The NHLPA has named Colorado Avalanche center Nathan MacKinnon as a finalist for the Ted Lindsay Award for most outstanding player.
Colorado Avalanche superstar Nathan MacKinnon has been named a finalist for the Ted Lindsay Award. The NHL Players’ Association votes on this award, formerly called the Lester B. Pearson Award, annually. They award it to the player they judge to be the “most outstanding” in the NHL.
Nathan MacKinnon was the Avalanche’s MVP by a long stretch. Granted, the award for MVP is the Hart, which MacKinnon whole-heartedly deserves and for which he is also a finalist.
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In 69 games with Colorado, MacKinnon scored 35 goals and earned an additional 58 assists for a total 93 points. He was on pace to best his career totals for a third season in a row when the NHL season got put on pause. MacKinnon led the team in goals by 14 (over Gabriel Landeskog), assists by 20 (over Cale Makar) and points overall by 43 (over Makar).
Leon Draisaitl of the Edmonton Oilers and Artemi Panarin of the New York Rangers are also finalists for the award. Draisaitl has 110 points (43 goals, 67 assists) in 71 games. Panarin has 95 points (32 goals. 63 assists) in 69 games.
The award was initially awarded in 1971. It was named after the then-Prime Minister of Canada, Lester B. Pearson, who was a Nobel Peace Prize recipient and former player and coach from the University of Toronto. In 2010, the NHLPA renamed the award after Ted Lindsay, a Hockey Hall of Famer who spent his career with the Detroit Red Wings.
MacKinnon is up for this award for the first time in his career. It’s a great honor because it’s adjudged by his peers. The men who have to face off against him — or who are lucky enough to be on his team — choose the player whom they think is most impressive.
All three finalists on this list are impressive players. Naturally, in Avs Nation, we favor our own superstar. It’s an honor that he was chosen by his fellow peers even as a finalist. He deserves the award as much as the other two finalists.
He deserves the Hart Trophy more. He deserves it more than Draisaitl or another finalist, Connor McDavid, by virtue of the gap between his stats and his teammates.
In any case, the Colorado Avalanche have put the NHL on notice: Nathan MacKinnon is a force to be reckoned with.