Kings’ Anze Kopitar wins second career Selke Trophy
Part of Anze Kopitar was glad he didn’t walk away with the most glamorous award of the NHL season.
The Selke Trophy and a large chunk of perspective was enough of a haul on this night.
Kopitar won his second Selke award, for best defensive forward, at the NHL Awards show Wednesday. He finished third in voting for the Hart Trophy for most valuable player and the margin was not as close as expected.
The Kings captain received 11 first-place votes, well behind winner Taylor Hall of the New Jersey Devils (72 votes) and runner-up Nathan MacKinnon of the Colorado Avalanche (60).
But Kopitar, like his fellow nominees, was overwhelmed by an emotional video tribute and appearance by the Humboldt Broncos.
Darcy Haugan, the late coach of the junior hockey team, received the Willie O’Ree Community Hero Award for positive impact on the community right before the Hart was announced.
“I was nervous, if I was going to get it, what was I going to say,” Kopitar said. “And you see those guys up there. No disrespect to the Hart, but I’m sure everybody would give up that trophy to have a normal life.
“I was choked up. I was close to crying. It just magnifies things, being a dad myself. That’s the first thought that really goes through your mind is what would have happened if I was in that situation.”
Haugan was among 16 members of the Broncos who died in an April 6 bus accident.
Hall echoed Kopitar.
“I was super nervous until I saw that Humboldt tribute video,” Hall said. “It really puts everything into perspective for me.”
Kopitar did have a sense of humor in beating out four-time Selke winner Patrice Bergeron of the Boston Bruins when he said, “I thanked him after. I said, ‘When you win one once in a while, it’s great.’ ”
Kopitar also sounded a lighter note on another notable topic: his close-cut haircut.
“[The barber] said I probably needed a little bit of a touch-up, and by touch-up I meant maybe just a little bit of a trim or something,” Kopitar said. “He grabbed my hair and cut it in half. So I was sweating on the chair because I didn’t know what was going to come out of it.”
Victor Hedman of the Tampa Bay Lightning won the Norris Trophy for best defenseman over the Kings’ Drew Doughty, the runner-up with 52 first-place votes to Hedman’s 94.
Doughty was unable to attend because of a scheduling conflict.
Kings goalie Jonathan Quick accepted his second Jennings Trophy for fewest goals allowed. His backups last season, Darcy Kuemper (since traded) and Jack Campbell, did not play in enough games to share the award, but Quick brought Campbell to the show.
“The [No. 1] goalie always gets credit for it,” Quick said. “It felt more comfortable having a teammate with me, especially being a goalie partner.
“You can’t give Darcy enough credit, because he was awesome for us. But having ‘Soup’ here with me tonight made it fun and meaningful at the same time too.”
The Stanley Cup runner-up Vegas Golden Knights cleaned up with four awards, to George McPhee for general manager of the year, Gerard Gallant for coach of the year, William Karlsson for the Lady Byng Trophy for sportsmanship and Deryk Engelland for Mark Messier Leadership Award.
Pekke Rinne of the Nashville Predators won the Vezina Trophy for top goalie and Mathew Barzal of the New York Islanders won the Calder Trophy for top rookie.
Brian Boyle, a former Kings player, won the Bill Masterton Trophy for perseverance for his fight with bone marrow cancer and got choked up during his acceptance speech.
Go beyond the scoreboard
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