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Scandal emerges in latest NHL awards voting!

The Professional Hockey Writers Association releases a statement to explain what went down.

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On Monday ahead of Game 2 of the Stanley Cup final between the Dallas Stars and the Tampa Bay Lightning, the National Hockey League revealed the winners on six major NHL Awards, as well as end-of-season All-Star and All-Rookie teams in an empty Rogers Place Arena instead of a high-end affair in Las Vegas due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Edmonton Oilers’ Leon Draisaitl won both the Hart Trophy and Ted Lindsay Award, Nashville’s Roman Josi won the Norris Trophy as best defenseman. Winnipeg’s Connor Hellebuych took home the Vezina as best goalie. Colorado’s Cale Makar won the Calder as rookie. 

And then fans started to complain, pundits debated on who was right or wrong in the voting process and it took over social media as the Lightning topped the Stars 3-2 in the second contest of the final. 

On Tuesday, PHWA president Frank Seravalli explained how some issues went down during voting in a statement made on the PHWA’s website where all winners can be found. Fans see this as a scandal (though that does not top voting scandals we’ve seen in the States!), but it clearly explains what happened: 

“Ballots were distributed to 153 of the PHWA’s 300-plus members, plus an invited panel of 18 international broadcasters, for a total voting bloc of 171.
Ballots were distributed to 174 voters and171 were returned. Three voters failed to submit a ballot: A.J. Mleczko (NBC), Chris Ryan (NJ Advance Media), and Craig Simpson (Sportsnet).
One voter, Marc de Foy (Journal de Montréal), omitted votes for the Selke Trophy, nullifying his votes for all trophies.
Two voters, Stu Cowan (Montreal Gazette) and Aaron Portzline (The Athletic), did not submit any selections for All-Star Goaltender, nullifying their votes for all positions on the All-Star teams.
Additionally, one voter, John Wawrow (Associated Press), listed a defenseman (Adam Fox, NYR) among his selections for forward on the All-Rookie Team, nullifying his ballot for the All-Rookie Team.”

Chatter on the voting process has gotten to the ears of many insiders and hosts since the winners were announced yesterday. The best comment on the situation goes to Gord Miller, who posted this on his Twitter page: 

“So there’s lots of talk overnight about the NHL Awards voting…many different opinions being expressed, but in the words of the late RBG: “It is possible to disagree without being disagreeable.”  

The people who don’t share your opinion aren’t idiots, they just…disagree.”