among the League leaders in goals-against average (2.18) and save percentage (.923).

Nashville’s nominee for the 2015 Masterton Trophy, awarded to the NHL player who best exemplifies the qualities of perseverance, sportsmanship and dedication to hockey, Rinne recorded two, six-game winning streaks and posted four shutouts during the regular season.

On March 14 in Los Angeles, Rinne made 23 saves to record his 200th career NHL victory, and the 600th all-time for the franchise, in his 370th career appearance, all of which had come as a member of the Preds. Against the Rangers on Feb. 7, the Kempele, Finland, native became the fastest (in terms of games played) goaltender to record 30 wins (39 games played) since the NHL adopted the shootout in 2005-06 and just the third goalie in the NHL’s expansion era to tally 30 wins in 39 games or less.

Also nominated are Carey Price of the Montreal Canadiens and Devan Dubnyk of the Minnesota Wild. I totally understand Price, but Dubnyk? He has been exceptionally well when Minnesota has needed him, but so has a ton of other backup goaltenders. Strangely enough, I am not surprised he was nominated; too many writers discussing it these past few months. As much as I think Rinne deserves this award, I am afraid it will end up in Price’s hands. Not only is he heavily favored, he has been excruciatingly consistent.

The NHL Awards are slated for June 24th, time TBA, in Las Vegas.

Preds name Fisher Clancy Nominee

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The Predators have narrowed their nominee for the King Clancy Memorial Trophy down to a one Mike Fisher. Here’s word from the official Predators press release:

Nashville Predators forward and alternate captain Mike Fisher has been named the team’s nominee for the 2015 King Clancy Memorial Trophy, as voted on by his teammates. The trophy is awarded annually to the NHL player who best exemplifies leadership qualities on and off the ice and has made a noteworthy humanitarian contribution in his community.

“Mike is a great player on the ice, a role model off the ice, a leader on the ice and a leader in the community,” Predators General Manager David Poile said. “The Clancy nomination is very well-deserved for Mike and all that he does for the Nashville Predators and the Nashville community.”

Fisher, who has now been nominated three times for the award by his Nashville teammates, is now in his third consecutive season serving as an alternate captain for the Preds. The 34-year-old center has recorded 19 goals and 39 points on the season, even after missing the first 21 games of the campaign with an Achilles injury. Fisher notched his 500th career point on Jan. 29, 2015, against St. Louis.

The Peterborough, Ontario, native works closely with Room In The Inn, a full-service homeless facility in Nashville; Cottage Cove Urban Ministries, a Nashville based non-profit that serves inner city youth; Rocketown, a local youth outreach facility, among his many charitable endeavors. Fisher was honored with the 2012 NHL Foundation Award, given to an NHL player who applies the core values of hockey – commitment, perseverance and teamwork – to enrich the lives of people in his community.

There’s no doubt with his contribution to Nashville and the surrounding communities, Mike Fisher was the dominant choice as nominee for this award.

Preds nominate Rinne for 2015 Masterton

Source: Len Redkoles/NHLI via Getty Images

Source: Len Redkoles/NHLI via Getty Images

The first of what we hope to be many Predators has been nominated for the 2015 NHL Awards! Any surprise that title belongs to Pekka Rinne? Here’s a little excerpt from the official release:

Nashville Predators goaltender Pekka Rinne has been named the team’s nominee for the 2015 Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy by the Professional Hockey Writers’ Association (PHWA), awarded annually to the National Hockey League player who best exemplifies the qualities of perseverance, sportsmanship and dedication to hockey.

Rinne, who missed 51 games during the 2013-14 season due to hip surgery and a subsequent bacterial infection, has returned to the ice this season to post his second career, 40-win campaign to help guide the Predators to their first postseason berth since the 2011-12 season.

If he takes the cake, Pekka Rinne will join former Nashville Predator, Steve Sullivan, who won the award back in 2009. The 2015 NHL Awards are being held in Las Vegas on June 24th.