Thomas equals Parent's feat at NHL Awards

Thomas equals Parent's feat at NHL Awards
June 23, 2011, 2:13 am
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Wednesday, June 22, 2011
Posted: 10:13 p.m.

By Tim Panaccio
CSNPhilly.com

LAS VEGAS Boston goalie Tim Thomas got a tweet from Flyer legend Bernie Parent on Wednesday night at the Palms.

Welcome to the club, Parent tweeted.

Indeed, Thomas completed a very rare trifecta as the 37-year-old Bruin won his second Vezina Trophy as the NHLs best goaltender for the second time in three years, to go along with a Conn Smythe as the playoff MVP and, of course, the Stanley Cup.

Parent was the first and only other goalie to do that when the Flyers won the Cup in 1974 and 1975.

Thats the stuff that I enjoy hearing more than anything else, Thomas said of Parents tweet. Its amazing that he did it two years in a row. Were just coming off winning the Cup and its been crazy.

I havent had time to sit down and think about it, but I would love to be able to accomplish something like that. So many things have to fall into place. I bet you Bernie would say the same thing: it takes a unique set of circumstances to win it two years in a row. Thats an amazing accomplishment.

Thomas said winning the Vezina meant so much to him because he had to overcome off-season hip surgery with an exhausting three workout-a-day routine just to play goal again.

Because of how far Ive come it looked like an unattainable award, Thomas said. Because of all Ive been through you could win this six times and every time would be just as special.

Thomas was named on 26 of 30 ballots and was the top selection on 17 for 104 points, edging Pekka Rinne of the Nashville Predators (84). Rinne also earned votes on 26 ballots and received six first-place votes.

He was the vital difference in the Bruins defeating the Vancouver Canucks for the Cup. The Vezina was conducted months earlier during the regular season and doesnt include the playoffs.

Thomas had a league-best .939 saver percentage and league-best 2.00 goals against average, while winning 35 games during the regular season.

Corey Perry become the first Anaheim Ducks player to win the Hart Trophy as league MVP, upsetting Vancouvers Daniel Sedin. Sedin did take the Ted Lindsay Award as the players' pick for MVP.

Perry garnered 67 first-place votes among the 126 ballots cast and accumulated 1,043 points to Sedins 960 points. Perry also won the Maurice Richard Trophy as NHL goal-scoring leader with 50 goals.

Vancouver took home six awards from the Palms but not the Stanley Cup.

The first award of the evening seemed like an upset as Detroits Nick Lidstrom won his seventh Norris Trophy as the leagues best defenseman, upsetting Bostons Zdeno Chara, who many felt would win the award and Nashvilles Shea Weber.

Lidstrom had 35 first-place votes two more than Chara, who was third. Weber took second place.

Chara won the Mark Messier Leadership Award, which Messier himself decides upon for the player who leads best by example in society.

Daniel Sedin won the Art Ross as the leagues top scorer, obviously, with 104 points. His twin brother, Henrik, won it last year.

Sedins teammate, Ryan Kesler, snapped fellow Selke Trophy finalist Pavel Datsyuks (Detroit) three-year reign as the leagues top defensive forward.

I pride myself on the defensive part of the game and its nice to be acknowledged, Kesler said. I guess all those years my dad was yelling, backcheck, finally paid off.

Pittsburgh coach Dan Bylsma, who made the Penguins a formidable foe despite the absence of both Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin, among others, won the Jack Adams Award as the leagues best coach.

Bylsma is a first time winner, who beat out both Barry Trotz (Nashville) and Vancouvers Alain Vigneault.

A little nerve wracking to have a chance at an award of this magnitude, Bylsma said. I didnt picture Donny Osmond announcing it. Its an honor to receive the award. Id like to tell you I did something marvelous to keep it going, but thats not the case.

Carolinas Jeff Skinner won the Calder as Rookie of the Year over strong competition from San Joses Logan Couture and the Islanders Michael Grabner.

Vancouvers Roberto Luongo and Cory Schneider clinched the William Jennings Trophy for fewest goals allowed, while the Canucks Mike Gillis was named General Manager of the Year.

The Isles Doug Weight, who recently retired, was awarded the King Clancy Memorial Trophy, given to the player who best exemplifies leadership on and off the ice and who has made a noteworthy humanitarian contribution to his community.

For the second consecutive year, Tampas Martin St. Louis won the Lady Byng, for sportsmanship and gentlemanly conduct on the ice.

The L.A. Kings Dustin Brown was the recipient of the 13th annual NHL Foundation Player Award. That award recognizes an NHL player who applies the core values of hockey commitment, perseverance and teamwork to enrich the lives of people in his community.

Many not all of the awards are voted upon by the Professional Hockey Writers Association.
E-mail Tim Panaccio at tpanaccio@comcastsportsnet.com. Follow him on Twitter @TPanotchCSN.

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