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The Final Numbers Are In...

OK, one last post on awards voting, I promise.

In addition to the numbers I told you about last night, here are a few more vote totals:
  • Alexander Ovechkin finished ninth (8-4-1-0-2) in voting for the Lady Byng Trophy and 29th (0-0-2-1-1) in Selke Trophy voting;
  • Nicklas Backstrom finished 72nd (0-0-0-1-0) in voting for the Lady Byng Trophy and 66th (0-0-0-0-1) in Selke Trophy voting;
  • Viktor Kozlov finished 26th (0-0-3-0-0) in voting for the Lady Byng Trophy and 25th (1-0-0-2-0) in Selke Trophy voting;
  • Boyd Gordon finished 49th (0-0-1-0-0) in Selke Trophy voting; and
  • Sergei Fedorov finished 66th (0-0-0-0-1) in Selke Trophy voting.
Mirtle promises to have much more on the voting breakdown later, but this shows how silly open ballot/write-in voting can be.

An argument can be made (maybe not a strong one) that Ovechkin is one of the top 29 defensive forwards in hockey. He was, after all, fifth among all forwards in plus/minus, ninth in takeaways and sixth in hits. Might Backstrom be the 66th-best defensive forward in the game? Sure. He was sixth in takeaways and had fewer giveaways than Pavel Datsyuk or Henrik Zetterberg.

But while the end result may not be completely outlandish (ok, Kozlov at 25th is), the more ridiculous part is not where they finished in the voting as much as the fact that multiple voters had a guy like Ovechkin - who got all of nine seconds of shorthanded time per game - in their top five. One writer thought that Viktor Kozlov was the best defensive forward in hockey this past season... or at least voted that way (and there are plenty of examples League-wide of this silliness, of course, but these are the handful I happen to give a crap about).

Bottom line: the NHL needs to come up with a list of, say, ten players for each award, mail out ballots with those names on them and force voters to select from that list. It'll make the final results more meaningful and the awards more reflective of the individual accomplishments they're intended to reward. But if the NHL is cool with a voter ostensibly thinking that Jiri Hudler was the fifth best defensive forward in hockey in 2007-08, they might as well leave things the way they are.