Jiri Hudler did what most people want to do when they are wearing uncomfortable shoes at a formal event.
He took them off.
So what if he was at the NHL awards show on Wednesday night? The Calgary Flames forward won the Lady Byng Trophy — given for sportsmanship and gentlemanly play — and went on stage to accept it.
“I have no shoes on ... I’m sorry,” Hudler said. "...Vegas, what a place.”
Montreal’s Carey Price may have owned the stage with his four trophy wins — including the Hart Memorial Trophy as the league’s most valuable player and the Vezina Trophy, given to the NHL’s top goaltender — but Hudler had the speech of the night.
Hudler sprinkled in teasing references to Flames rookie Johnny Gaudreau’s youth and a long list of creative thank yous. Gaudreau finished third behind Florida’s Aaron Ekblad and Mark Stone of Ottawa in the Calder Trophy voting for rookie of the year.
Price also won the Ted Lindsay Award for most outstanding player as selected by NHL players and the William M. Jennings Trophy for allowing the fewest regular-season goals, along with Corey Crawford of Chicago.
The four trophies for Price matched Montreal legend Guy Lafleur’s four in 1977.
“It hasn’t really sunk in yet,” Price said. “I’m just truly grateful just to be here. It’s been an amazing experience. This whole season has been just amazing.”
Other winners included Calgary Coach Bob Hartley for the Jack Adams Award, Boston Bruins star Patrice Bergeron for the Frank Selke Trophy (top defensive forward), Ottawa Senators defenseman Erik Karlsson for the Norris Trophy, Steve Yzerman of Tampa Bay for general manager of the year, and Minnesota goalie Devan Dubnyk for the Bill Masterton Award for perseverance, sportsmanship and dedication to hockey.
Alex Ovechkin of Washington won the Rocket Richard Trophy as the league’s leading goal-scorer, Jamie Benn of Dallas won the Art Ross Trophy as the league’s points leader and Chicago captain Jonathan Toews received the Mark Messier NHL leadership award.
Kings defenseman Drew Doughty, who finished second in Norris voting, was named to the NHL’s All-Star second team. The second place in Norris voting was Doughty’s highest finish for the award. Kings center Anze Kopitar was third in both the Selke and Lady Byng voting.
Kings suspend Voynov
The Kings said that they have suspended defenseman Slava Voynov. It was largely a preemptive move, designed to give them more cap room in the summer in case they need to deal with offer sheets for their younger players. Voynov is due to go on trial in early July on a felony domestic violence charge.
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